Chapter 12 ~ Is He Flirting With Me?
Grace took no chances with Jane trying to play cupid with she and Tim the barista at Starbucks. Right before she left home, she text Jane and told her she was going to mobile order their drinks. The drinks would be ready when they arrived. Grace was please getting a step ahead of Jane. Jane was always playing the imp, stirring up trouble and writing it off as a laugh. Grace wondered why she remained friends with Jane, there was something about her, she couldn’t figure it out that she liked. Maybe Jane was the kind of free spirit she always wanted to be. That was probably it, she reasoned. I see in her what I wish I could see in myself. I am too rigid, I don’t relax. I don’t let myself have fun. But, I am who I am and I don’t think I’ll change, she thought. She made a promise to herself, whatever idea Jane had, she was not going to make a commitment unless it sounded perfect. In Grace’s mind, this meant one thing, she was going to say no and that was that.
Grace arrived at Starbucks ahead of Jane, she walked to the pickup part of the coffee bar and saw the two drinks with her name on the side. She reached down to pick them up and heard Tim the barista.
“Grace, how are you?”
She looked over to the register, there was Tim the barista waving at her from his work station behind the cash register.
“Hi Tim, doing great. How are you?” said Grace.
“I’m not contagious, I missed ringing up your order,” said Tim with a laugh.
Grace wondered if Tim was flirting with her. She thought about it for a moment, she met Mike in college when she was 19. After she met Mike, she was hooked, she never dated anyone else. They moved in together in her junior year. And, they married when they graduated. She was 21 when she graduated. A year later, she was pregnant with Matt. She wasn’t quite sure how to respond to Time, so she said, “I was in a rush, next time, Tim. I’ll give you a test. I might order something new.”
Tim laughed, “I can read minds.”
Grace thought, oh he is flirting. I wonder if Jane put him up to this. She smiled at Tim, took her drinks, quickly turned around and saw Jane sitting at a table enjoying the repartee between Tim and she. She walked over nonchalantly, placed the coffee drinks on the table. Jane stood and they hugged.
Jane said, “Flirting?”
Grace rolled her eyes, “No, we were not flirting.”
“What would you call it? I know flirting and this was flirting. Admit it, you think Tim’s hot,” said Jane enjoying Grace’s uneasiness.
Grace could feel the deepening shade of pink rising up through her neck into her face. She was embarrassed. She loved Jane. She knew Jane would do anything for her. Yet, Jane loved to tease her. They had been friends since childhood. Jane was always this way. And, it was Jane who set her up with her first high school boyfriend.
Grace said, “I’m not interested in Tim. What’s your idea?”
“I bet Tim knows who the starting quarterback is for the Cowboys? Besides, what’s not to like about him. He’s tall, intelligent, good looking, and his hair, I want to run my hands through it,” said Jane deciding to tease a bit more.
Grace decided she couldn’t win this one so she said, “I’d date him, but he’s still a graduate student and works part-time here at Starbucks. I’m not going to support him, no matter how good looking he is and how great his hair is.”
Jane laughed. She took a sip of her drink, “You got me, girl. I was just having fun with you. We don’t even know if he’s potty trained.”
Grace laughed, she knew Jane wouldn’t bring Tim up again and she was happy. Although, she thought, he is really good looking and I bet he knows sports.
“Grace? Grace? Where are you?” said Jane.
“My mind wandered for a moment, tell me about your brilliant idea,” said Grace, very happy for the change of subject.
Jane smiled, looked around to see if anyone was listening to their conversation, then leaned toward Grace, “It’s only an idea. I wanted to talk to you first. I know I can get carried away and act impulsively, but this time, my idea is so brilliant I’d make Einstein jealous.”
Grace had her two hands wrapped around her vanilla chi latte. She let go, raised the cup in her left hand and took a sip. After she swallowed, she said, “This has got to be good. But, I’m giving you fair warning, if I don’t think it’s perfect, I am saying no and you will not be able to talk me out of my decision.”
“My dear girlfriend, my idea is foolproof. In fact, I am so confident you’ll agree, I already talked to Larry and he said he’d go along with it, if you agreed.”
“Larry? Is this the Larry you’re married to, or another Larry? I remember your Larry telling me, he doesn’t get involved in any of your matchmaking schemes.”
Jane laughed. She said, “I’m hungry. I’m going to get a scone. Do you want one? Their cranberry scones are to die for.”
Grace said, “I’ll pass, but I might take a bite or two of your scone if you don’t mind.”
Jane smiled, walked over to the pastry counter and spotted the cranberry scones. Grace watched her. She saw Jane talking to Tim. She was flirting with him, no question. Grace marveled at Jane and how she had no inhibitions. She watched the game going on between Jan and Tim and shook her head.
Jane returned with two scones.
Grace said, “I didn’t want one.”
“Tim said it was on the house for you. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. He’s so young. He’s so cute. And, …”
“I know, you want to run your hands through his hair,” said Grace picking up her scone and taking a bite.
“I have a question for you. How you answer this question will decide if I will tell you the rest of my brilliant idea.”
“Okay, what’s the question. BTW, these scones are great. They could easily become a habit. A bad habit,” laughed Grace.
“Before Mike got deployed to Afghanistan, what was the favorite thing the three of you liked to do as a family?”
Grace didn’t hesitate, wonderful, happy images flooded her mind. She said, “We went camping and fishing at Big Elk State Park. The times we spent together at Big Elk are some of the best memories of my life. We had such fun.” Grace no sooner finished when a look of melancholy took hold of her face.
“Don’t go down the pity party road, Grace. Relish your memories, not everyone will have such wonderful memories. Even people who’ve been married thirty or forty years. I confess, I love Larry, but we don’t have those kinds of memories, yet.”
“You’re right, Jane. Of course, your right. I have nothing but good memories. I can treasure them,” said Grace.
“Well then, here’s my idea,” said Jane.