Him & Her

By: Shelby Mitchell

She continues, "Well are you just going to stand there and stare like you're stuck on stupid? Get to talking. Make your sorry assed case." The flash of fiery challenge in her big brown eyes is unmistakable. I have to talk or get the door shut in my face.

Think fast Micah. Make it good, don't piss off the pretty lady or get the boot. Your dignity and stomach depend on it.

"Right,” I say, chest filling with air and standing a bit straighter for more confidence and effect. “Let me start over and try to understand what's going on before I keep making assumptions."

“Yes, that would be the smart thing to do. But it might be too late for you, because you're already looking like an ass to me.”

“Ouch! What's that? Blood?” I grab my chest and look down, pretending to be hurt. "I'm cut! Think I got slashed with the wit of your tongue. Boy, you've got a wicked comeback on you, I tell ya."

"Um-hm. You were saying you'd start over?" She’s in no mood to banter with me anymore.

"Yes, please." Wow, she has me saying ‘please’. Soon, I'll be a ‘yes ma'am, please and thank you’ sort of guy around her. Right now, I don’t have time to waste so I continue, "My name is Micah James. I live about five miles back towards downtown and I'm a respectable business owner who can't cook to save my life and am in awe of your culinary skills. I would like to formally offer you a position as..." I look at her camper and take a pregnant pause, "a live-in position as my personal chef. It could even be temporary until you decide what you want your next move to be." Whew, I got that out.

"See, that's the problem with your proposition, Mr. James.” She smirks and folds her hands under what I can most definitely now tell is a magnificent set of breasts. “You assume I don't have a plan. Do you think I’m living here because I can't do any better? Like I'm some destitute homeless vagabond? Nope. I choose to live here because it's a profitable, temporary arrangement to get me closer to a focused goal I have."

I stare at her. She speaks more like an MBA graduate than the poor young woman I thought her to be. Prejudice much, man? That'll teach me to jump to conclusions. I'm getting schooled on perception versus reality tonight.

"My apologies, Ms. Blackmon." I make sure I'm just as formal as she is in my response. For some reason I want her to like me and give me a chance, like it’s very important she does. Ha! I want her to give me a chance to give her money. What's wrong with this picture? But I can't help myself, so I press on.

"Pardon me, I would like for you to seriously consider my proposal. But one thing I'd like to point out is the lack of safety in this particular location. You aren't parked near a proper or reliable light source.” As if on cue the light above flickers as if trying to sputter out. I reach for the edge of the free swinging door of the camper that’s holding on by a thread. “These doors are flimsy and won't keep a moth out if it wants to come in. Plus, you answered these same doors without any type of barrier or visible sign of protection. Even the interior screen door is shot to hell. You're taking a big risk being out here alone, at night."

“How dare you insult my home and who says I'm alone?" The fiery embers in her eyes would make a sane person stop, but I’m in my beast mode again and have to win.

I have this insatiable drive to persuade her to come with me. I go ape shit nuts when I’m around her. That has to be it. I’m not acting normal.

Use a little reason and couth around her nut—don’t be a brut, I remind myself before I continue. ”Well if you weren't here alone, I'm sure someone would have come behind you by now to let me know you aren’t; especially when my male voice carried." I think I see a slight blush on her face at that. I wonder what thought just passed through her mind. "This may very well be part of your grand scheme for your focused goal that I can respect, but it is also a hazard and danger waiting to happen. Plus, if you don't at least promise me you’ll get into a stable place tonight, I'll be so concerned. I'll be forced to contact the local police to drive by and check on you."

Her nostrils flare and her voice lowers several octaves. "You wouldn't!"

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