I mentally berated myself again as I hit my head on the top cupboards. Ever since I'd met Mr. Big Smile earlier that day buying groceries, I hadn’t been able to get him out of my mind. And when I thought about him, I kept having these little accidents.
I don’t know what it was about him that had me acting like a school girl. I couldn’t stop thinking about that twinkle in his eyes and his dimples as he smiled. I remembered how easily he had made me laugh with his off-handed remarks. I’d never felt so comfortable in the company of a stranger, especially an older man. I knew I should have agreed to exchange phone numbers but I was too much of a coward to go along with his suggestion.
“For goodness sake! You’re 26 now, not a 16 year old. Stop mooning over him like one,” I muttered to myself, trying to snap my attention back to the task at hand. I'd been working my ass off on a project and needed to excel at it. My boss was already threatening to fire me if I didn’t wow the client this time.
Pacing around my small office, I struggled to remember every single detail when a soft knock sounded on my door. It was time. I gave myself one last look in the full-length mirror, making sure I looked ready for the kill, and opened the door to meet my teammates.
As I walked into the meeting room, my jaw almost dropped when I saw who the client was. He looked very professional and intimidating, unlike the man I had met before. I felt a lump in my throat as I closed the door behind me.
“Mr. Big Smile,” I thought aloud.
“I beg your pardon, Cherie?” Sandra my teammate and best friend asked.
“I must have been thinking aloud. It’s nothing,” I told her.
“Are you ok? You look flushed,” she replied.
“I’m fine, maybe just nervous,” I whispered back again.
After everyone had been seated, I took my place, introduced myself, and started my presentation. Although I avoided looking at him throughout the entire 30 minutes, I couldn’t help but wonder if he remembered me and if he was watching me. After I’d said all I could, I scanned the room waiting for questions, or better yet something to show me that I’d aced it, or at least kept my job.
I couldn't help stealing a glance at Mr. Big Smile. To my horror, he started packing and clearing his space on the table ready to leave. I watched his every move as he walked over to my boss, exchanged a few words, and left with his team. My heart sank with dread. One look at my boss's face told me my career had just ended.
I waited until everyone had left the room before I walked out, dejected, then just went through the motions for the rest of the day.
When the clock indicated the end of my day, I started packing, ready to leave for the last time. After the confrontation with my boss, I needed comfort food. Walking out of the building, I went to my usual restaurant. It was a small place, but it had the best desserts in the whole world. I piled the table with a variety of cakes and sweets, not caring what anyone thought.
Just as I was starting to eat, a man walked over and asked if I could finish all those.
“Mind your own business,” I snapped.
“I would, but you look lonely eating all these alone. And since I’m alone and I hate to eat alone, I thought it would be nice to keep you company,” he said.
I looked up with so much fury in my eyes, ready to attack this rude stranger when his features registered. “Mr. Big Smile,” I whispered before I could stop myself.
“No no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so rude, Mr Matthews.”
“It’s my fault entirely. What was it you were saying earlier?”
I blushed as I remembered what had slipped my tongue as soon as I recognised him.
“So, do you mind if a lonely old man like me joins you or would you rather have someone younger?” he asked.
“Sure, please grab a seat.” I laughed. “Help yourself. Just please don’t think that I’m a glutton, it’s just that I’ve had a bad day at work and I...Nevermind, lets eat!”
“Please call me David and I’m glad to have run into you.”
After he ordered, we started eating together. He looked so different now compared to how he was earlier in the meeting room. So relaxed and easy, just like how he was when I met him at the grocery store. He must have known I didn’t want to talk about what happened at work earlier and didn't push. We exchanged stories about our families and friends. He amazed me with his insights and I shocked him with mine. He told me about the mischief of his school days and I told him about my geeky spectacles. The night passed quickly without us noticing. Any discomfort we'd experienced earlier was gone. I forgot how intimidating he'd been in the afternoon and he forgot how rude I was snapping at him earlier.
We eventually started some light flirting over dinner. I couldn't help gazing into his eyes across the table. I was sure I was positively glowing in his presence and I could only hope that he felt the same way about me. When it was time for both of us to go home, this time we did exchange phone numbers.
To my disappointment our cars were parked in the opposite direction, but I left happy knowing that we'd be keeping in contact. I revelled in the fact that tonight was not the last time we would be in each other's company. Feeling giddy with infatuation, I tried to calm myself before starting my car and driving home. I decided that today wasn’t so bad after all. He might have caused me to lose my job, but for what I'd enjoyed tonight, everything would be worth it.
I thought about David, Mr Big Smile, until I fell asleep. And when I dreamed, I saw him too.
To be continued...
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/mature/mr-big-smile-part-1.aspx">Mr. Big Smile - Part 1</a>