*In All the Right Places* Running away from love, but bumping into it everywhere she turns.
“Damn it, I’m going to kill Ivy. It’s three and she’s not out yet.”
Lillie-Rose climbed out of the car, hurriedly rifling through her pockets to gather enough change to feed the meter and quickly dropped the required coins in the allotted slot. She’d seen the approaching meter maid when the woman turned the corner onto the street and began making her way down the sidewalk in her direction. In her defense, Lillie-Rose refused to step out of the car in the hope Ivy would come out of the flower shop in time and she wouldn’t have to get out of her nice cool car. It was a wasted hope. For some reason Ivy hadn’t come out and the mad rush to ‘be on time’ was for naught.
Sharing a little chuckle with the smiling officer as the woman passed and continued on her route, Lillie-Rose released her breath at the miss of a ticket, but she was still pissed. Irritated by the amount of time, let alone gas, she’d already wasted by sitting in the car and running the air conditioner to stave off the Texas heat, while waiting for Ivy. She pulled out her cell and dialed the shop’s number. From her stance of butt pressed to hood of car, Lillie-Rose could see the movements of Ivy inside of her shop through the large pane of the store’s glass windows. When Ivy looked up after answering the phone, Lillie-Rose raised her fist in the air and shook it at her friend as she ranted into the phone.
“Ivy, what are you doing? You said you would be right out. You have me frying out here in this heat. Not to mention I nearly got a ticket.”
From her vantage point directly in front of the store, Lillie-Rose could see Ivy perched on her chair, legs resting on the surface of the desk and yawning into the phone.
“I’m sorry, Lillie-Rose.” Ivy blatantly lied. “It just got so busy. I’m really tied up in here.”
“Ivy, girl can’t you see me?” She lifted her hand above her head and waved it exaggeratedly. “I definitely see you and you don’t look busy. Why did you rush me to get her by three if you weren’t going to be ready?”
Lillie-Rose turned her back so her friend wouldn’t see just how pissed off she was. She knew she was being a bit illogical, but she hated waiting and if she really wanted to be honest, she was anxious to get away before Nathaniel made an appearance. One embarrassing encounter a day was all she could emotionally allow herself.
“I promise you, I am busy and I’m not up to anything. Uhm, why don’t you go and wait across the street by the fountain.”
Something about the nonchalant tone of Ivy’s voice made her turn back around. Ivy had moved and could no longer be seen through the window.
“What’s up? What are you up to?”
“Nothing, I’m not up to anything. I just have a couple of phone orders to fill. Go on over to the fountains and I’ll be right there.”
Sighing, softly Lillie-Rose turned her back to the window and rested her butt on the hood of the car.
“I don’t really feel like walking over by myself. I’ll just come in and wait for you.”
The sudden negative high pitched screech of her friend caused Lillie-Rose to push the cell away from her ear. She watched as Ivy came from around a shelf, rushed to the door and without a doubt, locked it.
“Ooookay, what’s up with that little act, Ivy? What are you trying to hide? Who are you trying to hide? You have someone in there?”
“Uh….yeah no, I made a mess on the floor and I don’t want you to trip over it. Give me a few minutes. Go on to the fountains and I’ll be right over, I promise.” Ivy laughed. “Grab some sub sandwiches and a drink. Make sure you go through the opening on the left gate."
"I remember. You just hurry up 'cuz I'll start without you."
"Do whatever comes naturally."
Lillie-Rose stood across the street, at the opening of the park gate and listened. Actually she had no other choice because her feet were rooted to the spot by the stirring melody. Smiling slightly, he ran his hands across the body of the harp. Nathaniel closed his eyes and swayed side to side for a brief moment to the sound of the melody only he could hear. His calloused fingers plucked purposefully at the strings. Throwing back his head, he laughed aloud before beginning to play. The joy in his face echoed the exuberance of the notes and out shone the thundering pulse of the applause at the finish of the piece.
The surprise at seeing Nathaniel equaled the enjoyment she'd received from his beautiful and professionally played musical pieces. Entranced with the varied pieces he played she stayed to watch. He was amazing. From the ecstatic look on his face when he finished, looked up and saw her standing before him, she could tell he was happy to see her. The speed, in which he tidied and collected his paraphernalia and instrument, had him standing at her side before she could put it in her mind to moving away.
"I'm glad you came. I told Ivy you wouldn't. I see you brought sandwiches.”
Tongue tied, Lillie-Rose looked down at the bag of sandwiches and drinks she'd gotten from the deli next to Ivy's shop.
"Uhm, yeah." She smiled. "Ivy asked me to bring them. She should be here in a few minutes."
"I don't think so. Let's sit over there." He directed her toward an empty park table under a spread of trees. "My harp is a little heavy. Anyway, Ivy said she had a date with Bernard. She sent me a text a little earlier to say she would be leaving at lunch time. See," He pointed to the traffic on the street. "There she goes now."
Lillie-Rose's gaze followed the direction of his finger. And sure enough, Ivy's black Aston Martin, whipped around the corner and out of sight.
Biting her bottom lip and shaking her head in frustration at falling into another one of Ivy's little setups.
"I'm such an idiot." Lillie-Rose muttered under her breath while dividing the contents of the bag between the two of them.
Check out the interviews of the characters at IN THE CHAIR: http://theinterviewedcharacter.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_25.html
The Guys- YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER
The Girls: GRAB YOUR GLASS SLIPPERS