Up to this point in my adult life, my whereabouts was orchestrated by my occupation. My vocation has been as a geologist. For the last sixteen years, my job had me prospecting in the wilds of Alaska and the Yukon Territories in Canada. During my tenure, I was responsible for two notable claims; both are being developed. The diamond drilling has confirmed my findings, resulting in shafts being constructed. When both developments offered shares for purchase, I went with my gut feeling and invested heavily in both mines. Based on my experience, and the size of the claims, I calculated what the yields would be per ton, based on the core samples from the diamond drilling and, based on that, I invested heavily. Working in the North, saving money wasn't difficult; my vices didn't cost much, the occasional lottery ticket purchased online and the occasional game of poker, for which I had a natural gift.
Now, I'm at the point of packing it in; my legs, knees and ankles are giving out, not a good thing in my profession. The job requires good footing, considering all the climbing and walking required.
Over time, the appreciation of my investments not only surprised me, but the company's management as well. As more supportive evidence became available, due to underground drift development, the stock value climbed to heights not imagined by the so-called experts. The stock prices climbed steadily, to a point where the stock has split three times. Because of that, combined with my sizable bank account and other investments, I will be leaving the North very comfortably.
As I climb on board my last plane ride from the North, on paper I'm a rich man. Once back in the States I will slowly start divesting my portfolio into cash and blue chip stocks. If my calculations are correct, I can live a very comfortable life without working again. It is a good feeling.
Some forty years ago, I was a glint in my dad's eye. He past the glint to my mom, and I am the result. I had a very loving family who supported me until I was about to graduate; unfortunately, a freak accident took both of their lives. Having no other family, for my parents had no living siblings; it was easy to accept a very lucrative offer from a mining company located in Alaska. That commitment took me away from all the memories of my youth and the memories of losing my parents. It was a new start to a new life; but, now I am back in Cranston.
A bit about me: my name is Grant W. Dow, forty, single, maybe six-one, currently one hundred eighty-two pounds, very lean, the rigors of life in the far North kept me in shape. While in the North, everybody's calorie intake is high; but, with the cold and the physical demands of the job, what you took in was burnt off. Now out of that part of my life, I am going to have to be cautious of my diet.
When my plane touched down at O'Hare, I knew it was a new beginning for me. With my worldly possessions in three suitcases, I would have to start my new life from scratch. Fortunately, I was able to book a ticket on the train that would put me in Cranston about six in the afternoon, enough time to rent a vehicle and find a hotel/motel for the night. Motel Six had a room for the night. My next step was a good meal; then, back to the motel, a shower and bed. It has been a very long gruelling day.
Daybreak is the shits! It is raining and windy. My priorities are: first, a good breakfast; then, a look-see at the local auto dealers. I need reliable transportation; a good sized vehicle or, maybe, one of those large pickups with four doors. And finally, I am going to require permanent digs.
A small family restaurant took care of my breakfast; the day looks better already! The weather is still crappy. The rain has stopped for the time being, but the wind creates a wind chill that seems to penetrate my poor old bones.
Cranston has dealers representing all the major car manufactures; so, finding the right vehicle shouldn't be a problem. When the waitress came with a coffee refill, she also gave me a copy of the morning paper: the 'Cranston Herald.' It provides page after page of possible transport. One that caught my eye was a monster Dodge Ram. It was two years old, but the list of options was endless, and it only had 17,000 miles on it, not bad for being nearly two years old. I am guessing some little old lady drove it to church every Sunday. After paying my bill, and leaving a sizable tip, I head out into the brisk morning air. Hell, it is cold! I should have dressed in my work clothes; they were for warmth and comfort, not fashion. Before I went to look at the advertised Ram, I visited four dealers; all had a great selection, but that Ram was set in my mind. Finally, I rolled into the dealer's, lot. The Ram was their featured vehicle, sitting in front on a raised pedestal. Parking in front of it, I started my inspection. The bed of the truck had very few scratches on it; which had me wondering, maybe a little old lady did own it. Usually, it doesn't matter how careful you are, there are all kinds of scratches and bumps. Then it dawned on me: a bed liner! Perhaps the dealer removed it.
"Howdy, stranger! That Ram represents good value for the price."
My thoughts about that comment? Bullshit! Every vehicle has good value; it is part of the sales pitch. There is sufficient room to walk beside the body of the truck to the doors; opening it, the smell of a "new car" hits me. The interior is spotless. The dash is loaded with dials and a massive sound system, with a C.D. player, fills the center of the dash.
"Can I interest you in a test drive? That is the actual mileage; we have the service records for the vehicle since it was purchased here."
"Who owned it?"
"Mr. Grace, he bought for his wife who had dreams of going camping with her daughter; but, she forgot to ask her daughter about the camping. The answer to sleeping on the ground in a tent with the bugs was a resounding NO! So, the truck's life was driving the daughter back and forth to collage on the weekend; no camping. Mr. Grace has a Charger, and was not interested in driving this monster. He traded this in for a compact for his daughter. Thus, it is here for sale."
The long and the short of the conversation is I bought the Ram. Oliver, the salesman, followed me to the rental depot where I dropped off the rental. It took another three hours to: first, arrange insurance; then, transfer the title and get plates. I am now the proud owner of a 2014 Ram 1500, loaded to the eyeballs. The only thing I don't like is the sun roof.
It is midafternoon, too late for looking at accommodations; my stomach tells me it has been a long time since breakfast. At the same restaurant where I had breakfast, I enjoy a satisfying meal. Now with a fresh coffee, I peruse the real estate/rental section of the Cranston Herald.
My social life has been non-existent. Hell, it was non-existent when I was a youngster, in high school, and nothing changed while attending college. You must remember the stag line at all dances, right? Where all the males stood looking stupid, wondering what to do next? Then, when looking at the available young ladies, some flirted with their eyes. When a young lady looked at me, I became tongue tied. When I did speak, it was embarrassing. I even tried dancing, another disaster. Two left, lead-weighted feet, held together with a not-so-coordinated body. At my graduation, my date was my clone from the female stag line. She couldn't get a date either. I don't think we said five words to each other. When the function ended, we shook hands; that was the only physical contact we had the whole evening!
In the North, it was just as bad as there are very few women stupid enough to live the life I did. One thing I was successful at was poker. I played in some very high stakes games, and always came out ahead. The purchase of the truck didn't put a dent in my winnings. The God of cards be praised!
There are numerous properties for sale in Cranston which, sort of, surprised me. The selection is very diversified: residential and a good selection of rural. My choice is rural; as mentioned, I am not a very social person. Circling a number of prospects in the real estate section, I purchase a map at the counter and decide to take a look at a couple. Three were in town, and two were on the outskirts of town. The three in town were good-looking units, but the lots are so small. I am sure if I pissed out the side windows, I would be watering the neighbor's flowers.
It's late, time to call it a day. Before retiring, I read the rest of the newspaper. It appears Cranston is having an employment boom. There are two pages of 'Help Wanted Ads.' Skimming through them, one tweaks my interest: the position for an assistant in the geology department. Something to put on the back burner of my mind; once I have my housing taken care of, it could be something worth looking into, just to keep busy.
This morning is much better than yesterday; the sun is shining, no wind, so you can feel the warmth of the sun. With another tasty breakfast under my belt, I climb into the truck and check the map for the first rural property on my list.
What a disappointment! The place is a rundown shack. I was sure, if I stayed long enough, that I would see Jed Clampett, Jethro and grannie coming down the driveway. The 'for sale' sign has a banner on it declaring 'Reduced Price.' Whoopee shit! The next property is on the other side of the city. It is a great day for driving.
My first impression, of the second property, is it has promise. The house is in from the road, about five hundred feet. It's a two story unit and the exterior looks in very good condition. The 'For Sale' sign has an addition on the bottom stating that the house includes forty seven acres. A good size property! Driving up to the house, it appears vacant. Leaving the truck, I walk to the back of the property. There is a large unkempt lawn, dotted with a number of mature trees, maybe fruit trees of some kind; they haven't been pruned in a number of years. It now has me wondering how long the property has been vacant. All in all, this property looks like it has potential. Back at the truck, I make note of the number and name of the agent. It is nearly two by the time I get back to the motel; it will soon be dinner time. I'll grab today's edition of the paper and review the real estate section again.
There were a couple more rural properties listed, but neither got me excited; so, I called the agent for the second rural property that I looked at. He was more than happy to show me the listing. I got the impression that not too many of his current clients were interested in rural property. We agreed to meet at the house at eleven. He was waiting for me when I arrived.
"Hi, I am Red Sweet. You must be Mr. Dow."
"I am, but please call me Grant."
We shook hands and I followed him up five stairs to a large covered veranda that runs the full length of the house. There are areas on the veranda where dried leaves have gathered in piles, confirming my suspicion that the property hasn't been occupied for some time.
Once inside, we go through the house, room by room, and all looks fine; the house is clean, showing signs that someone vacuumed and dusted. There are pieces of furniture still in the unit; the kitchen had a seven-piece table set; the living room, a large platform rocker, plus other single pieces throughout the house.
"How long has the house been vacant?"
"Nearly four months; the owner got transferred in August."
"Why hasn't it sold? It is not sitting on a nuclear waste dump, I hope."
"Nothing so sinister! The main reason is school buses don't travel this road. I have shown it a number of times, but no offers."
"It has been cleaned recently?"
"Yes, I have a service come out every second week; actually, it is my sister: she has a small cleaning service. A clean house shows better. The house has a new furnace and air-conditioning unit."
"And the furniture?"
"What is here goes with the house. The client moved into a small home, and didn't have room for it."
We left through the back entrance, which also has a large covered veranda. We walked to the edge of the lawn area. There is a trail heading into the bush.
"There is a small lake on the property; it is spring fed and the rumors have it that there are trout in it. However, I have never heard of anyone catching anything."
"Now, the big question: the price!"
"Do you have a family?"
"No, parents died eons ago. I just returned to Cranston, after many years in the North."
"Alaska, and the Yukon Territories in Canada; I am a geologist."
"Sounds interesting. The price is listed for two-hundred and ten-thousand!"
"You did mention that your clients have been gone for nearly four months, are they carrying a mortgage on this property?"
The look of surprise on Mr. Sweet's face tells me the client is carrying a mortgage, which means he could be receptive to a much lower offer. If he is carrying two mortgages, and has equity tied up in this property, he likely wants to be free of it. There are also land taxes to add to his expenses.
"I am interested in the property, but not at that price. I would like to offer one-hundred and eighty-thousand."
"I don't know ... I will present it, but don't be surprised if it isn't accepted."
"You mentioned there have been no other offers."
We sat at the kitchen table and Red wrote up the offer. He suggested that I talk to a lawyer and have it reviewed before I sign. After asking him why, he told me it is just good business for him to have an independent legal review of the offer. With the completed offer in hand, I leave Red to lock up.
I have no idea who to contact for a lawyer. In my room at the motel, I grab the telephone book and look in the yellow pages. A name pops out at me: Reeves, Chris. I went to school with a Chris Reeves. I call and make an appointment for four-thirty this afternoon.
It has been years since I was in the downtown area of Cranston. In my mind, nothing much has changed. Reeves Law Office is in a newer building, he is on the second floor. I introduce myself to the receptionist; then I sit down and wait. Ten minutes later, a familiar face approaches me.
"Grant? Grant Dow from Cranston High? Where did you come from?"
"When I saw your name in the phone book, the first thing that crossed my mind is there is no way Reeves could become a lawyer, you were always on detention."
"And you were my company. Come to my office."
"This is the old Palmer property; there is a small trout lake not that far from the main house. The offer looks straight forward. Do you have the funds for the purchase? I see the sale is unconditional."
"I will convert some of my investments to cash to swing the purchase. I lowballed the offer; it may be rejected or countered."
"Rumor has it there have been no offers on the place since it was listed. I will call the agent and have the signed offer delivered to him, all part of the service."
"Thank Chris, now all I have to do is wait."
Chris and Red called me the next morning: the offer had been accepted. He knows the vendor's lawyer, the documents and all the supporting items are being prepared. With luck, funds will be required Friday morning. That means I have to talk to a banker. I will need to transfer all of my accounts to the local bank. The yellow pages confirm that there is actually a branch of my bank in Cranston. I call for an appointment with an accounts manager.
The long and the short of it is my accounts are transferred to the Cranston branch. I arrange to convert enough of my cash certificates to cover the purchase, fees and to buy the necessary furniture. All goes well; I have the keys later that afternoon.
I got a call from Red Sweet thanking me for the sale. Of course, he solicited me for any other property requirements I may have in the future. However, what I need is furniture and appliances.
Again the Cranston Herald solves the dilemma. There is a three page ad for Kidd's Furniture store; they promise free delivery and a professional decorator to help. That, I am going to require. But, first, a trip to my new abode; I need measurements. What I need immediately is the kitchen, the living room and one bedroom completed and with window dressings.
With the measurements in hand, a young saleswoman handles my needs, relieves me of a sizable amount of cash, and then makes arrangements for delivery. She reminds me I need bedding, and towelling for the bathroom. Shit! I didn't even think of that! The delivery is arranged for ten the following morning.
In the morning, after breakfast, I hit a local grocery store, picking up items that will last me for a couple of days. Everything is loaded into the back seat of the Ram. My first official act at my new abode is to plug in the coffee maker. Then I realize I don't have any dishes. Dumbass! But, fate takes care of the fools; one cupboard has a mishmash of oddball dishes. There, in the midst of the dishes, is a Donald Duck mug. Saved!
The furniture delivery and set up goes off without a hitch. The saleslady gave me a list of suggestions to make the house homier. I will attend the store next week, when time permits. All of the groceries are put away and another list is started for all the items I forgot. I am going to need a table just for lists!
Speaking of lists, I had to rack my memory to recall everyone I need to give my new mailing address. I had a landline installed, internet and cable. The Cranston Herald has rural delivery with the mailman, so I sign up; it will keep me up to date. I now have all the comforts of home.
Christmas is on the horizon, but it really doesn't mean that much to me, not having any siblings or children. One of my daily rituals is walking to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, it provides me with a little exercise and some fresh air; there is a continuous supply of flyers and the occasional business correspondence. With a slight dusting of snow, it is a beautiful wintery scene. Walking toward the mailbox, there is a flash of black and white moving across the snow. It caught me by surprise; I hadn't seen any animals during the day since I moved in. Then, I saw it again. It's an animal, but not a wild one; it is a small Shih Tzu! Where the hell did it come from? I have no neighbors for a couple of miles on both sides of the property. It is obvious that the little dog is frightened. I just stand still; it stops and looks at me. When I moved, it moved further away. So, I stop and call the dog is a mono tone voice, hoping it will be curious enough to come towards me.
I keep repeating 'come' and slowly moving my hand in a beckoning motion. I can see the small body trembling from the cold; Shih Tzu's are for cuddling, not for pulling dog sleds. They are certainly not an outdoor winter dog. Slowly, I move my body to a crouching position, getting lower to the ground to reduce my size, hoping the dog would be curious and come to me. Then, it starts to move towards me, I remain still. The dog comes within my grasp. It is whimpering, cold and scared. Now in my arms, I tuck the dog inside my coat; it's like placing an ice cube against my skin! As I walk towards the house, I keep talking in a calm voice and scratch its ears. Once in the house, I continue to hold the dog until its body stops shivering. It looks up at me with its large brown eyes.
"Hi, stranger; you hungry?"
Grabbing the remains of a beef roast from the fridge, I chop a few slices into bit sized pieces, fill a small plate, warm it up in the microwave and put it front of the little dog. It is gone in a matter of seconds. Two more slices disappear as well. The dog is a female. She appears well groomed, with no mats; I have no idea how long she has been on her own.
She welcomes a water bowl, as she laps up the fresh water. Getting a quilt, I fold it into a dog bed and place it close to the warm air vent. She must be exhausted for she climbs onto the quilt, gets comfortable and immediately falls asleep. I just watch her. Somebody is missing her.
I add dog food and dog treats to my list of things to buy. Then I remember: I didn't pick up the mail! While sitting there, I decide to call my new addition to the family, Abby. Looking at Abby, she is dead to the world! Donning a coat, I head back to the mail box, with no more surprises for today.
Now, with a fresh coffee, I browse the newspaper: first, to the lost and found, where I find nothing about a lost puppy. What does catch my eye, however, is the 'help wanted' ad for an assistant geologist, the same ad I had noticed nearly a month ago. Cranston can't be a hotbed for geologists. There is a number for the college. What the hell! I am not doing anything and it's starting to get boring. I call for an appointment; the receptionist asks if I have a resume, which I do, and then she asks me to email it. She provides me with an email address.
In the morning at breakfast, Abby is getting accustomed to her new surroundings. Prior to leaving, I pick her up and she gives me an Abby kiss! Maybe it will give me luck on the interview!
Cranston College is a midsize temple of learning; I am guessing about two thousand plus students. Reception directs me to Mr. Allison; his office is on the second floor. The school is a beehive of activity as students are rushing to their next lecture. I am directed to a chair and told Mr. Allison would be with me shortly. Students' mill past the door, many of the young ladies are very attractive. My embarrassing state takes over. Will I ever shake the fear?
"That's me, how are you?"
"Please follow me."
Mr. Allison's office is a sea of file folders. I thought computers were supposed to get rid of the clutter.
"I see, by your resume, that you have spent your life in the field until recently. You may be happy, or unhappy, to know that your name turns up on Google, referring to the two excellent finds you were responsible for. To me, that means you know your subject; plus, you have a lot of in-the-field personal experience."
"Thank you, and, no, I never would have Googled myself. To me it was just what I was paid to do. I was fortunate to be part of the team that made the discovery."
"I called your former employer for a reference and, at the beginning; they were disturbed that you were applying somewhere else to work. I explained that we were a college and that you would be teaching. Knowing that, they gave you a glowing report! They couldn't say enough about you. According to the gentleman I talked to, he explained that your finds will keep the company in the black for years to come. It was quite a recommendation! The job starts in the first part of January. How does that work out for you?"
Hell, I thought it was going to be just an interview, I never considered a job offer! Maybe Abby's Kisses are lucky! Allison continues to explain the salary scale, which is more than I expected, plus a complete slate of benefits. Accepting is a no brainer; the weeks I have spent at my new home consumed me in the beginning, as I got the house comfortable, but now I am bored.
"Congratulations Grant! Welcome to Cranston College!"
We shake hands. Mr. Allison has a welcoming smile.
"Grant, follow me, I will introduce you to Mr. Len Godward, head of the department."
In the corridor, we move with the mass of students, some very beautiful students. I get that shitty feeling. Hell, I wish there was a cure for my nervousness around women. Allison makes a right turn into the cafeteria; then, another right.
"The instructors have their own tables. This is where you will enjoy the same food as the students, if you so desire. Most of the lecturers eat here. A few teachers live close enough to drive home."
"That won't be me. I'm about fifteen miles from here."
The three tables are nearly full. Then, the introductions start; all of the names go by me until we reach Mr. Godward, who stands up and comes to me with his hand extended.
"It is good to meet you, Mr. Dow; I hope you enjoy your stay."
Then, it happens: I see her! I see a vision, and as I do my backbone turns to mush. All I hear is 'this is Ms. Jasmyn Fyffe.' She is ebony vision of beauty. Her eyes are deep brown, drowning pools; I am speechless! Her lips are so kissable, coated with a red lip gloss that seems to radiate sex. She is wearing long, dangling earrings; they seem to mesmerize me. They look good on her. A small smile spreads across her face; it actually has a calming effect on me. I manage to blubber 'hello.'
Finally, Mr. Allison is leading me back to the office.
"Grant, we are having a mixer on the twenty-third and you're invited; I know you will enjoy yourself, all the instructors will be there. School will resume on January 5th. I have to bid you adieu. See you on Tuesday; by the way, dress is casual."
I am on my own, still shaking. Shit, this is embarrassing. Back in the truck, I take a couple of deep breaths and close my eyes. Wrong! The vision of Jasmyn Fyffe floods my mind. My body vibrates from my toes to top of my head. Hell, I have to get a grip! Fortunately, my Abby comes to mind, reminding me I need some dog food and treats for my young girl.
While in the store, I pick up the items on my list. By the time I am on my way home, my metabolism has calmed down. Abby greets me as a long lost friend, and with more Abby Kisses. Her nose is then in the grocery bags: how quick they learn.
Unless casual clothing consists of blue coveralls, I need to go shopping. A helpful clerk assists me; he actually is a student at Cranston College and knows the protocols of the mixer. Twenty minutes later, I have what is required. What I don't have is the calendar of events for the courses I am supposed assist with. A quick trip to the College provides me with three manuals, two inches of notes and guides, all this reading will keep me busy. Then it happens, her voice!
"Hello, Mr. Dow! What brings you back to the College today?"
I am sure my backbone has dissolved to a grease spot on the floor; then, her scent hits me! For some reason, it perks up my very dormant appendage, as I can feel it pushing against my fly. Slowly turning, the vision of Jasmyn Fyffe is standing before me, dressed in a very chic business suit that has been tailored to amplify her many attributes. Her eyes seem to see right through me, and there really is nothing to see other than a weak imitation of man.
Her eyes are sparkling, her lips are coated in the same magnetic appealing lip gloss; I think my lips may be moving, but no sound is evident.
"You really are shy, aren't you? Come on, Grant, let's go to cafeteria and have a coffee. I am on a break; my next class isn't for forty-five minutes."
Most men would be flattered at such an invitation with an ebony goddess; but, not me! My self defense mechanisms are yelling 'run for your life, Grant!' But, I am trapped! Her small, warm, delicate hand is wrapped around my index finger; I'm her prisoner.
She leads me to a table, and then looks at me.
"Cream and sugar?"
I do manage to stutter.
Ms. Fyffe is appealing from the back as she is from the front. Her butt cheeks flow as she moves. The calves of her legs are taut and well-toned. My nostrils are still enjoying her haunting scent. What the hell am I doing here? Hey, there is some hope; I can feel some stiffing in my backbone! Watching her walk towards me, with two steaming mugs of coffee, I feel the heebie geebies returning as well. What I do notice is she has no wedding ring. How could that possible be? Men should be falling at her feet; I said men, not a wimp like me! She sits, I squirm: then I notice there is one strand of hair over her beautiful brown eye. It seems to be laughing at me or, then again, maybe it trying to give me some courage to talk to her.
"I really make you nervous, don't I?"
Again my mouth is moving, but with no sounds coming out. She reaches over the table and places her soft, warm hand on mine, it feels so good. I finally manage to emit a sound.
"Yes, but it is not just you, it's all women."
There is a very startled look on her face; then, I realize what she may be thinking. I again make a vocal attempt as I nearly shout!
"No, I am not gay!"
That brings a hail of laughter; she is making so much noise that many in the cafeteria turn towards our table and look. She notices the shocked look on my face, turns to face the inquiring crowd, and turns back to me.
"I am sorry, Grant, but the look on your face, and the tone of your voice, I couldn't help it."
I sure as hell didn't think it was funny, but the sound of her voice, the movement of her lips, her beautiful eyes, and the fact that she's actually interested in me, has me mentally forgive her. I still can't believe she is sitting with me.
"Are you going to the mixer on the twenty third?"
Hey, I do manage to speak. Not much, mind you, but it was coherent and concise!
"Good! You can be my escort; you can pick me up at seven."
Words fail me! Me, on a date? It can't be! I watch as she tears a page out of a note book and writes quickly. Even watching her long, delicate fingers move is sexy. She hands me the note.
"That's my address, telephone number and cell, just in case you need to contact me. Hell, I have a class in ten minutes. It has been nice, Grant."
I watch her move her magnificent body upwards to stand, all the time her eyes are drilling through me. Her earrings are calling me. I want to reach out and touch her. As she walks away, I am admiring her butt cheeks, moving to and fro. She turns, smiles and says.
"You can call, Grant. I'd like that."
And she is gone.
What is surprising is the feeling of exuberance that I have; it is something I have never felt before. A girl, not a girl a woman, a very beautiful woman, wants me as her escort to the mixer. She actually wants me, she asked me. Hell, I feel good! The trip home is uneventful. Abby was overjoyed to see me; I receive another batch of Abby Kisses. Could they be the reason for all the good things happening in my life? After two treats, she cuddles up beside me on the sofa. I start going through all the material I have for the course, but the only item my mind wants to read is the note from Jasmyn; her telephone numbers and her address, she has beautiful hand writing. For some reason, that night I slept well!
Going to the post box these days is a family adventure, as Abby accompanies me. As soon as I notice her trembling from the cold, I stuff her into my jacket, with her head sticking out just under my chin. We do get the occasional surprised look from passersby's. Abby enjoys the adventure.
Since our meeting at the cafeteria, I've been trying to get the nerve to call Jasmyn. It seems that every time I close my eyes, I am looking at her luscious lips. I can count the times I kissed a girl on one hand. Nobody would believe my total lack of social skills with the opposite sex. Sex, is a nice word, but the only time I had sex was on two dares, each time with a woman of the night. Both experiences were nothing to write home about. While in the North, I read a lot, thank goodness for eBook's. I have read about wonderful experiences between men and women; but, I have never lived them. How I would love to live one with Jasmyn.
I did finally manage to get the nerve to call Jasmyn. Me! I actually asked her to dinner the night of the mixer and, surprise, surprise, she accepted! Grant W. Dow is going on a genuine date with a woman, a very beautiful woman! That, in itself, proves all things are possible. For the next three days, all I did was worry about the possibility I would make a fool of myself.
Finally on the day of the mixer, surprisingly, I am calm and collected. I had my ears lowered with a haircut and I also purchased a dozen red roses, the color reminded me of Jasmyn's beautiful, red, full, kissable lips and I polished my shoes three times. Maybe I was a bit nervous, but just a bit! My clothes have been laid out on my bed since ten this morning; yes, I checked numerous times to make sure Abby hadn't moved anything. Abby? She knew something was about to take place. She looked at me with that curious look she has when I don't produce a treat that she is expecting. Grabbing Abby for a final squeeze before leaving, I am the recipient of more Abby Kisses. Finally, the bewitching hour, I am parked in front of her complex at four-forty-five. Grabbing the bouquet, I walk to the lobby; I find her apartment number and push the button for 314. Momentarily there is a buzz and the lock is released. Four minutes later I am in front of the door that, miraculously, opens. There before me is a vision, Jasmyn, with her perpetual smile welcoming me in.
"Come in, Grant! Thank you for the flowers; I love red roses! Let me put them in a vase. All I have to do is get my coat."
Jasmyn is wearing a red sheath dress that is molded to her body. The long zipper starts at her soft, long, sensuous neck and stops in the middle of her well-shaped buttocks. Her long, dangling earrings are sparkling in the light. Then, it hits me again: I am on a real date, with a woman; a woman who has accepted me and all my quirks. She reappears in a black coat with a scarf around her neck; it seems to frame her beautiful face.
"So, where are we going for dinner?"
Duh! I never even thought of a reservation and I really don't know the restaurants in town. Jasmyn picks up on my shock. All she does is smile.
"Not a problem. Fredrick's always has great food and atmosphere. I will call them."
With that she pulls out her cell as we walk to the elevator, makes a reservation for us for within the hour, hangs up and smiles at me again.
"It is okay, Grant. We will have a great meal."
And an excellent meal it was indeed! The coffee was excellent and the company was the greatest. I have known Jasmyn for a whole week, but each time I think of her, I get excited. Being with her, close to her, inhaling her haunting scent, makes me wonder: Could I be falling for her? Me? Interested in a real, live woman? As we leave the restaurant, she grabs my arm with hers, and moves her body against mine. There is a searing heat flash where our bodies touch.
"Thank you for dinner, Grant. I had a nice time."
"It is a good thing you know all about Cranston; we could have ended up at Burger Heaven."
"Don't be hard on yourself; I know it will be better next time."
Next time? Jasmyn said next time, meaning she wants another date with me. A
very warm feeling runs through my body. I give her arm a slight squeeze, which she returns.
The mixer goes much better than I envisioned. Jasmyn goes out of her way to introduce me to all the members of Cranston College Faculty. I drank ginger ale; things were going too good for me to do anything to jeopardize it. During our conversation I learn that Jasmyn is thirty-four, from the West Coast, near Seattle, and that she has two sisters, who are both married. At every family reunion both sisters are on her case about why isn't she married? She said she hasn't met anyone she would consider as a partner. That could be good news or very, very bad news. There I go ... me ... the suave dater. Hell, I should be glad she considered me as her escort for the evening. There are a number of young males here tonight enraptured by Jasmyn's appeal, but she chose me as her date. Why?
Then, out of nowhere, music fills the hall, the lights are dimmed and couples gather in the center and start dancing. Now, it is getting dangerous; dancing and I never got along. Jasmyn is a woman of faith.
"Grant, dance with me."
Lots of faith!
"I have to be honest with you, the last girl I attempted to dance with left the dance floor crying, I stepped on her toes."
"That's why I am wearing safety toe boots."
Jasmyn is actually wearing stylish, red, platform high heels, the same color as her dress. The last thing I want to do is hurt her in any way. But, she insists! She is up beside me, pulling my arm. Shit, this is embarrassing! Finally, she drags me to the floor; a number of couples are watching, with grins on their faces. Some of the guys give the nod, knowing what I must be going through. Now on the floor, Jasmyn puts her hands on my shoulders; my hands find her waist, her soft, warm waist. She moves forward into my body, my dormant friend feels a trickle of life. We are moving and my feet are shuffling along the floor; Jasmyn hasn't given any indication of pain. Her breasts are mashed against my chest. What an experience! I bury my face in her hair, inhaling the scent of Jasmyn and her shampoo. What I've experienced so far this evening goes way beyond my expectations. I seem to be in a trance, and it is a beautiful trance. Then, I realize that Jasmyn is shaking my arm. As I come back to the living, I see that the lights have reappeared, and people are moving to the exits. Where did the evening go?
"You can dance, Grant."
Jasmyn's body is still against me as we walk to the exit. Jasmyn is wishing her co-workers a Merry Christmas. I just look stupid and smile. The only one I know is Jasmyn and Len. The parking lot is a circus as everyone is attempting to leave at the same time. Once in the truck, and now started, Jasmyn touches my arm.
"Grant, let the truck warm up. We can wait a few minutes and let the others leave."
We watch the antics of the others as they jockey their vehicles for position, gaining all of five minutes and tons of aggravation. Hell, it is the Christmas season! Finally, we have a clear path to the street.
"I had fun, Grant. Thank you for a wonderful evening."
For some reason, I feel comfortable with Jasmyn; she has to be the first woman I have been able to actually talk to for any length of time. It feels good! As we approach her apartment, she hits me with another surprise.
"What are you doing for Christmas, Grant? Do you have anything planned?"
My Christmases, for the last many years, have been at the company camp kitchen along with a number of my co-workers who, like me, had nowhere to go. I never thought about Christmas; to me, it was just another day. I have never been what you would call 'religious.'
"Nothing much, just me and Abby; I may try my hand at roasting a turkey."
Jasmyn has an inquiring look on her face.
"Abby? Who is Abby?"
"She is another lost soul, a small Shih Tzu I found wandering around my mail box a couple of weeks ago. She has become the lady of my house."
"You and Abby will be my guests, then. I was going to have Christmas alone; but, now I have you."