She looked at him across the table. Dinner had been ordered and wine was served. She examined his soft auburn hair, that curled a little at the ends. His face reminded her of a doe in headlights, with his soft brown eyes. He looked a little surprised all the time. His simile was wide and genuine, crinkling the corners of his eyes. He fidgeted with his napkin, she could feel the nervous energy rolling off him in waves.
“Honestly I wasn’t expecting you to show up.” He half laughed. Self deprecation was his safety blanket. He watched as her smile turned up the corners of her dark red lips. Her espresso colored skin glowed softly as the smile made her eyes sparkle. Her dark rimmed glasses hid a few freckles. He liked how her tight jet curls bobbed a when she turned her head to chuckle into her delicate hand. They locked eyes and she took a drink of her wine.
“I wasn’t exactly sure if I would either, my friend did not sell you very well.” She laughed liking his honesty. She had been expecting someone to show up with a superhero tee and ripped pants. His solid blue button down and black tie left a different impression. She liked the sound of his laugh, soft with a little growl. She couldn’t help but smile when he laughed.
“Were you expecting Napoleon Dynamite?” He held onto his wine glass like a lifeline. She laughed outright bright and clear. He flagged the waitress for more wine as he finished his glass. She had a stunning smile.
“Pretty much.” She couldn’t stop laughing, that is exactly who her friend had told her to expect. His eyebrows shot up, he looked even more surprised that he had gotten it right. Her salad arrived, his rare stake and baked potato was set down a second later. He dug into his food and a look of satisfaction settled on his soft doe like features. The crisp greens and tangy dressing of her own food was delicious. She couldn’t think of anything to say while they were eating, but the silence was comfortable.
“Did we save room for dessert? The featured dessert is a strawberry puff pastry.” The waitress asked when she came by. She watched the look pass between them. Uncertainty if the other person was enjoying the night as much as they were. She had seen it a dozen times this night alone.
“Would you be willing to split it?” He wasn’t sure if he could eat a whole dessert by himself after the big meal. She nodded much to his delight. The waitress came back before he had a chance to say anything else. The strawberry puff pastry was decadent. The waitress came by with the check before they had finished eating.
“I can pay for my half.” She offered, she watched him reach for the check without hesitation. He shook his head and hid the check under the table to pay it. He placed it back on the table. She noticed his fingers were calloused, she wondered what hobbies he had.
“It’s all set.” He said both to her and the waitress as she swooped by to pick it up. He stood up and extended his hand her. She took it, warm and small in his. The gauzy fabric of her dress brushed against his elbow as he walked her to her red Toyota.
“We’ll have to do this again.” She smiled and planted a soft kiss on his cheek. She watched the blood rush to his face. She unlocked her car and held onto the door handle.
“Friday after next?” He stuttered. The feeling of her soft lips on his cheek destabilized all of the courage he had built up during dinner.
“Sure.” She smiled and got into her car. She watched him walk to his pickup truck. She laughed out loud when she saw him punching the air victoriously. She drove past him as he got in and honked. He turned and waved a huge smile plastered across his face.