In this great big galaxy we call New York, sometimes, and with the right amount of luck, the stars align. There you are, casually slipping your Chi-Latte, when you lock eyes. A casual grin leads into a breathless hello. This afternoon-delight puts you back on your heels, with not only his number, but also a possible unexpected romance.
My world-wind romance came on the back of a dreadful week: first, being laid off as my career came to a halt, and second, being over thirty and having another birthday. This much-need spark of chemistry filled an empty timecard with just enough pillow talk.
His name? Chance.
I never really took note of the night sky and of what happens above our heads. For me, I make my own luck and have always relied on instinct rather than chance. Call me wildly independent, but that happens when your heart gets broken for the first time and a few relationship battle scars add up.
A single guy, like a soldier must fight the great war of finding love, while fending off one too many grenades. You let your guard down for a split-second and you're tiptoeing out of the foxhole of random casual sex, without ever reading his dog tags. His is just another face you have to duck from, while having cocktails on a Friday night.
Tuesday 9:30 a.m.
Having scoped out a very interesting listing titled "Relationship-Savvy Writer For Reviews," I set up an interview on a whim. A fitted tuxedo jacket, black and a pair of slim-fit, frayed above the knee denim shorts showed just enough savvy to get my second glance. If this play on schoolboy means James Dean did not do it, then my checkerboard Vans would surly do the trick. I like to think it was my experience, rather than my charm, that finalized the deal, with a review due every two weeks. A stack of books now filled my arms, as I shook hands with my new, almost uncomfortably good-looking editor. My first book to review, entitled " What Do You Got To Lose, But Your Heart," stared up at me in menacing bold print.
"I think you will be perfect for this position," he said leaning back in his swivel chair.
"I'm glad you think I have the qualifications, considering you're holding my resume upside down," I answered. "I will have my first review in ahead of schedule," I added with a smirk, as I left his office, thinking, charm, definitely.
Saturday 8:45 p.m.
"It's on me," he whispered with a wink as the check made its way to the table at Almond. For everyone from daddies to boys, to fashionistas heading to the Hamptons for the first sunny weekend, Almond was the choice for the night. I appreciated the thought, and that was just like Grady to pay the tab, considering my lack of income-no sobs, no pity party, just a silent gesture between two best friends. A downpour filled the evening sky, leaving just a hint of hope that it would pass.
"Joey, this whole time you have not mentioned anything about Chance," Grady said.
"What do you want to hear-that I think of him two million times a day, that I pick up my phone at any sound of a beep, ring or jingle?"
"Down tiger," he answered, putting his hands up in defense.
"I mean, what am I expecting to happen? It will be just like all the others, you'll see," I continued, as I finished the last of my drink.
Grady knew me too well and his silence spoke loudly. I did think about Chance when the day got quiet. My phone has never been quite so in arms reach the way it has been now. I did like Chance and, as tough as I appear, it is fear that Grady saw in me once again. Maybe I should start taking my new job as a relationship guru reviewer a bit more to heart. I could actually learn something.
"Joey," Grady said, as we walked out to the street. The weather had cleared, and a bright white moon shone above. "Why don't you just give him a...?"
"What, a Chance?" I replied, finishing his question, as I turned back with a faint smile.
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