As for work, I loved not having to be there until 3pm. I no longer had to wake up to a blaring alarm every morning. Instead, I could wake up at my leisure and still have hours to spare before I had to head to work. To be honest, I wasn't sure why our call center had requested more employees to switch to the evening shift. I was one of 6 employees transferred to the evening shift and we were left with a lot of down time in between calls, and some evenings, no phone calls came in for the last hour of my shift. Most evenings, I spent my spare time doodling in a notebook, chatting with nearby coworkers or exchanging increasingly flirty texts with Eric.
We hadn't yet made plans to get together, but we texted each other daily. I learned that not only was he gorgeous, he was charming and funny. I had been out of the dating loop for four years and had forgotten how fun it could be getting to know someone new. Texting seemed like an easy way to break the ice between us before we officially had a date. What started out as simple getting-to-know you messages had soon turned to flirtatious messages, almost bordering on racy. Every time my phone vibrated in my purse, I couldn't help but grin, knowing it would be Eric and anticipating what he would say.
One evening, two weeks after we exchanged our first text message, Eric and I finally had plans to get together. I woke up early, feeling nervous and excited. I made my way to the kitchen where Kate was preparing a cup of coffee to take to work with her.
"So, today's the big date, huh? You nervous?" Kate teased, raising an eyebrow.
"Um, yeah," I laughed, reaching for a clean mug, "of course I'm nervous! We're going to dinner, then going to watch movies at his apartment and we'll see how it goes from there."
"Well, have fun. If you wanna borrow anything from my closet, feel free. I gotta go, I won't be home until late."
With that, Kate was out the door and I found myself alone with nearly four hours to kill before Eric arrived. I busied myself with some simple cleaning around the apartment while I waited until it was time to start getting ready. I took my time showering, exfoliating and poring over an outfit to wear. I wanted to wear something cute and flirty, yet completely casual. I finally settled on a simple salmon colored sundress that hugged my curves without being tight or revealing and set off the slight tan I had developed. I left my hair loose and wavy, letting it fall over my shoulders, while I kept my makeup light with just a hint of shimmer across my eyelids, lips and cheekbones. I glanced at my phone and realized Eric should be arriving within the next fifteen minutes.
I turned and admired myself in front of Kate's full length mirror and smoothed my dress. I thought I looked cute with just a hint of sexy, and hoped Eric would agree. As I made one final appraisal of my hair and makeup, I heard a knock at the door. I winked at myself in the mirror, and dissolved into nervous giggles as I headed for the living room.
With a deep breath and a brilliant smile, I pulled open the front door. Imagine my surprise when I found myself face to face not with Eric, but with Michael...