Getting to Know You
It was only after John finished his report that he remembered he’d invited Keisha to dinner and he hadn’t any dinner. He closed up the office and drove down to the market to find a couple of steaks and go-withs. He found a bottle of the same kind of wine he noticed she was drinking at her house and bought that as well. Charcoal…he had to have charcoal. Once his shopping was done he rushed home and took a shower pulling on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. He stopped beside his bed and quickly changed his sheets…just in case.
The thought crossed his mind as he tossed the dirty sheets in the hamper that he might be getting ahead of himself. He took a quick tour pushing shoes under the sofa and gathering up empty chip bags and dirty glasses from the coffee table. John was usually neat but for the last few days he’d gone slovenly. He was beginning to have second thoughts about the whole evening it had been an impulsive thing for him to do and he wasn’t usually impulsive.
The sight of John at the doorway with his wavy hair still damp from a shower and barefoot brought a smile to Keisha’s face. “I hope I’m not late, I dropped Mori off and got into a conversation with Mrs. Warrick.”
“No, not at all um come in,” John stepped away from the door.
“John this is nice you’ve so much room,” she commented.
John looked around, “it’s rather bland compared to your place. I bought it furnished.”
“Oh mine is a hodge-podge of everything,” Keisha noticed he’d turned on his music and found the source to be a CD player. “Thank you for inviting me John.”
“Oh sure um would you like a drink?”
“Yes that would be nice,” she wandered to the sliding door that was opened to a small patio and his charcoal grill.
“Not much of a back garden,” he said handing her a glass of wine.
“It’s all you need isn’t it? I like the front garden did you do all that planting?”
“I just replaced what died the landscaping was already there.”
“Oh I brought you something, your diffuser.”
“Oh, yeah, he said smiling as he took it from her. “I uh really don’t know what to do with this Keisha.”
Keisha smiled it was only a ruse to get him back in her shop anyway, “I’ll set it up for you.”
“I’d better get the steaks ready they need to sit a while with the rub.”
“Rub, what is it you do exactly?”
“I just mix up some stuff and rub it in the meat, it’s nothing special.” John went about preparing the steaks and Keisha set up his diffuser and placed it on his coffee table glancing at the orange and brown striped sofa, it did look comfortable if a little worn.
“John, you need to come shop in my store,” Keisha was thinking what could be done with his place. It really wasn’t bad just needed a pick-me-up.”
“For what?” he asked from the kitchen.
Keisha walked into the kitchen and leaned on the counter, “just for a few things you were talking about it being bland, it’s really not that bad you just need a few accessories.”
John looked up, “accessories eh? Like what?”
“A few pieces of artwork, maybe a throw and some pillows for your sofa.”
“I wouldn’t know what to buy, Keisha, I’m not much into decorating.”
“Would you allow me to pick out some things for you to try?”
John smiled, “it’s that bad huh?”
“Oh no I didn’t mean that, I’m sorry, I…”
“Hey, I know what it is, yeah go ahead and pick out what it needs. It’s not like I have a lot of visitors, in fact you’re the first,” he said smiling and washing his hands. “Guess I’m not very sociable.”
“You’ve lived here all this time and nobody has come to your door?”
“Only my chief and I didn’t count him as a visitor.”
“Well I feel honored. Oh I meant to tell you I met your banker today he was in with his wife, or girlfriend not sure which.”
“Max Skinner, he’s a nice enough bloke.”
“You’re learning the lingo, yes he seemed very nice and Dee, that was her name, really liked my shop and said she would be back. They live over in Port Auckland in an empty house she’s trying to furnish. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“No I think I can handle it, just steak and a baked potato and a salad, the salad is already made.” John brushed his hair back and picked up his beer, “more wine?”
“Yes thank you.” Keisha wanted to ask him about his leaving Alaska but thought she would have to know him better and she did want to know him better.
John filled her glass, he was relaxing a little now and finding once again how easy she was to be with. She touched her glass to his bottle and met his eyes.
“To a nice evening and mean steaks,” she smiled.
“Mean steaks,” he grinned, “ and a beautiful lady.”