Mindful Sanitarium: Chapter 2Mature

Good morning, Mister Deckard,” The super greeted him as he passed her room. She had the door propped open and was in the process of transporting several trash bags.

Morning, Ruth. Need some help with those?”

She shook her head and smiled at him. “No, no, I’m fine. Thanks for asking, dear.”

He said ok and had moved past her when the elderly lady took a second glance at him.

And just where is your coat?” She said.

Don’t need one, Ruth. Bye,” He said without turning around, and gave her a backwards wave.

       He descended the stairs, saying hello to a few fellow early risers, then crossed through the lobby and out the front door. A blast of cold air hit him as the door swung shut behind him, and he wondered if that coat might have been a good idea.

Oh well.

         He hurried across the street, waving to a car who’d let him past, and onto a small walkway that was nestled behind an old warehouse building that was no longer in service. The snow crunched lightly beneath his feet as he walked along the path, a sound Finton had always enjoyed; it reminded him of Christmas as a little kid.

         He continued slowly, in no real hurry, just enjoying the fresh air and the gentle snow fall, looking around at the various small businesses and houses he passed, taking in the sights.

          Then, as he was staring at his feet and wondering to himself what DVD he was going to watch when he got home, movement tugged at the corner of his eye, a glimpse of color followed right behind.

          His pace slowed as he looked across the street at the short, beautiful woman walking the opposite direction. He had seen her literally every time he had visited Starbucks to work on his book while maybe enjoying a coffee, but had never the courage to speak with her. He felt like a nerd back in high school.

Fuck it” He said for the second time today, and before he knew it he was crossing the street, with no plan of action whatsoever. What would he say to her that wouldn’t sound completely suspicious? “Hey, I see you at Starbucks every other day, boy you look pretty.” No. That wouldn’t work.

He hopped up on the sidewalk beside her, and she glanced up.

Hi there,” Was the only thing that came out of his mouth a bit nervously.

Hi yourself,” She replied, and gave him a little smile.

God. That voice. He might as well have been a puddle on the sidewalk.

I…” He caught himself as he found he was about to say what he told himself wouldn’t work. “…was wondering if you had the time?”

A nice save, but corny Indeed.

         She fumbled with the sleeve of her jacket, and Finton took the moment to really look at her up close.

         She was wearing a black leather jacket that covered up a black band t-shirt he couldn’t make out. The jacket looked about a size too big for her. The front not buttoned or zipped up but held closed by her arms that were crossed over her chest. Her lower half, was clad with dark ripped jeans. She also wore a pair of tight boots that stretched up her leg on the outside of her pants, which he thought odd and stopped midway up her calves. He couldn’t see any laces so he guessed there were zippers on the inside somewhere.

It’s....” She began, trailing off as she read the face of the watch.

       Her hair was short, brunette. It was combed rather neatly, not a strand of hair was rising up, he could tell she cared about her hair. The right side swooped down across her eye while the other side was tucked behind her ear. She looked like she was in her late twenties or early thirties.

...4:21" She finished, and looked over at him, smiling, and re-crossed her arms, pulling the jacket closed tighter.

Thanks. I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I couldn’t help but notice you’re not exactly dressed for the weather.”

Ah,” She said, looking him up and down with her eyes, “And neither are you.” She finished playfully.

         He gave out a slight chuckle as she continued, “No, I love the cold weather, I’m only wearing the jacket because I’m not entirely daft. But still,” She looked up at him with the top of her eyes, as they walked side by side, an unlikely conversation now struck up.

What about you? A fellow fan of this weather?”

No,” He chuckled, “I just forgot my coat and didn’t feel like going back.” He grinned at her, and said, “A t-shirt though?”

Hey!” She grunted, and reached out an arm and shoved him.

Yeah, you’re probably right,” She said after a pause, grinning too. “The outfit looked good, didn’t know how the weather was until I walked out the door, so I just threw this old jacket on to make up for it,” She shrugged. “Oh well.”

So, where are you headed, then?” He asked.

“I was actually just out for a walk. It’s nice and peaceful in the mornings.” She laughed as she looked down at herself. “You’re right, though. I look like such a whore.”

No, no, that’s not what I was implying” He said.

Listen,” he began, and stopped walking. She did the same and looked at him, gazing into his eyes.

I was on my way to the Starbucks just down the road, if you wanted to join me...share a cup of coffee or something, maybe?”

She looked at him some more, then slowly nodded her head. “Yeah. Yeah, that sounds really good.”

They turned around and head back the other way, walking side by side, their steps nearly matched.

Oh,” He said, chuckling, “By the way, I’m Finton Deckard.” He stuck out his hand and she shook it firmly, her jacket sleeve sliding over her thumb and brushing his.

I’m Clio Rhea. Nice to meet you, Finton.”

The End

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