By Tina Ralph
Strolling down the aisle, all dressed in black, as gorgeous as ever, was the one person in the world, April didnâ€™t want to see. Still, the unexpected sight of him caused her to choke out his name. To her horror, he turned and looked at her.
Kirkâ€™s face showed he wasnâ€™t any happier to see her, but he quickly recovered.
She ignored the sudden butterflies in her stomach. â€œHello, Kirk, itâ€™s been awhile.â€
He pushed his cart closer. â€œNot since Janet moved out. Almost a year.â€
â€œJanet told me when your divorce was final. I wanted to call â€“ but â€“ well… I didnâ€™t know what to say.â€ To cover her awkwardness, she rushed on. â€œI always consider you, my friend too. We had fun together, but…â€
Embarrassed, she looked down. The divorce had been a hot item among friends. They wanted someone to blame. Sheâ€™d been mentioned as a contributing factor.
â€œDonâ€™t worry about it, April.â€ Kirk continued. â€œI havenâ€™t had much time to socialize anyway. I received the house in the divorce settlement. I spent my weekend on home improvement projects. You remember our fixer-upper. Donâ€™t you?â€
â€œYes,â€ Amber was glad heâ€™d changed the subject.
A lady with two small children broke up their conversation, as she tried to edge passed them.
â€œIt looks like we are holding up traffic.â€ April pushed her cart forward, letting the woman pass. â€œBesides, my ice cream is melting.â€
He hesitated a moment. â€œMaybe we can get together sometime…do something?â€
Thrilled with the idea of pursuing a relationship with him, April tempered her enthusiasm with a wave of her hand. â€œSure, give me a call.â€
At the checkout counter, her pulsed danced at the possibilities of him calling. Kirk, with his incredible teddy bear brown eyes, made everyone feel special. He a wonderful man, except for the fact, that he was her best friendâ€™s ex-husband.
Would Janet mind? She was dating other men.
Was it worth their friendship?
It could get complicated.
â€œIt really doesnâ€™t matter,â€ April said to herself. â€œHeâ€™s not going to call, anyway.â€
April stood in the middle of the video store with a movie in each hand, trying to make up her mind.
A rich baritone voice over her left shoulder caught her off guard. â€œIâ€™d pick the comedy. Heavy drama is too depressing.â€
Turning quickly, April brushed against Kirkâ€™s shoulder as she looked up into his face. â€œFancy meeting you here.â€
His quick grin and the spark of interest in his eyes lightened her heart.
â€œI like to get my videos on Thursday. That way I beat the crowds.â€ He reached for the case in her hand. â€œWhy donâ€™t I rent this one? And you can come over Saturday and watch it with me.â€
Letting him take it, she attempted to settle her racing heart. â€œIâ€™m not sure youâ€™ll like that one. Itâ€™s a chick flick.â€
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter.â€ He slid a friendly arm around her shoulders.
Nervously, April took a deep breath and pushed the doorbell. Dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, she wanted to look friendly but not eager.
The door opened, Kirk stood before her holding a paint roller in his hand, paint splattered all over him.
Shock flashed across his face. â€œIt canâ€™t be six oâ€™clock?â€
Fascinated by the blue specks in his hair, April questioned. â€œIs it a bad time?â€
He stepped back, ushering her into the house. â€œNo, its just I–forgot the time.â€
â€œI…â€ Seeing the living room in total disarray with furniture piled in the middle of the room, a plastic tarps lying next to a half-painted wall, April paused. â€œMaybe I should come back later?â€
He blocked the door. â€œI can have it cleaned up in a minute. All I need to do is pour the paint back in the can, and clean out the roller. Then we can turn on the movie.â€ He hurried past her.
â€œBut Kirk, youâ€™re not finished. You donâ€™t want to have to drag all this stuff back out tomorrow.â€ April argued.
â€œItâ€™s no big deal. I can leave it like this.â€
Her eyes roamed the room. â€œThis type of chaos drove Janet wild. She likes things to be neat and tidy with no changes to upset her peaceful tranquility.â€
Considering all work he had accomplished, April continued. â€œI could never understand why? I think it might be nice to change things up ever so often. Itâ€™s what makes a house a home.â€
He studied her for a moment over the paint can before he replied. â€œIt makes a mess.â€
â€œFunny, I always enjoyed a little adventure in my life.â€
He looked up again, their eyes met. In that moment, something passed between them. April wasnâ€™t sure what it was, but she felt the spark of electricity.
With a wicked grin, Kirk asked. â€œWanna get messy?â€
OCC/RWA Membership Director
You know what they say…”Boring Women Keep Clean Houses” Hmmm…call me “messy” any day. 😉
What a wicked ending! A totally cute story.
Oooo, provocative ending. Loved it!! All of it!
Love the quick pace of your story, Tina! And your ending line wraps everything up very “neatly.”
😉 Sandy C.
How cute, Tina!
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