French Kissing

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2. Gray calls

The next morning, Marcy came out of the shower to find a text on her phone.

It’s Gray. Car Crash Guy. Wondered if you’re free to meet? Coffee shop 11am?

He messaged in nearly full sentences which was unusual but nice. It made him seem older and a little more formal, but Marcy liked it.

She had nothing else on that day. Checking that her parents could give her a lift in, she texted him back to accept.

And now for something to wear. This should have been the easiest thing in the world but today Marcy practically pulled her entire wardrobe onto the floor. In the end she picked out some short shorts that showed off the full length of her thighs and a white tank top, since it was a hot day. She slid on her sandals and threw her phone and money into the cute purse she’d got for her last birthday.

Looking in the mirror she scowled at herself and then tried to put on a sexy smile. She was having a good hair day at least, her usually auburn hair had streaks of strawberry blonde thanks to the summer sun and was framing her face in just the right way. Her dark blue eyes showed no signs of having cried for hours the night before.

If truth be told she hadn’t cried that much at all. A least not as much as she had feared she would. Pulling down her photos of Josh and all their other relationships mementoes had only made her weep a bit.

Addy had come over and they had held the relationship funeral together. Everything had been buried in a shoebox that was now in the attic. Then they’d drowned their sorrows with ice cream and chick flicks, and vowed to swear off men for life and become nuns.

Marcy figured even the strictest Mother Superior would break her vows for a guy as hot as Gray was. She rang Addy before heading out.

"The convent will have to wait. I have a date with a super hot guy in half a hour."

"Already! Not that guy whose car your wrecked?" Marcy had told her about the crash and getting a lift home.

"The truck wrecked his car, not me," Marcy pointed out.

"Well have fun rebounding! And call me later and tell me everything, every last juicy detail." Addy said.

With a few butterflies in her stomach, Marcy walked into the coffee shop after her parents dropped her off. Fortunately the nearest drop off point was out of view of the café. She felt like a little kid getting driven around by her parents, though she supposed having a smashed up car was a reasonable excuse.

It was a brilliantly sunny day, warm with cloudless blue skies, making it hard to believe that summer was nearing its end. If only it could be the start of summer again, Marcy thought. She wasn’t ready for the leaves to start changing colour and the nights to draw in.

Gray was already there, at a table. It was a little strange to Marcy meeting a new date in her place of work. Sort of familiar yet unfamiliar. She saw Ben giving her a knowing smile from behind the counter and felt herself blush.

Gray was even better looking than she had remembered. He seemed to get more stunning every time she met him, and it made the butterflies even worse. He must be an actor or model or something, Marcy thought. His features were clean cut and flawless, like a Greek god. His dark hair fell over his forehead in a way that made her itch to push it back so she could gaze into his eyes. His lips were so perfectly formed, masculine but sensuous… she wondered what it would be like if he kissed her…

Get a grip girl! she scolded herself, aware that she was probably gawping like an idiot.

He didn’t seem to notice anything wrong. He broke out into a dazzling smile when he saw her and stood up. "Hey Marcy! Great to see you again."

It was funny how seeing him made everything else fade into the distant past. Yesterday morning felt like it happened years ago. She should be heartbroken, but she’d turned a whole new page.

"So how’s your car?" she asked him.

"In the shop. I got a rental car while it’s being fixed. You?"

"I got a lift," she told him. She didn’t want to mention that it was from her parents.

"Great. So did you want to get a drink here or shall we set off?" he asked.

"Where are we going?"

"That’s up to you. I thought you might give me an insider’s tour of the town. I’m assuming this is the best place to get coffee?"

"Ben would like to think so." They both laughed. Ben, hearing his name, looked over and scowled. "We’re going to head off," Marcy told him. "I’ll see you tomorrow."

It was amazing how natural and right the "we" sounded. Somehow she felt like she was on a team with him, even though she barely knew him. Maybe it was some kind of survivor’s bonding, after the shared trauma of the accident.

"What do you get up to around here?" Gray asked her as he pulled out of the parking lot.

"School mainly, or from next week anyway."

"What’s your major?"

Oh God! He thought she was a college student! Marcy felt way too awkward to tell him that she was only at high school.

"Still undecided, but maybe English literature or creative writing." This was kind of true. It was what she was thinking of doing when she finally got to college. "You’d like to be a writer?" he asked.

"Maybe. But plays, not novels." Marcy’s dream was to be a playwright. She had fallen in love with theatre when they’d taken a class trip to see Othello some years ago. She found it more intimate and more magical than any movie she had ever seen. "What about you?"

"I majored in French. My mother’s French, so it was kind of an easy choice for me," Gray told her.

"From Canada?"

"No, she’s from France. Paris, France. My eldest sister was born there. My father worked for the US embassy."

"So do you all speak fluently?" she asked.

"Pretty much, but it gets rusty. We all speak English over here. It’s only when we visit my grandmother that we have to speak French," he said.

Marcy suggested they visit the lake since it was such a beautiful day. "You can hire boats there."


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