by Kelvin Wade
IPINION exclusive! This is the shortest story in my first book, MORSELS: Twisted Tales of Life and Death Vol. 1. It is entitled “Seconds.” If you like it please go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/113325 and get the first book FREE. It’s available in Nook, Kindle, PDF, .TXT or HTML to read write in your browser.
She’d been staring at him all morning. She’d started on the 2nd, about two weeks ago, a transfer. At the time, he didn’t know if she was going to make it. She’d had difficulty adjusting to the pace of the work. All she had to do was write letters. He couldn’t imagine what would be so hard about that. None of the other girls had the trouble she did. It was no skin off his nose. He consistently finished his work and knew he’d be in line for a promotion at the end of the year.
He didn’t pay her much attention in those first two weeks. He didn’t think much of her. Now, with her staring at him he was having second thoughts. She wasn’t bad looking. Her hair was a mess of reddish curls and her eyes were big and green. Without that wild red hair, her nose might look too large for her face. Maybe she could afford to hit the gym and be better toned. She kind of sat by herself and ate, brown-bagging it most days, probably to save money. There was a recession and all.
But now as he sketched a diagram of a new energy efficient model home, she was staring at him. He tried to focus on his work. This design had to be perfect. His brother, Dylan, had built a number of model homes. Dylan was the star in the family. Though they were twins and had both started at Haverton at the same time, Dylan was quickly promoted. Now Dylan was the talk at every family gathering. Dylan and his bowties. Who wore bowties?
She got up to get a drink at the water cooler. He thought about joining her, just bumping into her and see if anything happened. She was obviously interested in him or she wouldn’t have been staring. He chastised himself. If it had been Dylan, Dylan wouldn’t have hesitated to walk over and introduce himself. But something held him back.
Where would this go anyway? He thought back to Patty a year ago. That relationship had been a disaster. Oh sure she was easy on the eyes but who knew she was so possessive? She told everyone that he was the one she was going to marry. That was crazy talk. It would be years before he would be ready and willing to commit to something like that. She wanted to be with him all the time. It left no time for male bonding with the guys. After working all day, he liked to blow off some steam playing a little basketball or having a drink or two with the fellas. She just didn’t understand.
He looked up from his project and she’d finished drinking at the water cooler. She smoothed out the skirt she was wearing and then shook her luscious red hair. Then she started walking towards him! He didn’t know what to do. She was seconds away. He didn’t want to get caught socializing on the clock when he should be working. Mr. Pittman wouldn’t hesitate to write up people who wasted valuable time on personal matters. Perhaps he could invite her out for lunch and see where it went from there. He was nervous. He started perspiring. Sweating never looks good. His mouth was dry.
His eyes went to her legs. Not bad. Then he mentally slapped himself for looking at her legs. She was on the way over. He needed to keep his eyes up. She would be there in a matter of seconds. He needed to look her in the eye when they met. He was breathing quickly now. He just wasn’t smooth with the opposite sex. He didn’t have Dylan’s gift of small talk.
She arrived at his desk with a nervous smile on her face. They locked eyes. Her eyes were sparkling green. Her smile was small but warm.
“Hi. I’m Layla. Do you have a second?”
“Um…I was thinking. Do you want to hang out next recess?”
And just like that, in a matter of seconds, puppy love bubbled up between the two second-graders.