He was starting to panic now. It was the crowd, the bright sun, the beauty of the service, and now Stephanie. He wasn’t used to this much light flooding in. As he shook Father Tom’s hand, Dan received a warm smile, and a genuineness, he had not seen in a long time.
After they made it through the line, Stephanie pulled him aside. “Dan I haven’t seen you in years!” He stumbled over his words, hoping she wouldn’t notice, “How have you…..been?” And they talked for a while but he realized now the deeper reason he was panicked. “Are you married yet?” he blurted out, wishing he had never said it.
“Me??” “No….I never…..I never found anyone to marry.” She looked down at the ground, but he was quick to jump back in, changing the subject. “Where do you work now?” She perked up, and with opening her arms on both sides, she said, “Right here!”
As they walked to their cars, Stephanie explained that she worked as an administrative assistant for the church, while working on her PhD in psychology. He had to smile at that saying, “You always did like figuring people out!” They both laughed.
After Dan briefly mentioned he was divorced, they reached her car. Stephanie decided to make the next move, “Hey….would you be open….I mean do you think we could…..well go for coffee sometime?” His heart began racing, to be honest he was dumbfounded. “Sure! How about tomorrow??” She smiled like he had never seen her smile before. They made plans for him to pick her up at the church, right after she got off from work.
The next day, she walked outside as soon as she saw his car, but he was quick to throw the car in park, jumping out, and running to the passenger side, to hold open her door. She was impressed and said, “The perfect gentleman!” He was happy with himself for scoring some points. There was no way he was going mess up this date!
Once they made it to Starbucks they talked for hours. Stephanie was elated, but she was also reliving some pain she thought she had dealt with a long time ago. It was too soon to tell him, but there was a time when she thought……she thought he might be the right one. It was his heart, and his amazing poetry that drew her to his flame.
But when Dan got brave and talked about his marriage falling apart, she got brave too and went for it. “Dan why….why did you never ask me out?”
He was silent, and tears welled up in his eyes. Looking into his latte he said, “I always thought you were too holy, too good for me….” “You were like fine china, and I was like iron.” His voice trailed off.
She began weeping, and reaching for his hand, she whispered, “Dan…….”
To be continued this weekend.
Writing Copyright 2017, Blue Skies in the Morning
image credit to the unknown artist, via google