P.L. Parker

P.L. Parker

Saturday, February 11, 2012

In Honor of Valentines - In Search of My Soulmate - Bachelor No. 1

In Honor of Valentines - I've decided to repost my In Search of My Soulmate series.  Many of you have already read these, but I will again share. We have all had to kiss the frog or be the froggee and this was my journey.


Bachelor No. 1 - Who Was that Basque Man?

I ducked behind a shade tree, pulling at my skirts. “Cover me while I change.”
I struggled with my costume. Time was short and my next performance was only minutes away. I giggled to myself. My skirts had snagged my harem pants and pulled them down somewhat. The crack of my butt was probably showing, but Kay was protecting my back so I wasn’t worried.
“Uh, Patsy,” Kay muttered. “We’ve got company.”
Company? What company? Here?
As I slipped my skirt up, I turned. . . and froze. Standing there, gaping at me, were two men. My fogged brain scrambled to achieve coherent thought.
The heavier man cleared his throat, lips quirking. “My friend here, Javier, wants to meet you. He thinks you’re beautiful.”

My eyes were drawn to the second man. A white cowboy hat covered black curling hair. I perused his features. Blue, blue eyes (the bluest I’ve ever seen without contacts) gazed at me, openly admiring. Sculpted features accented full lips made for dirty kissing, now spread in a beautiful, white-toothed smile. Dimples danced in his clean-shaven cheeks. From the tip of his hat to his down-at-the-heels shoes, the guy was carved from rock hard muscle and oozed masculine beauty. My stomach flipped.
“He’s Basque and doesn’t speak any English,” the man explained. “So I’m the interpreter.”
“Uh, nice to meet you . . . him,” I blubbered, embarrassed by my unintentional peep show. Fine time to meet Mr. Hunk-Man!
Javier leaned over and murmured something to his companion.
“He wants to take you to lunch.”
“Lunch? Today?” I’m sure I blushed. “I . . .I can’t. I’m performing and then I have to get home to my boys.” I know the excuse sounded lame, but it was the only one I had.
He chattered in Spanish to Javier who began to look discouraged. His blue eyes brightened. He mouthed another string of incomprehensible utterings.
“How about tomorrow?”
Tomorrow? No, tomorrow was Sunday! “No can do. I’m taking my boys to the movies and then to dinner.”
He relayed the information.
“How about Monday?”
I had to give the guy points for perseverance. I didn’t really like to meet prospective dates while I was performing – didn’t send the right message about me. But I had to be onstage in a few seconds and didn’t have time for further negotiations. Besides, Javier was pretty.
“Okay,” I grumbled. “Have him call me at work and we’ll figure something out.”
I spewed out my work number. If a guy didn’t call, no skin off my nose because then they had no idea what my home phone number was and I didn’t have to sit by the phone wondering.
Javier nodded, seeming pleased. I rushed to the stage and forgot about the incident.
Bright and early Monday morning, the phone rang at work. It was him! The hunk from Saturday. Our conversation was a bust. I couldn’t understand him and he couldn’t understand me. Another voice came on the line, heavily accented but understandable.
“I Javier’s cousin. He take you to lunch today.”
Today? Was I ready for that? It was a Monday after all. Mondays aren’t always the best days for socializing--but what the heck.
“Okay. Where and what time?”
The voice hesitated. “You pick. He be there.”
Just great! “Meet in front of my building and we’ll go from there. Noon. I have to go at noon.”
“He be there.” The phone clicked off.
Noon came far too early. I’d scurried to learn a few Spanish words, enough to say “hello” and “goodbye,” but that was about it, and grabbed some paper and a pencil. If nothing else, we could draw.
I stepped off the elevator and into the midday sun. He was there, leaning against a lamppost, arms crossed. Waiting. I took a deep breath. My memories hadn’t failed me. He was pretty. A smile split his too sensuous lips.
“Buenos dias,” I blubbered, knowing I had all the accents wrong.
He chuckled, adding a spate of Spanish words of his own.
I shrugged. “I don’t understand.”
“No English,” he explained. “French?”
“Nupe.”
“Italiano?”
“Again, nupe.”
“German?”
“No,” I said, exasperated. “I only speak English—and that not very well.”
He took my hand, head tilted questioningly.
“Oh. . .kay,” I huffed, wondering why I was putting myself through this. “Let’s go.”
We ended up in a small sandwich shop about a block away from where I worked. I ordered for both of us. Conversation was limited, drawings were infantile but serviceable to get ideas across. When the time came to pay, he took out some Spanish paper money and coins. Not going to work here! Crap! I wasn’t planning on paying for lunch.
“Can I write a check?” I asked the waitress, fearing the worst. Hoping my account had enough in there to cover.
“Sure,” she said.
His face flamed. He was embarrassed. He tried to hand me his money but what was I going to do with a bunch of foreign cash? I wasn’t a federal bank! I didn’t have the vaguest idea how to exchange money. I’m from Idaho for crissakes!
“No. No,” I shook my head. “That’s okay.” I patted his hand for good measure, a smile pasted on my face.
We walked back to my office.
“Disco?” he asked.
“Wha. . . ?”
“Disco?” he asked again.
Disco--like back in the 70’s? Dancing? That’s what he wanted. To go dancing.
I didn’t know if I was interested in taking it to the next level—but he was pretty.
I wrote my home number down, feeling like a deer in the headlights. He was interesting and respectful. I could say pretty much anything I wanted, good or bad, and it made no difference to our relationship. There was that.
He took the number, smiling. Another string of unintelligible chatter.
“Well. Goodbye.” I headed back to work, convinced that was the end of it.
The phone rang that night. His cousin was on the line.
“Lunch tomorrow,” he said. “Nice Basque Restaurant downtown.”
I knew that place. It was expensive.
“I can’t afford that place,” I groaned. “How about someplace cheaper?”
“No,” he barked. “I buy.”
“Oh, you’re buying this time?” A free lunch. Something us single girls can appreciate.
“Basque Restaurant downtown. You come?” He sounded so insistent.
The place in question was only a few blocks from my place of employment and known to have great food.
“Okay. Tomorrow. Noon. The Basque Restaurant. I’ll be there.”
The phone line went dead.
Lunch time came. I walked over to the restaurant feeling uncomfortable. I spotted Javier as soon as I entered the restaurant. Spit-shined and wearing a white dress shirt, my Basque friend was seated at a table with two other individuals. A group date! How really fun!
The man stood up. “I cousin. Wife.” He pointed to the woman who smiled.
“I know this is weird,” she said, “but Javier wanted us here so he could talk to you. I hope you don’t mind.”
“No trouble whatsoever,” I said. “Makes sense to me.” Frankly, it would be nice to have someone to talk to who actually understood me.
The waitress came and we ordered. Hands folded and resting on the table, Javier and his cousin stared at me, assessing and calculating. They glanced at each other and Javier nodded.
The cousin cleared his throat. “Your children need a husband.”
“Wha. . .?”
“Your children need a husband.”
His wife’s mouth fell open. She gaped--horrified. “Omigawd!” She leaned over the table. “I had no idea what they were up to. Just ignore them.”
She chattered in Spanish to her husband. He chattered back, face growing dark. Javier chattered something. Everyone but me was chattering in Spanish. Somebody tell ME something!
The waitress arrived with our plates and set them down. She looked worried, perplexed. We weren’t the happiest top.
The wife inhaled, looking chagrined. “Javier wants to stay in America. He needs a wife. These two idiots think you’ll do just fine. Javier says you’re just what he wants.” She paused. “I am so sorry. I never expected them to pull this.”
I took a bite. The food stuck to the roof of my mouth. “Well. . .uh. . .my children don’t need a husband. I don’t need a husband,” I mumbled. “I’m not interested in marriage.”
“I can’t imagine what they were thinking. I would never have gone along with this if I’d known what they were planning.”
“Javier good man,” the cousin interrupted. “He make good husband for you.”
“I don’t want a husband.” I sounded whiny, but I felt whiny. “I just got rid of one and I’m not interested in another.”
The wife glared at the two men. “Leave her alone,” she snapped. “Let her eat.”
More Spanish and gesticulating.
“I’ll pay for my own lunch,” I whispered. “Since I’m not buying into this mess, I can afford to pay.”
“Not on your life,” the wife grouched. “They planned this. They can pay for it.”
Lunch was over and it was time to go.
Gentleman that he was, Javier escorted me back to my office building. Uncomfortable and nervous, I shook his hand goodbye, mentally determining that I’d never see him again. My choice—but the right one. I deserved more than being a Green Card wife.
As in an old movie of the 40’s or 50’s, he wrapped his arms around me and bent me back, slapping a throat-licking kiss on my unsuspecting mouth. I was horrified! People I worked with and saw every day were walking by, staring curiously. I struggled to get free, but bent over backwards is not the most conducive pose to that end. The kiss went on and on. Javier was putting every ounce of persuasion into that kiss. I was putting every ounce of determination into ending it. I couldn’t enjoy it. It was broad daylight and the noon walkers were out and about. What if my bosses saw me? How awful would that be?

Finally, adding a hug and a squeeze, he let me go, a self-satisfied smile on his face.
I straightened my clothing, sucking in air.
“Uh. . .goodbye,” I said, watching the passersby, discomfited by their obvious amusement.
“Disco?” he tried again.
“We’ll see.” I extended my hand, shook his and walked away.
“Was that you in the parking lot?” an interested lady on the elevator asked.
“Nope. Don’t know what you’re talking about.”

I never saw Javier again. He called a few times, but I put him off and over time, he quit calling.







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