I can’t believe I did something so stinkin’ stupid! I was out riding my bike like usual. Kind of my way to feel the wind in my face and move faster than I would if I walked and get the benefit of some exercise. Not that it’s changed my waistline, mind you. If I could only give up the potato chips and M&M’s I would fare much better. But regardless, I was riding my bike and enjoying the scenery and somehow did not see the car parked right in my way. As in RIGHT. IN. MY. WAY. My bike hit that bumper and the spare tire I call my waistline met the handlebars with great force since I carry a little extra weight on the back end as well to balance of my entire package. I fell off to the side and just lay there on the grass between the curb and sidewalk. No air. I couldn’t breathe. Ugh. How does a grown woman not see a car parked in the road when she’s riding her bike? Not breathing was no fun either.
I lay there with my eyes closed waiting for my lungs to decide it was time to inflate again. Something blocked out the sunshine on my face and my eyes opened to see, well, HIM. You know, the man I’ve been fantasizing about meeting all my life? Tall, dark, handsome, broad shoulders and wearing a t-shirt that fit oh, so right.
“Are you all right?”
He had a lovely voice too.
My eyes snapped open and blinked. This had to be a dream or as one song on the radio put it, a beautiful nightmare. My lungs started to work and I nodded my head and felt my helmet slide back and forth on my forehead. Great. I meet the man of my dreams and I’m in my baggy sweats, ratty t-shirt and wearing a bike helmet. I hadn’t even showered yet today. I was going to do that after my work out.
He dropped to one knee next to me. “Are you sure?”
I tried to push myself up to a sitting position. Yup. He was gorgeous. “I’m fine. Thank you. Just got the breath knocked out of me and feel a little silly right now.” I smiled and shrugged. I am what I am. Only now I can’t breathe because he’s so close and he smells, well, delicious. Can a man smell that way? Well, he does. A heady combination of soap and sweat.
He smiled. Beautiful teeth. He held out his left hand to help me up. I grab it and notice there is no ring. Hmmm. Maybe this wasn’t an accident at all, was it God? “Thank you, I’m Sabrina.”
“I’m Mitch. I live here.” He points to the house across the lawn from the car I hit. “I must have messed you up by parking my car here.”
“Messed me up? It’s my own fault for not watching where I was going.” I go over to the car and check the bumper. Not a scratch. Whew.
“Yeah, but you ride this way every afternoon at this time. The car is usually parked in the driveway but I moved it to organize my garage. I should have realized you would be coming.”
He knew I came this way every day? “Well, it is nice of you to notice and take the blame, but I really should either pay more attention or vary my route so I’m not so lulled into complacency.” Did I just spout that bunch of non-sense?
“Can I get you something to drink?” He looked at me with puppy-dog eyes, like my acceptance would mean everything to him. What would it hurt?
“Sure. That would be nice.” I put the bike up on the yard and let down the kick-stand. I removed my helmet and hung it from the handlebar. I had a serious case of helmet hair: the sweat that plasters it to my head while the rest frizzes out the sides is the downside of safe biking. Ha! Did I just say biking was safe? Obviously not for me. I try to fluff my scalp and encourage those flattened hairs to rise to the occasion. I know it’s futile but I have to try.
“Come on, then.” We walked down the driveway towards the garage and the piles that were scattered about. There was a refrigerator inside. He opened the door and pointed. “Take your pick.”
“Pepsi. Great, my favorite.” I reached in and pulled out the cold blue aluminum can and popped it open and eagerly drank. I should start carrying a water bottle with me. “Ahhhh. Thank you.” I smiled up at him and he looked a little nervous. “Are you new in the neighborhood?”
He put his hands in his jean pockets with his thumbs sticking out. “Yeah. I got a job transfer a few months back and needed a place to live. This little house seemed to suit my needs.”
“You must plan on staying here for awhile if you were willing to buy a house.” It was a cute house. Two story with neat grey siding and white trimmed windows. Probably three bedrooms.
He nodded, suddenly seeming shy. “I have to confess something, Sabrina.”
“What would that be?”
“I’ve been wanting to meet you since I first moved in and saw you riding by every day.” His eyes looked up at me and his eyebrows rose and lips were tightly held together.
I was stunned. Never in a million years would I have believed that a good looking man would be watching for me every day as I rode my bike. I might have invested in a nice cute little coordinated outfit to wear had I known. “Really? May I ask why?” I motion with my free hand from the top of my head down to my shoes as if presenting him with a prize package. I know I am no prize.
He grinned. “I don’t know. It’s just that you are faithful and seemed content as you pedal on by. I was tempted to try to join you, but my bike was buried in the back here. That’s why I decided I needed to organize my garage. So I could ride my bike and maybe run into you somehow.”
I look over at the bike. It’s a nice one. The kind that racers use. Lightweight but expensive. Mine was purchased at Target for about $100 back in the day. I laugh. “Looks like I beat you to the ‘running into you’ part of that plan.”
“I don’t know why but I just needed to get to know you.”
“So. . . how much do you know about me?” Now I’m not sure if I should be flattered or scared.
“Well, I figure you live not far away.”
I nodded and bit my lip. Not my most attractive look but then I don’t have much going for me in that department right now.
“You exude joy.”
Well, I have to admit it’s kind of nice that he can see that in me because to be honest, I struggle with depression and loneliness.
“And I think you are kind of cute.”
“Have you had your vision checked lately?”
He laughed. “I’m a pilot of a private jet. My vision is perfect.”
“I just don’t get this.”
“Why? I’ve seen that you clean up nice. I saw you at church.”
I put the can up to my heated cheeks. A single, handsome pilot has been checking me out? I’m not about to walk away without getting to know him better. I point to the piles on the floor. “Need a hand?”
“If you would be willing to help me put the rest of this stuff back on the shelves, I would love to help you finish your bike ride. Seems like you might need someone around just in case anything were to happen again.” He gave a half grin.
I laughed. “Okay, Mitch, but just realize that I might find riding with you even more of a distraction and therefore, even more dangerous to my safety.” I sipped my Pepsi before setting it down on the shelf and grabbing a box. “Where do you want this?”
It didn’t take long for the two of us to get the garage in shape.
We surveyed the work as I slammed the rest of my soda. Standing by my side, he put an arm around me, holding my opposite shoulder and gave me a little squeeze. Before I could respond a loud belch escaped my lips. Dear Lord, could we add any more humility into this afternoon?
Mitch laughed and I shook my head. I tossed the empty can and it landed perfectly in the recycling bin. “How about we take that ride now?”
It was the first of many.