From Juanita Kees
A Friendship Affair
I met my knight in shining armour at work. He thought I was a snob. I thought he was arrogant. The only thing to like about him was his car. He’d stare at me coldly and I’d do my best to ignore him. Someone had to break the ice.
Over time, we warmed enough to each other for a ‘How was your weekend’ chat and we realized we had a few friends in common. We drifted into an easy friendship until that dreaded night back in May 1988.
I was on my third blind date in a week and found myself alone at the bar, watching as my date chatted up a slim and sexy blonde with long, skinny legs. Far removed from the 5ft 2inch (in heels) Betty Boop type I resembled. My dream date had forgotten all about me. The bartender looked at me with pity in his eyes. He’d seen it all before.
“Want to call a taxi?” he asked, placing my Fluffy Duck on a coaster.
I shook my head and waved a hand at my drink. “That was my last cash.”
He pushed 20c across the counter. “Make a call.”
A little tipsy, I made my way towards the coin-operated phone booth. Who was I going to call? If I called my dad, he’d kill me for being out on a blind date. I went through a mental list of my friends. Most of them would be out and those who weren’t, didn’t have their driver’s licenses yet. There was only one person I could trust not to tell anyone of yet another date disaster—Mr Arrogant, who would undoubtedly spend the drive home saying ‘I told you so’.
His voice was sleepy and sexy as he picked up on the sixth ring. “Yep?”
“Gav? I’m in a little trouble.”
“Again?” I heard the rustle of sheets and the thump of a pillow. “Where are you?”
“Down at the Humewood Hotel. My date’s taken off with someone else.”
His chuckle sent anger spiraling down my spine.
“You know what? Don’t bother. I’ll walk.”
“Steady on there, Shortshit. I’m on my way.” He sighed. “Meet me out front in twenty minutes.”
I hung up, gathered my handbag under my arm and went to stand in the freezing wind, and waited. Twenty minutes later, I heard the purr of the VW’s engine as it slid into the ‘no parking’ zone. Gav leaned across and shoved the door open.
“Get in,” he barked.
I slid onto the buttery soft leather seat and embraced the warmth of the heater and the comforting smell of Gav’s cologne.
He took me back to his place, made me hot chocolate, tossed me a pair of his track pants and an old sweatshirt, and told me to go to bed. I did, gratefully. Later he slipped in beside me, gathered me in his arms and held me close. Twenty five years later, he still holds me the same way.
Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now proudly Australian, Juanita is a freelance editor and proofreader. She escapes the real world by reading and writing romantic fiction. Juanita is a keen volunteer and member at the Romance Writers of Australia. When she’s not writing, editing or proofreading, Juanita is the cleaning fairy and mother to three boys (hubby included, his toys are just a little more expensive). Her not-so-miniature dachshund, Sam, is her critique partner and keeps her company while writing.
Juanita’s novel Under the Hood tells the story of a strong, smart mechanic and the new boss who doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.