“Good morning, Gorgeous!”
Coffee splashed onto the paving stones, but I didn’t drop the mug. It was 8:00 a.m. Sunny weekday morning. My own front yard. And there was a stranger smiling at me, standing up, hat in hand, from my Adirondack chair.
We live on a quiet street in a small town. Even our invited guests get lost trying to find us, clutching detailed directions to their hearts.
My dog ran up to the man, wagging his tail, head up for welcoming sniff, head rub, and admiration. He was a discerning beast, dog friendly but selective. If he read the guy as friendly, things were fine.
“Didn’t mean to startle you. Sorry about the coffee — hope it didn’t burn you.” We watched my dog lick his hand, stand bolt upright at attention, and then erupt into hurtling white across the lawn. “He loves that cat doesn’t he?”
“It’s loving to hate kind of thing. They keep each other entertained,” I said. “Can I help you?” Serious progress was planned for my novel.
“Oh, no, I don’t want to take up any more of your time. I promised the Mean Guy that I’d stop by. Something’s come up and he can’t make your meeting. He’ll be in touch to set up another one.” He smiled, adjusted his hat on his head, trotted easily down the steps and across the lawn where barking dog faced indifferent cat. We watched him stride down the street, out of sight.
I went back into the house, washed my hands, and refilled the mug. Then I went back outside, settled into my Adirondack chair and began to write. Mean Guy or no, I had a commitment to keep.