Ali & Nick
Okay, it’s been a while since I’ve returned to Ali & Nick. Sometimes, when I’m delving in the business of other folks, aka writing, some stories rush forward, demanding to be told, while others choose to take the time of a gently blossoming flower. The story with Ali and Nick is a bit more like the latter than the former.
If you haven’t had a chance to get to know Ali & Nick, or since it’s been a while, get to know them in the first installment of the short story here. Now, without further adieu, their story continues…
“I’m just gonna assume that you’re Nick.” Her strong voice was no nonsense, smooth as butter, and carried the faint overtones of reproach.
“Yeah, that’s me.” Why do I always sound like an idiot in real life?
When a computer is in front of me, it becomes my shield, and I can approach anyone as though we are equal. My confidence soars, and I know exactly how I want to express myself. If the words don’t look right, I can simply erase them and try again. In real life, I only get one chance, and as soon as I open my mouth, I somehow end up feeling like a first-class dunce.
Miraculously, she sat down, and I scrambled to remove the scarf that I’d thrown over the chair to reserve a spot for her. I send a silent prayer of thanks to my Grandmother for having at least taught me manners. Nervously, I cleared my throat.
“Thank you so much for coming. I know that neither one of us is really into meeting face to face…”
As soon as I mentioned the word face, I lost my train of thought. Ali is truly beautiful. Now that I’ve had a chance to see her in real life, her profile picture seemed like a caricature. Her eyes were the color and shape of a roasted almond, a mesmerizing shade of light brown just on the verge of turning dark. At first glance, I could tell that those eyes were perceptive — they noticed everything with judgement and a hint of distrust. Under her intense scrutiny, I was no exception.
“…And yet, you insisted that we meet.” Ali readjusted herself in the overstuffed chair, scooting back with her legs primly crossed at the ankles.
I battled with my eyes to keep them above her neckline, but eventually, I lost the war. Her legs got longer by the second, and that eggplant purple skirt ended just a few tantalizing inches above her knees. The black button-up blouse that she wore was modest, some sort of silky material with long sleeves and a high collar. I don’t know how it worked, but it did. She pulled off sexy and sophisticated at the same time, and while I felt nothing but admiration and attraction, I also felt even more inept wearing just jeans a t-shirt with the logo of my brother’s auto shop business. When my eyes finally returned to hers, a faint sparkle of mirth in them reminded me of gold.
“Yeah, I know.” I sighed and ran a hand through the length of my hair. I was overdue for a haircut, but times were tough and I didn’t have the $20 to throw towards vanity.
“So, now that we’re face to face, what is it that you feel you need to say, Nick? You already know that I’m out of my comfort zone here, but the past few months have been… nice.” Ali paused, and I could have sworn that the heat of a blush stained her cheeks.
“Look,” I started, already exasperated by the amount of words we’d already exchanged, but hadn’t really gotten anywhere. “I just needed to see you, face to face. I needed to know if you were — real.”
There, I said it. At risk of looking like a complete idiot in a public place, I had to lay everything out on the line. Because the truth of the matter is, this online thing between us isn’t enough for me anymore.
“What do you want from me?”
Her features had softened at my outburst, and now she stared at me thoughtfully, with genuine interest. I was relieved that she hadn’t walked away, or worse, outright laughed in my face. Still, I knew that Ali was highly intelligent, and combined with her beauty and wit, she was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
There was no way that I could honestly answer her question. Not now. Not when my mouth, heart, and soul wanted to confess to her that I wanted anything and everything she was willing to give me.
I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Be on the lookout for my next installment (sooner rather than later).
Sending Love and Light to all of you.
©Atina Atwood 2018 Exploring Love and Life, One Word At A Time.™
– Atina Atwood is a southern girl who moved from Europe to the West Coast. A former university professor in Germany and California, Atina stepped away from Academia to focus on her miracle child, life, love, food, quilting, and of course, Romance. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for more.