There she was again.
Jason Hutchison had seen her every morning this week, but she had yet to see him. Today he wasn’t going to be so quick to step away.
This was his favourite time of day. Peaceful. The insanity of work yet to begin. With coffee in hand, he spent the time before leaving for work out on his back deck. It was a time for reflection while the world was still hushed. No neighbours outside with barbeques sizzling and music blaring. Just him, his quiet thoughts, and the sunshine.
Then on Monday, his peace had been-ruffled.
As he’d stood at his railing, he’d heard a door slide open and turned toward the sound. An odd tension had arced through his body as he watched her appear on the deck of a house behind his. At his elevation, he had an unrestricted view.
She’d been in her pyjamas, and was incredibly sexy. Oh, she wasn’t wearing something revealing and skimpy. No, she was fully covered in men’s style PJs. But they were some satiny, fluid material that caressed a leggy, lithe body.
He’d stood back a little and watched as she walked out onto the deck, set down a mug, then raised her arms to the sky and stretched. After that, she settled down in a lounge chair, shook back her long, tousled dark hair, and drank whatever was in that mug. Head back, body relaxed, obviously at peace with her world.
Wow, he’d thought. Where had she come from?
Today was Friday. Every morning this week had been the same. She’d come out in her PJs, stretch toward the sun, then sit back and drink her-coffee?
And every morning he’d step back so she couldn’t see him. Since watching her like this was beginning to make him feel like a pervert, this morning he planned to make eye contact. This time, as she walked across her deck, he stayed at his railing.
About halfway across her deck she noticed him, and faltered.
Jason saluted her with his mug, and after a brief hesitation, she returned the gesture. Then she turned and headed back toward her door.
He groaned. No. Scaring her away had not been the plan.
As if his thoughts telegraphed themselves to her, she halted.
For whatever reason, she changed her mind, and direction, and instead of heading for the door, she went and sat down on her lounge chair. Head back, body relaxed, obviously at peace with her world.
He smiled. Good for her.
His relief that she hadn’t been scared away was partly-okay, mostly-selfish. However distant, he enjoyed her company while they greeted the day.
She wasn’t there the next morning.
Oh, well. It was probably just as well. No doubt, he was fantasizing about someone’s wife and mother.
Saturday afternoon, as usual, found him wheeling his cart up and down the isles of his local grocery store. And, as usual, he was muttering to himself about the crowds and the screaming kids, and asking himself why he didn’t find another time to shop. Oh yeah, because he worked all week, and like a lot of other people, this was the only time he had to do it.
As he squeezed by a little boy whining for Froot LoopsTM while his mother put Special KTM in the cart, he caught sight of a curtain of dark hair. He knew that hair-didn’t he? Hadn’t he watched it for the last five mornings as she went back into her house?
He decided to talk to her-if it really was her. Convince her to feel free to enjoy the morning despite the fact he was doing the same. And maybe-maybe find out something about her. He knew they had one thing in common. Could there be anything else?
He glanced at her face as he went by, and yes, it was her. This close he could see her expression. She was animated, vibrant. Except that changed when she saw him. All of a sudden, she looked reserved, hesitant.
He was about to speak when he saw her cell phone pressed to her ear.
Oh well. He shrugged, smiled, and started to move on.
She offered an equally tentative looking smile and wave, then turned her head and spoke into her phone.
At the last second possible before it would’ve looked obvious, Jason glanced at her left hand. Hmm, no rings. He knew plenty of men who didn’t feel the need to wear a ring despite what their wives thought, but he’d yet to meet a woman who felt that way. If they had a ring, they proudly displayed it.
Maybe she was unattached.
Hopefully he’d get another chance to talk to her. Of course, he did know where she lived, and could just go knock on her door, but that seemed a bit too pushy and creepy. He’d be the pervert who watched her every morning and a stalker. That would make a great impression!
Monday and Tuesday, he greeted the morning alone and was oddly depressed by it. Somehow, his enjoyment diminished when she wasn’t there. How could that have happened in such a short period of time?
Then Wednesday, she was back. He hated to admit-even to himself-that he’d been watching her door, but he had. He saw her the second she walked out. The first thing she did was look across to him, then wave.
He was sorry to see her fully dressed. Even though her PJ’s had covered more than what she had on now. She was wearing a power suit. Huh, so maybe she was corporate, just like him. If so, that would be another thing in common.
Over the next few days, she would pop into his mind at odd times. For someone he’d yet to have a conversation with, she’d sure made a lasting impression.
Saturday, while at the grocery store, he welcomed the crowd. In his mind, more people increased the chances of her being there.
He didn’t see her.
Then on Tuesday, he forgot to stop at his corner mailbox on the way home, so he walked over.
And there she was.
When he was about three feet away, she smiled. “Hi.”
“Hi.” He stuck out his hand. “I’m Jason Hutchison.”
She took his hand. “Heather Greer. You’re a morning person.”
“Yeah. It’s the most peaceful time of my day.”
“Me too, but sometimes my schedule doesn’t let me enjoy it.”
“I thought I was keeping you away.”
“No.” She raised a brow. “Shall we walk back together?”