...I don’t believe in insta-love or what some call love at first sight. But sometimes the chemistry between two people is so strong and so compelling it’s overwhelming. A time when normal commonsense takes a vacation and anything approaching rational thinking goes along with it for the ride.
For me, this was one of those times. And I knew he felt it, too. That’s why we continued to sit here, staring at one another like we were under a spell or something.
“Can I buy you a cup of tea?” he asked.
“Umm…” I tried to break eye contact and failed. I knew I was in trouble. If I had any sense, I’d make up an excuse and go, now, while I still had the chance. And do what? Wonder what if, wish I’d acted differently and then come back in the hope he was still here?
The waitress placed a pot of tea and a bowl of soup in front of Michael. “Your sandwich will be up in a minute,” she said before turning to me. “And what can I get for you, sir?”
“I…er…I don’t know. I…” I glanced around for inspiration, a menu, wishing I didn’t feel so unsure, so vulnerable, so completely unlike my normal self. I gripped the edge of the table in an effort to get my thoughts back on track. I don’t do flustered. I’m the calm, cool, collected type. The guy people turn to when things get out of hand and panic sets in.
“Bring him the same as what I’m having,” Michael interjected smoothly. “Thanks, Sara.”
The waitress left, and he reached under the table and laid a hand on my knee. “Are you alright?”
“I’m okay.” I forced a grin. “Just a tad discombobulated, as they say.”
“Falling down a flight of stairs can do that,” Michael said.
“It wasn’t that bad.”
“No, but for a moment or two it throws the whole world out of whack and leaves one quivering like a newborn left unattended on a street corner.”
“I know so. It’s happened to me. You’ll feel better once you’ve had a cup of tea and something to eat.”
He’d summed up exactly how I felt, but I didn’t see how tea could help. And I wasn’t sure I liked a virtual stranger being able to read me like an open book.
“I’m sorry. I should go...”