Here is an example of things changing. Because, I had something else in mind for today's entry, but this happened instead. Such is life! At least, for me. Nice to be caught up again!

The 7th Date


She wiped the fogged mirror with her hand and stared at herself through the misty air. Speaking of which, she should call the office about the busted fan. Again. They were always on top of problems. If only they’d do regular maintenance.

To clear the air, she opened the door before returning to the mirror. Another wipe with her hand let her see herself enough to get ready. Then, when she plugged in the hair dryer the lights went out in the room.

“Dammit!”

She yanked the cord out and plugged it into the other socket.

Nothing.

“Fucking. Just. Great.”

Hair dripping down her back, one hand clutching a bright yellow towel around herself, and the other holding her dryer she stomped into the living room and smacked into someone.

“Watch- Shit.”

It was not Craig.

“Sorry, Del. Craig said I could hang out since I have to work a split.”

“No. It’s fine. I just- I’m not dressed.”

He didn’t take the hint. Tim never took the hint. She would not have been even half-friends with him if it weren’t for Craig.

“I don’t mind,” he said into the prolonged silence. “The not dressed part,” he added unhelpfully when she didn’t speak.

“Will you go to the breaker box by the washer and reset it please.” The please was pulled from her and by his smirk he knew it. “Never mind. I’ll finish in my room.”

“I think I can flip a switch,” Tim offered.

“I’m not replying.”

He would make some off-color remark. He always did. Instead, she went to her room and shut the door. She did not slam it. Only close it firmly. Unfortunately, the lights were not working in there. She was supposed to be seven blocks over in half an hour and the only way she would make it was if she left with her hair wet.

A knock on her door came before, “It’s not working.”

“No shit.”

She threw the hair dryer on the bed and opened the door.

The last of the light from the day was disappearing and she sighed. Their apartment was dark to begin with, but without power it would be impossible to see. Did they have batteries in the flashlight? Shit. Where was the flashlight?

“I have a date,” she offered weakly as he grinned for no reason.

“I heard. The grand experiment.”

“I can’t go out. My clothes were in the dryer. My hair is too wet. I can’t miss this fucking date.” The last she yelled and Tim stepped back. Good.

“Can’t you wear something else?”

“Yes. Of course, I can, but…shit. I really wanted to look nice.” She’d thought this one had prospects. They’d texted a few times. What was clean? Nothing potential good date worthy.

“Can’t you reschedule? Craig didn’t say anything about a deadline.”

“Great. He told you?” How much more embarrassing could this night get?

 “He tells me everything. Go text your date and try to reschedule.”

“Stop being reasonable. God. If you’re going to hang out call the office. Be useful.”

She retreated to her room and before doing anything else got dressed. Once in something warmer than a towel she sent a text to tonight’s date.

LOST POWER. CAN WE RESCHEDULE?

CAN’T. HUSBAND BACK IN TOWN TOMORROW. I CAN COME OVR IN THE DARK. ;)

Delaney stared at her phone. Husband? She had never mentioned a husband. Fuuuuck. Her life sucked. No power, no date, and stuck with Tim.

“The office said the whole floor was without power.” He knocked after speaking. “Sorry. It’s me. They’re working on it.”

“Don’t you have somewhere else to go hang out?”

“And leave you alone in your moment of peril? Never. Come on out. We can keep each other warm on the couch.”

Delaney rolled her eyes. From her bed, she pulled her old comforter and wrapped it around herself before she opened the door. Tim grinned, but stepped back so she could leave her room.

“We could call this a date,” he offered. “I wouldn’t tell Craig it wasn’t real. Unless you invited tonight’s date over?”

She forgot to put her hair up. She dropped the comforter and retreated to her room. In there, she ran a brush through it and braided it quickly. Phone in hand, she came back to get her blanket.

“I don’t want to talk about it. You can go.”

“I really can’t. Craig would never forgive me.”

“I am not going on a date with you.”

“That’s not what I said.”

“You said-”

“That I would lie for you. And say you left on your date. And we can sit here, in the dark, on the couch, and you can be grateful.” He waggled his eyebrows and she couldn’t stop her laugh. Tim was something of a jerk, but he wouldn’t actually press himself on her.

“She has a husband,” she said before she might stop herself.

“Tonight’s date?” He was quick enough.

“Yes. I thought she seemed nice. I should have known.”

“I would make you cocoa and sooth your sadness away, but, no power.”

“You could go out and get me some.”

“You would lock the door.”

“No.”

“I don’t like you enough to go up and down so many stairs. Not unless you’ll be truly grateful.” Even in the waning light she saw his smirk.

“I can’t even watch a movie. My phone battery is dripping.”

Tim brushed by her to sit on the couch and pat the cushion next to him. “Come on. I’ve got a full charge and three hours until my shift.”

“I don’t trust you in the dark.”

He laughed as his phone lit up. “Smart woman. Come on, Del. A movie date. And I will swear to Craig you left, looking all hot, and probably scored with a woman I don’t know has a husband.”

“When you put it that way,” she grumbled.

Tim smelled like food and didn’t move as she sat close to him on the couch, still wrapped in her blanket. Despite her misgivings, he never made a move. They watched a dumb action flick and one episode of a stupid comedy before he had to get back to work. The power was still out, but calls to the office assured her it was being worked on and would back soon.

“I’ll tell Craig to be careful coming home. Scary dark apartment with a scary woman and all.”

Delaney snarled and tossed the one throw pillow in the apartment at his head. He caught it and threw it back, hitting her head. Refusing to give him the satisfaction of a return throw, she tucked it under her head on the couch.

“Was I the worst date of the week?”

“Alas, no,” she admitted.

“If you ever want to do it again, call me.”

He sounded sincere.

Which left her shocked.

Which was why, when Craig got home a few hours later, she was still on the couch. Because he could not have meant it. Because they were so not dating compatible. Since there was no sign of power returning, her and Craig shared the couch and the blankets as the temperature dropped. Well, at least she’d gotten to stay home.

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