This story was written for the AOL Short Story Contest as were most of the stories that will be posted here. There is a different theme every week that is supposed to be incorporated in one way or another in the story. At the time this story was written it had a 1000 word limit, it has since been changed to 2000 words.
I'm posting this first because I wrote it first. I doubt I will hold to a chronological posting strategy however so i'll list the date (when I know it) that I wrote the story.
July 16, 1997 Theme: Green
The closer I got to the mall the more nervous I got. I’d had the entire drive to think about this. What if we hated each other on sight? What if she thought I looked ugly? All my insecurities came flooding out. Well I’d committed to meet her and I could not back out now. What if she wasn’t there? Maybe she chickened out. My mind warred with itself over whether that would be good or whether I would be crushed.
We had met online six months ago, shortly after my divorce. She was a single mother and I was a single father. In all that time, by mutual consent, we’d never exchanged pictures or talked on the phone. She said she preferred to get to know the inner person without distractions. It seemed reasonable to me, although I often wondered if she was hiding something. Yet she seemed so genuine, so open. Well we had finally decided it was time to meet. So here I was, almost 40 and feeling like a teenager about go
to on his first date.
I neared the mall and noticed I was a little over half an hour early. Well I hadn’t wanted to take any chances. As I rolled into the parking lot I started scanning for the green Toyota. Relief and fear washed over me as I saw it parked where I expected it. I pulled up next to it and got my first glimpse of her.
She was beautiful! Her blonde hair a little more of a strawberry blonde than I thought. But as I stood beside her car and she looked up I saw the deep blue eyes I was expecting. I practically fell into them. I was thinking that this was going to work out just fine. From the look on her face she felt the same about me.
"Hi! I’m glad you made it!" She said. "Why don’t we go to the restaurant and talk there."
"That sounds great." I said. "I know you don’t have much time"
"No, unfortunately. Well maybe next time" She said as we walked toward the mall. I could barely keep my eyes off of her.
We talked of generalities at lunch. The conversation just wandering where it would. We were every bit as comfortable in person as we had been online. All too soon it was time to go. We left the restaurant and when our hands brushed together as we walked I took her hand, afraid she would pull away. Instead she squeezed my hand and when I looked over I saw the smile that had so mesmerized me during the whole meal.
We stopped walking them. I turned to face her and asked quietly "May I kiss you?"
"What a gentleman! Nobody’s ever asked like that before." She said, her eyes smiling. "Please do"
We kissed. My lips brushed hers. I felt her respond and quickly the kiss deepened as we explored this new found side of our relationship.
"Wow" she said, breaking the kiss. "I wish I had more time. Like all afternoon. Or all weekend" she chuckled and squeezed my hand. "But I have to go, Dave. I’ll talk to you online tonight."
I just looked at her. I realized that this entire time we had not called each other by name. Dave? Six months and she couldn’t remember that my name was Scott?
"Sharon, who is Dave? You know my name is Scott."
"Huh?" She said, instantly looking really confused. "Are you trying to be funny? My name is Barbara and you darn well know it" She kind of chuckled and said "Game time is over Dave I have to go."
"I’m not playing a game," I was starting to get worried. I pulled out my drivers license and showed it to her. Without a word she showed me hers. Sure enough her name was Barbara. She told me her screen name, and I realized that something was really wrong.
"There is no way that I managed to meet the wrong woman in the right parking lot" I said. "I was to meet you here and look for the green Toyota. I got here early and was really surprised to see you here already."
"Early? You were 15 minutes late. And my car is not green its teal. I told you that."
I looked out into the parking lot then and saw a very green Toyota parked next to the now very blue green looking Toyota I’d seen earlier. There was an impatient looking blonde leaning on it looking curiously our way.