So it was supposed to be the first day of school but due to unfortunate circumstances, ahem a water main break, our day was cut short. Also, many friends and loved ones of mine are feeling a little under the weather, so I figured there’s nothing like a bowl of cereal to get you feeling good! (or least qualm the boredom).
See what’s happened so far, here.
"The guy is older than me!"
“We just sat and discussed short stories for two hours. Can you please tell me where in Starbucks we could have possibly had sex?”
It was a Monday afternoon. The snow and mud looked like slushy poo outside, and Natasha still hadn’t been promoted. But mainly, it was sad that Natasha’s boss had officially become her only confident since meeting Dayne at the bookstore. And Mariel wouldn’t let up about the attachment.
“Tash, I think you need to back off this guy. How about we go to Joey’s after work, like a uh, girls night.”
Mariel, in her khaki’s and crocs had no idea what the inside of a chic chain restaurant looked like. Let alone the social importance of wearing any other shoe than crocs.
“That’s alright, I promised my dad I’d have dinner with him tonight. Wants to know more about my elusive man.”
It was true, Natasha had shied away from sharing the whole truth about Dayne with friends and family. Except Mariel of course, who really knew far too much for any self-respecting boss.
It started with the night after they met. Dayne Weston, as he introduced himself formally, had taken her to a nice restaurant – nice being a place that Kirk could only afford on commission. He didn’t hold back on the compliments and Natasha even noticed how terribly strange – and vulnerable – that was for a man on a first date.
But Dayne was really a man. As in a 41 year old man.
“The guy is older than me!” shrieked Mariel, who in all respects is not that old. She’s 35 and cranky about it. But nonetheless, her response was the first Natasha received after telling his real age. And it was more than she could take. He wasn’t quite double her age, but he was only seven years off.
So for anyone who asked, he was a respectable 37.
Dayne told her that he owned a house outside the city in St. Adolphe where he would go on weekends. He was a university professor, and so stayed with a fellow professor during the term, and dabbled in different courses in the English department, mainly first year. Tash blushed in embarrassment, feeling as though she probably resembled most of his students.
But he was truly engaging. In his listening, his writing, when he told stories. All they had done for the past month or so was meet in coffee shops and talk. Simply discuss ideas and revel in bratty literature talk that only the true English and History nerds take pride in. He let her borrow his copy of Nixon in China, which wasn’t half bad. She taught him how to text message properly and that annoying, illegible, short hand was not a necessary feature.
So it was no surprise that after today’s shift, a message sat in her inbox.
Last night was great. You have such wonderful insights, you’re truly a well spoken, beautiful, woman.
Yeah, there is no way to short hand that.
Natasha had lied, she wasn’t having dinner with her father.
She was driving on her way to the Gas Station Theatre to watch her friend Hayley perform in a theatre class production. The two had been friends since middle school, when they were a part of the reading club, which consisted of two people. She felt she owed it to Hayley; they had really drifted apart when Kirk came into the picture. She made the decision to keep the night about her friend, and didn’t bother mentioning the show to Dayne. Yet she wanted him to know that she was indulging in an evening of Shakespeare, just to showcase how refined her tastes were.
As she waited on River Avenue to take a left turn, thinking about how she could word her text message in old English, she noticed Dayne in the nearby Starbucks. Or at least someone with a remarkable resemblance to him. He was sitting across from an attractive older woman (well, older than Natasha anyway). She clung onto her coffee cup as though it was her life source, and looked around nervously. A fine red scarf was wrapped around her head, like a cover up for a bald head. Natasha’s mom had worn so many like it.
Natasha looked at her rear view and noticed the truck’s headlights before it crashed into the back of her yellow Neon.
“Hello, hello, are you alright? Oh Jesus, Tash!”
She was dazed, having been jerked forward and launched into the curb, her car’s wheels still pointing left. Natasha noticed that the couple who was sitting in the window had left. Then she noticed Kirk, staring at her like an idiot.
“Hey now Tash, don’t be mad. It wasn’t me who crashed into you… it was my girlfriend.”