I successfully made it to my car and focused on getting myself sorted by stowing my purse and travel coffee mug. I connected my MP3 player, finding a good song that would put me in the mood to work and hooked my seatbelt. I did this so I wouldn’t look at Detective Mitch Lawson and his Seven Point Five coming down and driving away. I could watch him for hours. I knew this even though I’d never done it. Doing that would make me a sort of stalker and even insignificant stalker-type behavior was creepy.
It took me awhile to get sorted. Unfortunately by the time I had Grand Funk ready to shout out “We’re An American Band”, I was belted, the ignition was turned and I looked up to back out, Seven Point Five was gone.
But Detective Mitch Lawson remained. I knew this not because I looked for him but because I couldn’t miss him. There was an empty spot next to mine and his SUV was in the next spot. He was also in that spot, standing outside the driver’s side door to his truck, his hips to it, his arms crossed on his chest and his eyes were on me like he was watching me.
This had never happened before and was also against all the laws that ruled my universe. Therefore, I may have stared for a second before my mind started tripping over itself trying to figure out what to do.
I decided on a little wave which was what I did. This earned me another smile from Detective Mitch Lawson that I felt whoosh through my belly in a really good way.
Okay, that was it. That was all I could take.
I looked away, hit play on my MP3 player, Don Brewer started beating out the intro to “We’re An American Band” and I did my best to back out without hitting anything.
And I just managed to drive away without looking again at Detective Mitch Lawson, his perfect body, his great hair, his fabulous lips or his beautiful eyes.
“Hello this is Mara Hanover in unit 6C. I’ve called three times today and I really need someone to come over and look at my bathroom tap. It won’t turn off. Can you please have the maintenance guy come around? Thanks.”
I flipped my cell shut after leaving my voicemail message and stared at my bathroom faucet that hadn’t turned off after I was finished with it that morning. I called the Management Office of the complex before going to work (leaving a message). When I didn’t get a call back, I called at lunch (leaving another message). Now I was home after work and it was past office hours but someone was supposed to be on call all the time. I should have had a callback. I needed a callback. What I didn’t need was a water bill out the roof or to try to go to sleep listening to running water while thinking of my money flowing down the drain.
I sighed and kept staring at the water running full blast out of my faucet.
I was a woman who had lived alone her entire adult life. I’d once had a long-term relationship with a Five Point Five that got nowhere near living together. This was because I was a Two Point Five, he was a Five Point Five and he wanted a Nine Point Five. Therefore, we were both destined for a broken heart. He gave me mine. He later found a Six Point Five that wanted a Nine Point Five. She got herself a breast enhancement and nose job which made her a firm Seven (if you didn’t count the fact that she thought she was a Ten point Five and acted like it which really knocked her down to a Six) who broke his heart.
Regardless of the fact that I was now thirty-one and had lived alone since I was eighteen, I knew nothing about plumbing or cars. Every time something happened with my plumbing or my car, I vowed to myself that I would learn something about plumbing or cars. I would get that said something fixed and I’d totally forget my vow. Then I’d lament forgetting my vow in times like I was experiencing right now.
I walked out of my master bath, through my bedroom, down the hall into my open plan living-slash-kitchen-slash-dining area and out the front door. I crossed the breezeway and knocked on Derek and LaTanya’s door.
Derek knew something about plumbing. I knew this because of two things. First he was a man and men had a sixth plumbing sense. Second I knew this because he was a plumber.
LaTanya opened the door and her big, dark eyes widened with LaTanya Delight.
LaTanya Delight was different than anyone else’s delight and therefore deserved a capital letter. It was louder, brasher, brighter and cheerier. The look on her face communicated her joy at seeing me like she and I had been separated at birth and was right then being blissfully reunited; not like she’d just seen me the night before when she came over to watch Glee with me.
“Hey girl!” she squealed through a big smile. “Perfect timing. I’m about to mix a batch of mojitos. Get your ass in here and I’ll pour us some cocktails!”