It was my third day and today I almost messed everything up when I had a fall out in front of Julia and accidentally spilled her coffee all over her and her laptop.
Ugh, Frustrated with my own self and angry at the world I live in, I shut my eyes, trying to clear my head only to open my eyes again,
I start the car and drive out of the parking lot, the car starts to make these weird noises on the way, and I just had to stop by a repair shop, I had a specific repair shop in mind.
I parked my car in front of the shop and got down, expecting to see Karl, but someone else approached me,
“How can I help you, miss?”
“Um, my car it's making these weird noises.”
“Can I take a look?”
“Sure.” I passed him the key, and stepped away from the car, he went ahead to start the engine, then he pulled up the hood and checked on the car. I took a look around while he was at it, “Um, You working alone?”
“Nah, the guys are on a break. Why, you don't think I can handle it?”
“I’m fucking with you...” He cuts in with a laugh, “You're not from around here, are you?”
“That obvious, huh?” I chuckled,
“You will be alright eventually... It is like I suspected, your fan belt is ruined, you have to get a new one.”
“And, how much would all that cost me?” I literally didn't have any money, I was hoping for a sort of discount, or installment.
“I can't say, I'll have to check it out with the boas first.. leave the car and pick it up in the morning.”
“Oh wow, I didn't think it was that serious.”
“Or you could pay in the extra cash and I could roll up something for you real quick, it's just gonna cost you..” My phone began to ring and I reach in the car to get it, I got out of the car just when a familiar truck pulled in, it was Karl, “Talk it through with the boss.”
“He’s your boss,” I uttered in surprise.
“Yeah. .Why, you know him or sum?”
“You're in luck then. Talk to him.”
Karl got out of the truck and approached us with a bag, he raised an eyebrow at me as he walked over.
“Um...” He tried to recall my name.
“Zoe..” I injected sharply, “We met at the club... What are you doing here?”
“I work here.” he added.
“wow, really, this such a...crazy coincidence, I-I didn't know you worked here.” I always had terrible lying skills.
“What brings you here?” Karl passes the bag to the other guy, and he takes it in, leaving us alone to talk,
“I came in to fix my car, it's making these weird noises.”
Karl walked over and took a good look at it, I leaned over, watching him,
“Yeah, your fan belt is ruined.” he finally said.
“He already mentioned it...” I said and then let out a nervous laugh, “And, I-I don't have the money, so I'll just leave it till next time.”
“It’s on the house.” he said suddenly.
“I'll have the guys fix it up and you can pick it up in the morning. If that’s okay?”
“Yeah...Wow, thanks. I can't believe you would do that for me, you don't even know me.” I was genuinely curious as to why he was being nice to me, is it the same reason I drove my car to his shop without a penny in my pocket. “Okay, how about I buy you lunch, I mean to say thank you, of course.”
“You know don't have to settle me any time I do something nice for you.”
I snickered, quickly recalling the first time we met,
“Sorry, old habits....And, I was really hoping you would say yes.”
“Can I be honest with you, Karl? Like real honest. ..” he nods for me to go on, I took a moment before speaking, cause I knew that regardless of how I end up saying it, I was going to sound like a depraved stalker, “At the club earlier, I, um, sort of noticed when you walked in, and I...came up to the bar hoping you would offer to buy me a drink, that seemed impossible until that jerk showed up...”
He paused and then nodded slightly, “I'm guessing you being here is not a coincidence either?”
“I noticed your tag when you dropped me off... It’s embarrassing, I know. . I-I can't even bring myself to admit it.” I have been told that I go hard for what or who want, I follow my heart and in the end, it always backfires,
Karl ruffles his hair apprehensively, embarrassed for me.
“Look, Zoe has flattering as this is, and believe me, you are a very gorgeous, woman, but I have a girlfriend, her name is Delilah. I'm...sorry.”
All the enthusiasm left my body, “What, no, I'm the one who should be sorry. I should've asked.” How come I never thought of it, of course, he's taken, “Um, this is embarrassing.”
“I just thought you should know, so you don't get the wrong idea.”
“Yeah, of course. ...” Anyone else would be dying with shame, but I persisted, “Um, I still wanna buy you that drink, to at least say thank you, unless your girlfriend is against having female friends and that's fine.”
He glanced at his watch,
“I can spare five minutes, you like a beer?”
He snickered and gestured me to follow him, I did and we ended up in his office, it was a small and decent room space, very well decorated, definitely by a woman, Karl went get the drinks.
I took my eyes around, that was when I noticed a picture of a child on his desk, I picked it up.
“My daughter, Massey.” He injected, as he walked over and passed me a bottle.
“You have a daughter?” I was genuinely surprised.
“Yes, she's 12.”
“Wow, that's impressive... She's very cute.” I took another look at her, and then noticed another photo beside it,
“My girlfriend, Delilah.” he chimed in, he always seemed to know what I was thinking.
I took a longer look at her, almost as if I was captivated by her, “you must really love her.” The words just slipped out of my lips, “Um, I-I mean, she's very beautiful.”
“Thank you.” He gestured me to sit, while he went around his desk to do the same, “So how's the dream Job again?”
I took a sip of my drink,
“Um, it's been... What’s the word for it? Cumbersome...and, I’d rather not go into details right now, if that's okay?”
He nodded understanding, then there was a sudden awkward silence between us, which was weird because I never run out of words, for the first time I was speechless.
“So, is Delilah, Massey’s mother?” I had to ask, more of desperation than curiosity, I barely knew this man, but yet, he provoked all kinds of sides out of me.
“No, actually, I used to be married, Jenna, my ex-wife is Massey's mother.” he said.
“Wow, what a complex life you have.” We stop and laugh it out, “And, I thought my life was complicated. ..You win.”
“You don't know half the story.” He muttered in a stressful tone, almost like he had a lot on his chest he needed to let out to someone,
“You know, I..I'm a pretty good listener.”
He leans back, and regards me for a while, like he was interested or something, but then, “Maybe some other time.” he withdrew, Karl is a very confusing man, he gives these signals like he's into what's happening between us and then he just draws back.
The same thing happened at the club, we started dancing, he was feeling it and things got a little heated, but then he just pulled back like I had fleas or something.
He did offer to take me home, but the whole ride he didn't say a word.
“I-I should go..” I got up to leave, maybe I'm making up things in my head, and there's really nothing there, “Thanks again for the... Car. I guess I would stop by after work to get the car.”
“Wait, let me give you a ride.” This is what I mean, why does he keep leading me on if he's not interested in taking it further?
“No, it's fine, I'll just take a cab home... I'll see you again tomorrow,” I said, and waited for him to escort me out. Once we were outside, I threw in another smile and left quickly.
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