Carefully I skip down the stairs to the restaurant, admittedly giddy and loving the feel of the long wool coat flapping on the back of my legs.
Worry crosses my face when I see just how fancy the place was and how under dressed I am in an old black mini skirt, stiletto heels and a newer dusky-green tee-shirt. “I’m sure whatever you are wearing under my coat is fine.” I heard him whisper in my ear.
I jumped, “Mr. Barrowman, can you hear now?”
He chuckled, “Yes, they took out the hearing devices about an hour ago.” He glanced at his watch.
He placed a hand on my back, “This really wasn’t necessary, I appreciate it immensely but really not required.” I started rambling on, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.
“Anytime my colleagues get chewed out by someone trying to help me, I have to take them out.” His easy going demeanor was relaxing my nerves and I was starting to realize he really is just a sweet normal person.
“Oh no, they told you? I’m sorry. They just ticked me off and I flew off the handle, if I need to I can go back and apologize.”
“No need for that, they needed the wake up call and I’m glad I got to see someone stand up to them for those who are afraid or unable to.” John ordered us each a Beef Wellington, after being talked out of shrimp as I am allergic, and a bottle of Medoc red wine. “So what is your story? How did you end up on that crosswalk tis morning?”
“It’s not pleasant dinner conversation Mr. Barrowman.” I smiled weakly and sipped the delicious wine.
“John, please, and I think that someone like you would have an interesting story.” He gave me his gorgeous grin and my crumbling resolve was falling faster than a bowling ball two inches off the ground.
“Umm…not much to tell really, grew up in Missouri, a very small town. My parents should have never been together, volatile is the word that comes to mind with those two. Saved up my money, graduated high school and got admitted to Oxford. Those are the highlights.” I chugged my glass and refilled it in the awkward silence.
“What happened to your mom?” he asked quietly, his demeanor changed from his happy usual self to one of solemn.
Suddenly my seat was uncomfortable, I squirmed around. “umm… my…father kind of a took care of her two months ago. He is in prison now.” I keep my eyes focused on the white table cloth, picking at imaginary threads.
“I’m sorry. You are right, not a good dinner talk. I’m sorry you’re father was an arse. It sounds like it is behind you now and you are rising up from the ashes.” It was is turn to squirm. He was changing the subject, “What are you going to study at University?”
“Music. I’m pretty good with a cello, but I would like to be a classical music professor.” I feel the blush rising in my face, I’m still embarrassed about my choice of career. “My family has never thought of it as a good choice, but it’s where I want to be.
“Are you just into classical music or do you like other music?” He must have noticed that it was a touchy subject and tried to change it.
We talked for four hours through the great dinner and the most amazing chocolate lava cake ever. After he helped me put my coat on, he called for a car and decided to escort me back to the hostel.
Tune in next week for Chapter Five and don’t forget to like my Author page for updates on this and more!