Rachel pulled a long French fry out of its box and dunked it in ketchup.
“You know you didn’t have to pick Wendy’s for lunch.” Curtis said for the second or third time.
“Don’t you like Wendy’s”
“I do but when I invited you to lunch I didn’t expect to bring you some place where your food was served on paper. I would have sprung for more.”
“I know.” She looked up at him. “This doesn’t count. You still owe me dinner.”
“I see.” He picked up his cheeseburger and started eating again.
Shannon would not approve at all if she knew where she was today. And a couple months ago she probably wouldn’t have been here either. Possibly she would but she wouldn’t be here feeling the way she did. Curtis balled up the paper his burger came in and set it off to the side of the table.
“You’re awfully quiet.” His hand moved toward her side of the table then hesitated. She desperately wanted his hand to cross the invisible line down the center of the table and touch hers.
“Sorry. Not much of a conversationalist today I guess.”
“I wish I could do something. Do you want to talk about it?”
Of course she did but talking wouldn’t help, especially not with Curtis. She couldn’t risk Curtis getting upset over her date with Drew and there was no way to tell him about the roses and not tell him who she thought could be leaving them.
“Not really. I don’t want to think about it right now.” She moved her hand closer to the invisible line down the middle of the table that separated the two of them. She, of course, couldn’t stop thinking about ‘it’. ‘It’ had been her all consuming thought since last night. Before that there was a lingering voice in the back of her mind warning of danger but that danger now had a face. A face her mother had brought in to her life. A face that knew her address and all about her.
Curtis reached across the line and touched the back of her hand. “Why don’t I take you to your mom’s house and you can come out and pick your car up another day. You look exhausted.”
She heard the sounds of his words but her attention was on the searing heat below his fingertips on the back of her hand. Tingles ran up her arm and straight to her heart. Her muscles relaxed in a moment and she knew that this was one of the little loves penetrating the armor that had surrounded her heart since Nate hurt her.
Since Shannon had helped her erase the pain.
Since the days when she had stopped praying.
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at www.WritingCareerCoach.com
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This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
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