Nine: Coincidence?

Days passed. My phone would ring, and I would find myself rushing to answer the call in some strange hope that it would be Andrea. Only to find it was a co-worker, a sales call, or a wrong number. With a sigh, I would tuck the stupid thing away. It only confirmed further that the chances were against me once more-it was horribly probable I would never meet her again.

I tossed aside my briefcase, flopping onto my office chair. The cubicle was pretty sparse, plain piles of work neatly stacked here and there. Everyone had pictures of their wife or kids, girlfriends, awesome places they had seen, or annoying nick-nacks which cluttered their walls or desks. If your cubicle was a representative of who you were, I would even be bored of myself. Would I go out to dinner with me? Would I enjoy it?

With a pang, I realized the answer was probably no. I ran a hand over my face, shaking the sleep from it as I turned to my screen. Before I could even click to open the documents I was working on, a co-worker came to the entryway of my cubicle.

"Hey, Keith," I turned, somewhat irritable. It was Eliza, a new girl here. "Do you have the files for the Landry's?"

"Yeah," I spun around in my chair, so that I faced my file cabinet and pulling out the mentioned file. "Why?"

"They're getting divorced, so their accounts will have to be re-arranged," she shrugged. She beamed brightly as I handed her the file, a smile that seemed a bit too large for me. "Thanks."

I returned back to the computer. My eye caught Harry, peering his eyes over the wall to look at me. "How old are you?" I scoffed, surprised at the cold, irritated edge in my voice.

He stood to his full height so all of his face looked down on me. That mischievous glint was still in his eye. "Eliza's a good-looking girl. Single."

"What are you talking about? Don't you have work to do?"

"I think she likes you."

"What are you, still stuck in high school?" I snapped.

"Ppf," Harry half smiled. "What are you, eighty-something? An eighty-something is more exciting than you are."

I sighed, slightly softened, "What do you want, Harry?"

"Hey, you heard me. She's got an eye for you. You gotta get out of your box, dude-,"

"Don't call me dude,"

"Whatever," grinned Harry. "You're gonna end up a lonely old man someday. C'mon, have some fun. Christine and that girl you had one dinner with can't be the only ones."


Harry invited me to go out with his friends again that night. I said yes, trying to get him off my back, maybe thinking that I would go. As I got in my car, I decided against it. I would hear it from him tomorrow, but I didn't care.

I wasn't in the mood for those microwave dinners again. Pulling before the facade of a restaurant, I stepped out and made my way inside.

"How many?" asked the young, teenage waitress.


"Right this way-," she began, leading me toward the dining area.

"No thanks, I'd rather sit at the bar."

"Alright," she allowed me past. I pulled up a stool, ordered without looking at the menu, and sipped at my drink. Bored, I looked around the restaurant. Mostly groups or pairs of people. A family, an older couple, and....I nearly jumped in my seat. Andrea sat in a booth, across from another woman, chatting and flipping through the menu.

Andrea looked up, a few seconds later catching my eye. Something of shock spread across her face, an amused smile tugging at her lips. I felt something of relief coming through me-at least she didn't look horrified at the sight of me. I didn't know what else to do other than stand up and weave my way over there. The girl who she was having dinner with looked up and watched me come over. I felt awkward under their gaze. The friend-at least that's what I assumed-turned back to Andrea and muttered something briskly, giving a muffled giggle. Andrea reddened in the face, snapping something to her under her breath.

"Fancy meeting you here," I half smiled.

Both ladies laughed. Still quite shocked, Andrea nodded, "Yeah."

"Don't worry, I'm not stalking you," I winked, attempting at being funny again. I hoped I wasn't over-doing it.

They both grinned widely at my joke, which in my opinion, they were pretty genuine.  There was a brief, unusal pause. Andrea nearly leapt from her seat as if she had been kicked in the shin. "Oh, and this is my friend, Alexis. I work with her," she briskly said. From the corner of my eye, I saw Andrea give her a stern look as I shook Alexis' hand.

"So," I continued. "How's everything your house?" What a stupid thing to say! I felt like banging my head on the table.

"Oh," she seemed slightly taken aback. "It's good, good. I'm having someone come in and look at the wiring, as you suggested."

I nodded, "Good, good." There was an awkward pause. I shifted from foot to foot.

"Hey, would you like to join us?" Alexis offered.

"Ah, it's alright. I already ordered. I let you ladies enjoy your dinner." I grinned, stepping away. "See you around."

Andrea smiled, "See you around."

I returned to my seat at the bar, my food waiting for me. I began picking at it, though couldn't help glance over my shoulder at the two a few times. They were leaning into one another chatting in undertones. As soon as Andrea caught sight of me watching, she flushed a pretty pink and abruptly sat up, her eyes returning to her friend's. I turned away, somewhat embarrassed and somewhat glad she had caught me looking. Ha! Maybe luck was on my side after all!



The End

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