...We were at a standstill, and I craned my neck to see if I could spot the trouble ahead. I turned to look at him just as he took another sip of coffee and his phone beeped. I snuck sideways glances at the screen as he opened a message, but I couldn’t make out what it said. Whatever it was brought the furrow back between his eyebrows. I was desperate for more information, but I tried to keep my interest low key.
“Starting work early today, Clark?”
“Something fun, then?”
Clark sighed, closing the message with the tap of his finger. “It’s just this guy I know.”
We started moving again right as the last words were out of his mouth, so I forced my eyes to stay on the road. A cold ache crept into my chest as Clark continued.
“I met him a few months ago, when I went to that insurance seminar in Nashville. He’s in town this week and wants to get together on Thursday.”
I swallowed down some coffee to wash away the wave of nausea his confession stirred up. Of course, it had to be Thursday, our normal pub day. Insult to injury. I gave him what he wanted to hear.
“Sounds like fun.”
I glanced at him as he tucked his phone back in his pocket, his eyes focused out the window.
“He’s nice enough. He’s in town for three days, and I’m one of the few people he knows around here.”
The dull tingle in my chest spread to my fingers as I forced myself to say the last thing I wanted to utter. “It’s more than I’ve got going on right now.”
“You’d do fine if you ever actually went out with anyone more than once. Speaking of, why didn’t you call Ron back? He said you two had a good time on your date.”
Clark had tried to fix me up many times, much to my chagrin. His latest attempt was a nice enough guy, smart and funny. Unfortunately for Ron, he wasn’t Clark. We’d had a drink together, but I never returned his calls. I felt much like Clark did about his friend from out of town. What was the point, when my heart wasn’t in it?
“We just didn’t click.”
I could tell he was looking at me, but I kept my eyes on the road.
“Jesus, Harper, who would you click with? This is, like, the tenth guy you’ve blown off in the last six months. People are going to stop trying to fix you up if you keep doing this.”
“Good! Why didn’t you tell me that sooner? I’d have done this a long time ago if it’d gotten me out of all these bad dates.”
“You’re impossible, you know that? I was just trying to help you out.”
“I don’t need your help, Clark. I’m fine.”
“Sure you are. You seem really happy.”
“About as happy as you anyway.”
“At least I’m seeing people.”
“Yeah, guys in town for one night. Real potential in that scenario.”
Finally, we were moving at a decent pace, and I slid into the left lane to break the speed limit a little bit. I gave Clark a quick look, but he was back on his phone, his thumbs working furiously. I flicked on the radio to distract myself, but I heard Clark mumble over the din, “You never know. You never know...”