(Continued from last week's story)
"It's such a beautiful night! A perfect night for a bottle of wine and a hot tub!"
Folks, it just slipped out without thinking...
"I have a hot tub and I'm pretty sure there's a bottle of Boones Farm still in the fridge."
Her eyes met mine and I saw a look that I'd not seen in many years.
"Cool! Okay...I'm in!"
My mouth gaped open as I stood there in the dim light of the parking lot, a stupified look on my face.
"You'd seriously go home with me? You'd throw caution to the wind and take off with some man twenty years older than you in the middle of the night? You'd get in my hot tub? You know what hot tubs lead to?"
She giggled. Her hazel eyes seemed to dance in the neon light as she pursed her lips before replying.
"First off, I am not some easy pickup. But yes, I would totally go home with you. I would get naked and get in your hot tub and drink wine with you until the sun came up. As for anything else, I don't know. So, if you think sex is on the menu..."
She shrugged her shoulders and smiled, lowering her head as if she had embarrassed herself.
A million thoughts whirled through my mind. This wasn't what I came searching for tonight. Not some one night stand, a hook-up, a quickie, or a friend with benefits. Although, my male hormones raged out of control at the prospect of having this beautiful young woman in my hot tub, a healthy dose of common sense stood in my way. If I didn't follow through with this, I'd surely regret it the rest of my life. The seconds ticked by as we stood in silence, her gaze intently focused on my face as if she were trying to read my mind.
I cleared my throat and spoke, "Listen, sweetie, I am beyond flattered. I mean, this is like a historical moment...really. But I really was just joking about the hot tub."
Her eyes widened, "You don't really have a hot tub?"
"Yes, I have one and I have some wine, too. It's not really Boones Farm. Something someone gave me around Christmas...probably pretty good stuff, actually. But I never thought for a minute you'd really get in my hot tub."
I stared at the ground for a moment then leaned against the hood of the car next to her.
"I'm going to do you a big favor and walk over to my pickup and drive away. I have enjoyed this evening with you more than you will ever know. But you don't need to spend another minute with some old goat like me. You, my little friend, deserve a fine young lawyer or some up and coming doctor. A dashing young cowboy or a handsome, studly, preppy type...that's what's waiting for you. I'll not get in the way of that."
I smiled and winked at her. She laid her head against my shoulder and sighed.
"It was a good night. You are a good man, I can feel it and I sort of admire you for turning me down."
She fumbled in her purse for a pen and scratch paper.
"Call me when you want to dance again?"
I grinned as I slipped the phone number into my shirt pocket. Our eyes met and she took my arm and pulled me toward her, kissing me softly on the cheek.
"Thanks for the dances," I whispered and tipped the brim of my hat, turning on my heel and vanishing into the darkness.
As I drove through the night toward my humble little ranch house, my mind spun out of control. Regret it? I'm sure I would until my last breath. But I was on a mission, a mission to find the perfect woman, at least for me. Perfect as this girl seemed to be, she had her whole life ahead of her...kids, a house in the suburbs, a husband to cater to. Me, I already had the thoughts of retirement scurrying through my head. We were generations apart.
But this girl...this night had given me renewed hope. Perhaps I wasn't just some old, washed up wannabe Saturday night cowboy. Maybe, just maybe, I still had it in me. Perhaps there was some woman out there searching for a guy just like me. I'd chalk this night up as a great adventure, the first of many yet to come.
As the yellow stripes flashed by in the headlights of my pickup, I reached for the scratch paper in my pocket. Clenching it tightly between my fingers, I stared at the dainty handwriting in the glow of my dash lights. Rolling the window down, with a heavy heart I extended my arm into the wind...and let it go.