Disclaimers – See Part 1

Turning on a Dime

 

By

 

K-Morgan

kmorgan.5674@yahoo.com

(Feedback is appreciated!)


Part 2—

 

Washington DC-- Franklin Park

On Thursday, Addy was tired of being at the office. She needed to go outside for a break. She took her iPod, as she often did, and crossed the street to walk in the park. This was her workout when she didn't have enough time to go to the gym. When she was on her second lap, she spotted a familiar figure seating on a bench looking blank into space. She immediately headed in that direction.

“Just when I though she was some big shot attorney, so busy she hardly had time to work out at the gym, here she is, either a homeless person or just another lazy government employee seating at the park!”

Karen looked up, startled from her thoughts. She immediately smiled when she realized the person in front of her was not an apparition. It was the face that had haunted her all week, and probably the reason she was seating there. What the hell? She had been seating in Franklin Park for over ten minutes trying to make some sense out of her life.

“What?”

“Sorry for startling you…. So, which is it?”

Karen chuckled. “None of the above. I was just trying to escape my reality.”

“And what would that be?” Addy sat next to her.

Karen looked at Addy surprised on the showing of interest.

“Uninteresting.”

“Try me.” Addy smiled.

I'd love to! Karen chuckled at the irony. She was amused by this unexpected, but pleasant intrusion on her quiet moment. Of all the things in the world, finding Addy at the park was the last thing that she'd expected, much less that the woman would actually want to know what she was doing there.

“Well, let's see. One, I'm in line for partnership at the firm and they are throwing all the crap no one wants to do to me, so that I'd brake my back trying to ‘make it.' Two, I've just dumped someone with whom I thought I had a chance at a relationship (this was not true, but it added a bit of drama to the equation and Karen was going for effect), as always it turned out to be like all the others, only interested in sex. Three, every time there appears to be a dim light of hope at the end of the tunnel, it just fades away. So, Ms. Adriana Marcos, I see that you are a polite person and have not yet run for the hills, but, please, don't let me keep you. I'd totally understand.”

“You remembered my name!”

Karen looked at her. “Why wouldn't I? You have a memorable face.” Actually a real cute face!

Addy smiled. “So, let me see if I understand your predicament. One, you are so ‘unfortunate' to be in line for a partnership at a law firm, and they are giving you stuff so that you can proof yourself and get it, poor you! Two, you just dumped someone who obviously was not what you were looking for. Pardon et moi, so far I don't see the downside. Obviously, this person you dumped wasn't worth your time, which, by the way, you may very well use to work on the partnership deal! Three, about the light at the end of the tunnel, not sure what you mean there, but maybe you are not looking hard enough, or maybe you gave up too easily. Maybe you should keep an eye on that dim light. Sometimes the sun looks very small when in fact it's the biggest star in our universe.”

Karen chuckled. Little did Addy know that the dim light Karen was talking about was her. The possibility of her being unavailable was the dimming Karen was thinking about. As they sat on the park bench, Karen was not able to overlook the diamond on her finger. Dam!

Karen looked at her. “You have a gift, you know?”

Addy grinned. “For meddling?”

Karen chuckled. “For caring and understanding. You also make things sound simple. Work is hard and at 35, love seems to be eluding me. However, I don't want you to get in trouble; I don't want to keep you over your lunch hour.”

“You are forgetting that I am ‘a lazy government employee' and if I must, I can take leave.”

“You'd do that for me, a total stranger?”

“Have you read the Celestine Prophecy?”

“Yes, I have. OH! Is that it? I have some kind of message for you? So, there is a reason for us meeting?” Karen smiled.

“Maybe it is… I, who has a message for you Ms. Karen Larsen! Think about it. We have met twice already in the most unexpected places. I mean. Being lawyers anyone would think that we would have met in court, in some class, or bar association meeting, yet where do we meet? The gym and the park….very fishy if you ask me!”

Karen couldn't help smile. Addy was charming. “You remembered my name.”

“Why not? You have a memorable face.” Both women grinned. There was a bit of silence.

“You are right, work is hard and love is evasive, but what would happen if we all gave up on love? Don't give up. Look at you… you are young and beautiful. You've got it all going for you. You can't give up on love! Although, to be honest, I think marriage is highly over rated. It's not as good as they dress it up to be! So, enjoy life as is and if love comes along, fine and if it doesn't just live it up!

Karen chuckled. “Thanks for the compliment, and for the message. I will take it under advisement. And..yes, that's my philosophy about life also.” Karen looked at her intensively as she smiled. Addy felt Karen's intense gaze and felt uneasy. Why did she say that about marriage? Maybe she is not happy.

“Just work hard, give it your best shot. Maybe that dim light is not so dim, maybe it's just far. Maybe it's just a matter of walking the distance. Who knows, it might one day be your sun! Perseverance is the key word here, my friend, perseverance! Maybe this is the real ‘message' after all. This is my message for you!” She raised her hands up in the air and wiggled her fingers. “Feel better?”

Karen looked at the ring on her finger and smiled. “Perseverance and a miracle! I'll remember that. Yeah. I feel better. It's good to talk to you. Still going to the gym on Friday?”

“I'll go if you promise to be there. I need help with those machines…..and for the record, I do believe in miracles.” Karen had to smile. If she only knew what miracle she was talking about!

“I'll be there. It'll be my pleasure to help you with the machines. Let's go, you don't want to be late. I'll walk with you, my office is past yours.” Addy smiled. She was glad to see that the woman appeared to be in a better mood. She remembered where I work also! Why not? I remember where she works!

**

On Friday, Karen was real busy. Under other circumstances she wouldn't have left her office, however on this particular Friday not even a call from Justice Ginsburg would have kept her there!

At about 11:50 she grabbed her gym bag and took off. Her assistant and junior attorneys were surprised to see her take time off because they knew she was preparing for a big case. “I'll be back after 1:30.” She breezed past her staffers leaving everyone dumbfounded. “What got into her?” Everyone shrugged and went about their business.

Karen was at a point in her life where she hated what she had become. Life had certainly changed for her, how did it ever come to this? All work and no play. Well the truth was that she was good at what she did and she had nothing better to do, so she did what she thrived doing which was to make money for people. In the world of business, results and money were the top priority and Karen was dam good at both.

The firm loved the money she brought in and had her on a silver plate. The fact was that they loved her so much she was the youngest person ever to be on the road to partnership.

All that fame and glory did not come without a price, though. It all meant long hours of work. She was excited about her success and the tons of money she was making in salary and bonuses, but she was unhappy about not having anyone to share her success with. She felt her life was empty. She wished for someone special, someone to have a life with. She wanted the real thing, she wanted love. She wanted passion!

Although, she had lots of people interested in her, men and women, she had not been able to find that someone who would give her that special feeling, and no, she was not going to settle for anything less. She had already decided that it was better to be alone that to be in a bad relationship. All she had seen in relationships between women was heartbreak and pain, so she was not going to go there. She would wait, however long it took, for the right person to show up. In her heart she knew that ‘her person' was out there somewhere.

Men wanted to date her. She was intelligent, accomplished, wordily and stunning beautiful. What was not to like about her? Karen had that Jennifer Aniston look, but much more refined. Add to that the fact that she brought home a hefty pay check every month and there was no doubt that Karen was a winning lottery ticket. No one knew about her sexual preference. She kept men at arms length because it was convenient.

In the traditional world of business it was not very smart to out yourself. So she kept sending signals of being straight, occasionally dating a few men just to keep appearances and to keep everyone interested and intrigued about her love life. If she when out with a woman, it would be for a casual lunch or dinner, as a friend, and most of the time it would end there. Mostly, because no one was interesting enough to take any risks.

If she wanted sex, all she needed to do was head to New York for a weekend and meet up with people she knew there and go to the usual clubs. Sex was easy to find for a gorgeous woman like her.

**

She was early at the gym that Friday. It was busy. She got started with her routine, as she looked around scouting the turf. She saw a few familiar faces but not the one she was looking for, and then, voila! When Addy spotted Karen, she immediately waved, so naturally, so sincere. So cute! Karen was delighted at the greeting.

Addy also saw Jean Paul. She winked at him. Jean Paul immediately dropped what he was doing and came towards her. It was as if this woman was a people magnet! She could reel them in by just glancing at them, or maybe it was that wink! What was that winking thing she had going? When that eye winked it was like a weapon!

Addy was really into her workout routine at the machine. She was apparently following the rhythm of whatever she was listening on her iPod. She was swinging her hips. She was hot, she looked sexy. Karen noticed that more than a few sets of eyes were fixed on her, some more discrete than others. The woman, of course, was oblivious to the attention she was getting.

Jean Paul, being like he was, stood right in front of her crossed one arm in front of him and with the other held his face staring blank at her hips. Addy couldn't help smiling. She was so amused by JP that she took one of her ear buds off and offer it to him so that he could listen to the music she was listening. Karen thought that it was so cute, and nice of her to acknowledge the complimentary look in JP's face. The minute he put the ear bud in his ear he began to dance like only JP could dance, like the pro he was!

He immediately put out his hand requesting Addy to dance with him. Surprisingly, she agreed. The woman had a sense of humor. What didn't she have? So, right there, in the middle of the gym, oblivious of anyone else, the duo began to dance to the tune of Santana's ‘Oye Como Va.'

The woman was a dynamo keeping up every sexy step of the way with JP who looked as if he had won the lottery. They were having a ball. The entire gym was paralyzed looking at the duo. They were amazing. Addy looked stunning. Karen was mesmerized. Everyone had stopped their routines to watch the pair.

Much later, both Addy and Karen found out that this was the day James spotted JP at the gym for the first time. Jean Paul took dancing very serious and this moment was forever in his memory as one of the most fun moments he ever had dancing. He talked about it for years, not to mention that he confessed to Karen that, as gay as he was, Addy had been the only woman who had ever given him a “hard on.”

This particular ‘happening' apparently did not go unnoticed to those who were looking in that particular direction. The dance prompted many friendly invitations for him from those who had notice ‘the happening,' as he called it. For JP that little dance rendered countless hours of enjoyable time with his many fans. One of those was James, who later became his life partner.

When the dancing was over, they were cracking up laughing and exhausted. Everyone resumed their activities after the pair took a few bows from the clapping crowd.

“Girl, you can dance! I haven't had so much fun in years! You are fantastic! I'm in love!” Addy smiled at all the craziness going on around her.

Karen thought that Addy's smile was the sweetest most beautiful smile she'd ever seen. Something about that face, that adorable face revealed every single feeling that was good in life. It was so genuine. Like a sunrise on a beach! It was the kind of face you'd want to hold and kiss and kiss forever! Oh God!

Karen approached the pair smiling. “You do know that he is a professional dancer, right?”

“Oh, my God! No, I didn't know! No wonder you are so good.” She pushed him a bit. JP blushed.

“I was just following you. Where do you dance?”

“Right now, I'm with a dance company based in San Francisco , but I really miss NY and want to come back East. We are performing at the Kennedy Center . You should come and see a show. I'll get you guys some tickets. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to go now, I have rehearsal. Thanks for the dance, Addy. Maybe we can have lunch together some time. I'll call you! Bye, sweetie!”

Addy laughed, still trying to catch her breath. “He's a riot, he doesn't even have my number!”

“He'll find it and he'll call you! Trust me, I know JP.” Karen smiled.

“Wanna go to the juice bar and have something to drink? I think I'm dehydrated.”

Karen was surprised at the easy going and casual way in which this woman treated her. Is this an invitation? Let's see where we are going with this…. “Sure.”

They got to the juice bar. “You wouldn't happen to have freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, would you?” Addy asked the attendant, wrinkling her nose.

“Yes, I do,” the attendant replied smiling at the two women, but focused on Addy.

Karen looked at her raising an eyebrow. “Picky, huh?”

“Well, we only live once!” Karen couldn't help grinning.

“Another immediate gratification believer, amen! Addy raised her brows as she smiled.

“Here you go, beautiful lady, and if you are ever I the mood to go dancing let me know.” The juice bar attendant raised his eyebrows suggestively. Addy smiled at him. “Thanks.”

 

Another victim! How does she do it? Karen asked for an orange juice.

“I can see that you are drawing up a fan club around here!

Addy smiled. “Funny.”

While at the juice bar, a woman made her way in between Addy and Karen to ask for a drink. Addy couldn't believe the woman's boldness practically pushing her way between the two of them. Karen knew exactly what was going on. This woman was going to hit on Addy. Karen pushed herself out a little bit to look at Addy who raised her eyebrows and shrugged her shoulders.

“Hi, gorgeous, my name is Jammie, and you are?”

Addy seemed a bit surprised by the woman's boldness. It was obvious that she was not used to pick up lines. “Adriana.”

“Beautiful name, for a beautiful woman.” Karen rolled her eyes as she listened to ‘overdone' pick up line. Another one?! Unbelievable!

Addy had a timid smile on her face.

“Couldn't help noticing what a great dancer you are, I love to dance also, so I thought you and me could get together and hit some clubs after work. My treat, of course, what do you say?”

Karen rolled her eyes again. Wow, she's not wasting any time, is she? And she's paying already. Addy really got her all wound up! Karen was listening very amused at the woman's fast move and waiting to hear how Addy would respond.

Addy, at first froze, realizing what was happening and remembering what JP said about getting invitations. Then, she figured out she had to end this once and for all, or else it would continue to happen.

“Jammie, I appreciate your invitation and under other circumstances I would love to go dancing with you, but….” She got closer to Jammie and almost whispered in her ear “My girlfriend behind you wouldn't be too happy, soorry!” She wrinkled her face.

Jamie immediately looked back and saw Karen's amused face. Interpreting it as a territorial look, she backed off.

“Sorry, didn't mean to interfere, but if you become available, I'm interested.” She whispered the last part into Addy's ear.

“Thanks, I'll keep it in mind.”

“What just happened? What did you tell her? She was obviously hitting on you! Why did she look at me and backed off?”

“I told her you were my girlfriend and that you wouldn't be too happy if I went out dancing with her.” Karen couldn't believe it. This is what JP and she did all the time!

“What?! Why would you say such a thing?” Does she know I'm gay? How could she?

 

“Listen, I'm sorry, she caught me totally off guard and I remembered what JP said about getting invitations. I thought if she believed you were my girlfriend she would leave me alone once and for all. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that, I'll go talk to her right now. This is not your problem. I'll get out of it somehow.”

“No, Don't. You are right, she'll leave you alone now, and no one will be hitting on me either, so thanks, I guess! Besides, I don't mind having such a sexy girlfriend!” Karen smirked. Let's see where this gets me!

 

Addy, grinned and raised a vey sexy eyebrow. “Should I be worried about you, now?” This remark caught Karen by surprise. She's quick too!

“Nope. You are safe with me.” Karen grinned, feeling like a total idiot. “This is your game. I'm a very serious person.”

“Thanks, you are too good.” Another wink. Another melt down. She's going to kill me!

“So, are you done, or is a marathon in the plan for today?” Karen asked.

Addy grimace. “I can stick around for a little bit more but, unfortunately, I'll have to go back to my jail cell and continue the daily grind.”

“You don't sound too happy about your work.”

“Happy?! I hate it with passion! But please, let's not talk about that. I don't talk about work once I put a foot outside my office.”

“Must be bad!” Addy looked at her with a menacing look.

“Okay, no talk about work, I get it….What should we talk about then?”

“I don't know, tell me something about you, what's your story? For example, why are you talking to me and not the cute juice bartender?” Karen almost choked.

“You don't beat around the bush, do you?”

“No, I guess I don't. I've always been pretty direct. I dare say almost impolitely blunt. It doesn't always get me good results, but it saves a lot of time.”

“Why does it save you time?” Addy looked at her straight in the eye.

“If I don't like you I ditch you immediately. That saves time, doesn't it?”

“All of a sudden I feel a lot of pressure.”

Addy chuckled. “Well, let me put you at ease. This is the third time we talk for more than a few minutes, right?”

“Yeah, and?”

“And we are still talking right?” “Yeah.”

“Well, that means you passed.”

Karen sighed “Lucky me!” Addy had a grin from ear to ear.

“Are you always like this, or should I take this personal?”

Addy looked at her straight in the eyes and raised one brow. “Take it personal. Not everyone is so lucky!” Karen could hardly swallow her juice. Is she flirting with me?

“By the way, I really have to go, my lunch hour is over, and they might send a search party for me if I don't show up soon.”

“In that case, do you want to do lunch some time next week?”

Addy was caught by surprise with this lunch invitation. She didn't know this woman all that well and she was asking her out for lunch. She remembered Jean Paul and the invitation comment. Could she be hitting on me also? Nah! She's too gorgeous to be gay.

Karen continued to talk, more out of nervousness than anything else. “I'm on travel until Wednesday, but I'll be in town on Thursday.”

Addy's face got very serious. She looked at Karen as if studying her face.

Karen opened her eyes big. “Well?”

She's got gorgeous eyes! “Friday, Corner Bakery on Vermont and K, 12 O'clock.”

Karen smiled. “I'll be there.”

“Got to go now.” As she was leaving, Karen looked disappointed.

Addy stared at her. “What?”

Karen wondered. “What, what?”

“You look disappointed? Did I say something wrong?”

“No.” Karen swallowed. She was petrified. How can she read me so well? “Why do you think I'm disappointed?”

“You look troubled. I can see it in your eyes. You have very expressive eyes. It's like I can see … ” She kept moving her eyes back and forth searching Karen's eyes for clues.

“What?” Karen looked down. She felt nervous, unsettled at Addy's ability to ‘read her.' Am I giving myself away?

 

“People's eyes say a lot.”

“What do you see in mine?” Karen was avoiding her gaze.

Addy chuckled. “Nothing, since you are obviously avoiding looking at me!”

“No, I'm not!” She looked straight into Addy's eyes, but was unable to keep her gaze. Shit I'm beat and she knows it!

Addy smiled. “Don't mind me. Sometimes I'm weird!” She winked. “See you Friday.” That wink!

As Addy walked away, Karen couldn't help remembering the Beatles song ‘S omething in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover…' Oh boy, I'm in deep shit here!

**

The weekend passed uneventful. The week seemed long, and the trip was boring. All Karen could think of was meeting Addy for lunch. She was so much looking forward to this lunch date. It was almost childish. For God's sake the woman was married, what was there to look forward?! She just enjoyed Addy's company. Something about her made her feel comfortable, relaxed, at home, she could be herself, no need to guard or pretend.

At twelve o'clock sharp, she spotted Addy's big bright smile and those vivacious eyes. It felt as if the sun had just risen. She couldn't help grinning from ear to ear. This person whom she had just met held some strange power over her that drew her closer and was able to crack her open like an egg and have her insides poured out.

This was strange for Karen, who normally guarded her emotions well. She was not the type of person who would allow people easily into her inner sanctum. No one was going to hurt her, she had seen that happen left and right, and she had resolved that it would not happen to her. Yet this woman seemed to be able to break, crash and demolish any barriers in the path to her, so easily, it was scary.

Addy found Karen refreshing and fascinating. Those eyes….were a pleasure to look at! As Karen approached, Addy greeted her raising her hand and waving her fingers. “I was wondering what to do if you didn't show up. I was just thinking that I don't even have a number to call you.” “You are right” Karen searched in her wallet for a business card. “Here, that's my office number.” “Thanks, I don't know if I have any business card with me, I'll have to search my wallet when we seat down.” Addy began to get in line to order food.

“Oh, here, I found one.” She handed Karen her card. The food arrived and they began to eat. Karen decided that she was going to tackle the issue once and for all and started her line of question. “Where do you live?”

“We are in Virginia , Fairfax County ”

“Who's we?” Karen asked before biting her sandwich.

“My husband and two kids, Joey is 19 and Laurie is 17.” Bang, bang, bang! Karen felt the disappointment. She avoided Addy's eyes afraid that the woman might see it.

“How about you, where do you live?”

“ Dupont Circle . I like to be right in the middle of things and close to work.”

“Do you have family in the area? “No. It's just me. I hope you don't mind my asking, I already told you that I'm 35, but how old are you?”

“No, I don't mind telling. I'm 40. Why do you ask?”

“I just wondered when you said your kids were 19 and 17. You must have married young.”

“Yes, too young.” She didn't volunteer more information and Karen decided to leave that subject alone for now.

 

Lunch was brief, but fun. Karen decided that she liked this woman and that although she might be married and all, she was interesting and fun and she wanted to get to know her better.

Addy for her part found Karen fascinating. As Addy went back to work, she felt sad, though. Although, she thought Karen was fun, she though that Karen would not invite her to lunch again. Addy was very perceptive and noticed Karen's disappointment when she told her that she was married and had kids.

Addy thought that Karen was probably looking for a friend to do things with and that upon realizing that she had other commitments, she would not care to develop the friendship and they would fall back to just being gym acquaintances. Too bad. I really like her, she's fun and nice. I could use someone like that in my boring life. Oh well, I'll call her some time and let's see what happens…maybe if she has nothing better to do, we can do lunch some time.

 

Karen headed back to her office also somewhat sad. Shit, my bad luck, I finally meet someone worth while and she's unavailable. She walked into the office and she was immediately immersed in her work. Work was always a good way to get away from the touchy feely moods! After a few hours of looking at so many pages of financial statements, she was exhausted and got up to get some coffee. When she came back, she closed her office door and took a moment to pause and drink her coffee. She looked out the window still thinking about Addy.

When she got to her apartment that night, she felt lonely. She sat in the sofa. All the lights were off. She sat in the dark and couldn't help crying. In her mind was a woman she barely knew and the dim light of a love she wished for, but was afraid would never happen. I'm so stupid! Why do you do this to me, God?

**

The next morning she woke up, showered, ate her cereal and left her apartment. As she sat in the subway, she couldn't help thinking about the woman who had rattled her life so badly and so quickly. What the hell is it about her? Dam it, she's straight and she's taken. Get over it!

She arrived at her destination, which was only three stops away from her apartment and headed towards her building. As she was making her usual morning stop at the corner Starbucks she ran into a very familiar face, or rather the familiar face literally ran into her. It was that face again! The one she couldn't get away from! What the fuck was this? Was there really a message here somewhere? Karen was beginning to have serious doubts!

“Oh my God, I'm so sorry. I almost killed you with the door! I'm so sorry. I just have to learn to slow down! Oh, crap, it's you! I can't believe this!” Addy was unable to stop looking at this dress to kill -- super model –of a woman.

Karen was wearing a beautifully tailored navy blue suit and light pink blouse. A beautiful golden pin glittered on her left shoulder and two small golden earrings looped from her hardly seen ears because they were surrounded by golden strands of hair falling on her shoulders. Emerald eyes looked at her and glittered with delight.

“I can't believe it either! Nice bumping into you! Don't worry I'll live. Maybe you do have a message for me!” Addy had to laugh, although she was feeling like an idiot when she looked at Karen.

“And just when I was thinking that I'd never see you again…”

“Why?”

“Well…I thought you….” Addy was not able to finish her sentence, Karen was resolved not to let this woman escape.

“You don't want to see me again?”

“NO! I do, I just though that…..I don't know, I just got that feeling that you might not want to see me again, call me crazy.” I just thought that you were disappointed when you found out I was an old married, boring person with kids and all!

Karen smiled. “Why would you think that, was it something I said?”

“No, I just had this feeling…I don't know. By the way, you look great. That's a very nice suit. That color favors your skin tone.” Shit what the hell am I saying, favors your skin tone? I've never said anything like that to anyone in my entire life! She probably thinks I'm a dork!

 

Karen, blushed, delighted by the compliment. My God, I'm blushing again! What the hell is wrong with me?

Her only point in dressing super sharp was to intimidate her opponents, she could care less whether her skin tone was favored or not! “Thanks. Are you on your way to the office?” Addy scrunched her face.

“Yeah, unfortunately.”

“The grind, huh?”

“Yeah.”

“Why are you there if you don't like it?”

“A mortgage and two kids!”

Karen chuckled. “Can't you find something that you like better?”

“Maybe, it's a long story, and you probably don't have time to hear it.”

“I'd love to hear it, if you want to meet again for lunch.” Addy looked at her in surprise.

“Thanks Karen. You are really nice, but I wouldn't want to bore you with my problems. I'm sure you have better things to do than to hear me whine about my job. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, though, but we don't have to do the lunch thing again. I'm sure you have other people to hang out with. Thanks, anyways. I'd better get my coffee.” Addy looked appreciative, but sad as she continued towards the coffee line.

Karen was left speechless. She slowly walked out not having understood what Addy meant. What was going on here? Why did she say what she said? Karen decided to wait for Addy. When Addy came out of the coffee shop, Karen was there – waiting.

“Why did you say that?”

Addy had to smile. “Are you always like this, or should I take this personal?”

Karen was forced to smile. “Take it personal. I don't usually stalk people outside coffee shops!” This was too cute. Addy chuckled. She knew she was at this woman's mercy.

“So, explain to me why is it that we can't do lunch?”

Addy smiled sweetly, “Because you'd only be inviting me to make me feel better because of what I said back there about me boring you to death. That's why!” She looked at Karen straight in the eyes.

Karen smiled. “Bore me? You think you bore me? Ha! I'll have you know that I …You should know that …..Oh my God, what do I want to say here?! I can't put three words together!” Karen was so taken and overwhelmed by this woman that she just couldn't get her act together.

“What?” Addy was really amused at Karen's inability to utter a coherent sentence and at her apparent ‘pissed off' demeanor.

Karen seemed mad. “You leave me speechless…and that is unbelievable because no one has ever left me speechless!!…I don't know what gave you the wrong impression, but you certainly got it wrong! It's not what you think. I enjoyed lunch with you. I like talking to you, and I would like to do it again. Is there anything wrong with that?” Addy was in shock at how adamantly this woman was expressing herself right there in the middle of the street.

“I guess not.” She said in a low, subdued tone.

“Well then, maybe we can meet on Friday, how's that?”

Addy found the whole scene very amusing. She had a serious look on her face which made Karen worry, thinking that that she might have over done it. Addy was so stunt she didn't know what to say.

She was just captivated by this woman's response, attitude, and audacity. What's going on here?

“Okay, we can do Friday.” She was almost afraid to say no and cross Karen. “Same place?

“No. Let's go to a quieter place where we can talk. How about the Occidental Grill on Pennsylvania Ave. ? I'll treat, since I'm inviting, and I'd like to know about your job. Seems to me that you could use some unloading of the work stuff.”

“Hum!”

“What?” Karen still had that challenging tone and look.

“Okay, okay….but I can't let you treat because you'll be enduring my endless work whine and that place it's not cheap.”

Karen insisted in treating. “I can afford it, and I want to. You can't say no. You can treat next time?”

“Next time?” Addy chuckled. “I'm afraid that soon you'll realize that I'm not as charming as you think I am.”

“Can I be the judge of that?”

Addy was caught with Karen's tone and demeanor again. It felt as if she had every right to talk to her like that, as if they were old rather than new friends. It was so strange how familiar and normal all these felt.

“Sure, why not.” She just couldn't say no to this woman.

What was these all about? She thought Karen might be lonely looking for a new friend. How could someone so gorgeous and charming be lonely ? For her part, Karen was determine not to allow Addy to slip away, she was doing all she could to retain this woman in her world. She felt awkward talking to Addy in that familiar challenging tone, but she was desperate and was throwing everything out at her. This would either work or scare the hell out of her.

It worked. It only worked because Addy was afraid that it might be Karen who needed to unload, that she might feel so desperately lonely and in need of a friend that she was willing to do whatever to keep her sanity. Addy always thought she had a gift, or a curse, to have people unload their problems on her. She was always the one giving advice. I can advise everyone, but me!

She wouldn't be able to forgive herself if she found out a few days from today that Karen jumped off some bridge when maybe spending a little time with her might have prevented it. Not that the woman looked desperate or anything like that, but appearances could be deceiving, and maybe there was some need for attention there. Anyways, Karen was nice, friendly, fun, easy going, and those eyes inspired so much peace. Addy wondered why some people just gave her happy vibes? Just standing next to her makes me feel happy! How ridiculous is that?

Continued in Part 3

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