Decisions at a Deli, by Kristine E. Brickey (jiggle, brouhaha, woozy)
Sassy was going to kill her friend Cindy for getting involved in her love life, forcing her into this ridiculous predicament. Was it considered a doubly blind date if she hadn’t actually met this Matthew before, NOR was aware he was going to show up here, expecting she knew she was on a date?
Just because he’d seen her article and sent flowers, what, she was obligated to date him? She’d sold the flowers to her coworker, but then Cindy had nabbed the card and made herself matchmaker. Imagining Cindy’s head jiggling as she shook her silly later this afternoon helped a little, Sassy thought with an evil grin. At least rejection in this public place should prevent any brouhaha.
All this information floated around Sassy’s brain as Matthew sat waiting. Grimacing, Sassy tried to decide how to best explain; but just then, the waitress arrived with lunch.
Postponing the inevitable, Sassy took a bite from her sandwich, woozy with hunger and anger. Rather than digging into his own, Matthew began sharing. Despite her initial indifference, she was drawn into his stories, laughing as he talked about how many notes he’d written before settling on the one he’d finally sent with the roses to her office.
“My friend, Cindy, stole that note,” Sassy admitted as she finished her fries. Matthew’s confused expression sent a twinge of guilt her way. Knowing the truth needed speaking, she forged ahead. “The flowers were a lovely gesture, but…I don’t do flowers…or blind dates,” she added.
“But, we’re here, having lunch now,” Matthew clung to his confusion.
“Yeah, about this…” Sassy was actually starting to feel bad. “Cindy stole the card and set this up.”
“You didn’t know this was a date, did you?” Matthew finally understood, waving over the waitress for the check.
Indecision washed over her. She’d not had a horrible time, but was that basis enough to date Matthew?
He was standing to leave. “It was nice meeting you, Sassafras Jones.”
“I’m sorry you wasted your money,” she said.
“Flowers for a beautiful woman? Never a waste,” Matthew offered his hand to help her from the booth.
His grip was firm, but gentle. He has manners, she thought, that much was clear. He wasn’t being a jerk because she’d refused him. Hmmm…
“Ladies first,” Matthew gestured toward the door.
She was going to kill Cindy.
He reached past her and opened the door before she could react.
“Again, nice meeting you,” Matthew smiled and began to turn away.
“Wait!” Sassy yelled louder.
And there, on the busy sidewalk, she made a choice that would change her life forever.