The Big Decision, a short story by Nobie. Date added: 2012-08-03. Times viewed: 623.
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- How in the hell did I get myself into this mess? Until two days ago my life was pretty ordinary. I had my weekly routine down to a science. Monday through Friday I went to my place of employment, on the weekend I spent time with my fianc©' either at his house or mine, and everyday at least once a day I talked to my sister on the phone. Simple, no worries, no problems. On Thursday morning I pulled into my parking space at my regular time, as I walked across the parking lot I saw him. I eyeballed his tall frame from head to toe, mumbling under my breath "Now that's an attractive man." Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking at him like a single lady hoping to get picked up, as I said earlier I am engaged, but I'm not blind. Later in that same day a colleague walked into my office followed by five people from human resources at our cooperate office. The man had seen earlier was one of them. That was the first time I had a chance to see his face, something about him seemed so familiar. I quickly allowed my eyes to look down his body, even fully clothed I could tell he was muscular, he had to work out. My eyes slowly looked up to his face; strangely he was starring at me with the oddest grin and he winked at me. Embarrassed, I looked down at a piece of paper on my desk, not looking up again until my office was empty. As the work day passed I thought no more of the fine man in the blue suit until he knocked on my opened office door.
"Little miss Kitty Cat, I couldn't believe it is you, so how have ya been?" he asked in a deep baritone voice.
Startled by the sound of his voice I asked, "Do I know you?"
He walked further into my office shaking his head back and forth, "Don't tell me you don't recognize me, I know it has been some years, but as I recall our time together was unforgettable." I must have had a bewildered look on my face because he then said, "I guess it was only unforgettable to me, I'm sorry to have bothered you Ms. Hawthorne."
I stood up, "Call me Nicole; I'm sorry what is your name again?"
He extended his hand, "Falcon, Falcon Smith."
I shook his hand. "Please refresh my memory, from where do we know each other?"
He released my hand and stepped back. "If you don't remember that's allright. I should let you get back to work." He swiftly turned and walked out of the door. For the rest of the day I could not get my mind back to work. I puzzled my brain trying to remember how I knew him. At the end of the day I walked around the call center trying to see him, he was nowhere to be found.
At home I called my sister Trish, we knew the same people, and maybe she could help me with this mystery. I took a deep breath before saying, "A group of HR executives came to my job today and one of them says he knows me, he called me Kitty Cat."
Trish laughed, "Kitty Cat, no one has called you that since college. Maybe he went to college with us."
I thought about that for a second. "No I think I would have remembered if he went to the same college. Plus he's older, he must have known me cause only my closest friends called me that. When I first saw him he looked familiar to me, I just can't put my finger on it."
Trish yarned, "Who are you kidding? You don't remember anyone from then." She giggled. "That was during your "hung over" years, I still don't know how you graduated."
Thinking back made me smile, "Don't be mad cause I enjoyed my youth and you stayed home studying. I must admit, I did have a good time."
Trish laughed, "Stayed home studying, how could I do that, you dragged me out with you almost every night. You don't know how happy I was when you finally grew up, and got a real job. And when you met Mickey all my prayers where answered! If I were you I wouldn't worry about it, you'll remember. Look, I would love to continue talking to you about the drunk and passed out days of Nicole but I'm tired. My better half is downstairs with the baby, so I'm gonna take advantage of this and go to bed."
"OK, I'm waiting for Mickey to call me anyways. Give my niece a kiss for me, and tell your husband I said hello. Talk to you tomorrow."
Mickey and I decided that we would take our vacations separately this year, since we already had plans before we got engaged. Therefore he is out of town for a week with two of his fraternity brothers. Every night before bed we talk to each other on the phone, the conversation usually doesn't last long, just a brief description of how our day went. Most people think we have a strange relationship, more like siblings than a couple. But I don't mind because I know he will always be there for me. After I said good night to Mickey I lay in my bed in heavy thought, I just couldn't understand why I didn't remember Falcon. I tossed and turned until somewhere between midnight and one o'clock when I finally drifted off to sleep, and I remembered...in a dream.
The commute to work the next morning was nerve wrecking. I could not stop my hands from shaking, my stomach was in knots and I had the worst headache. I hoped that whatever the business Falcon had here was over. The thought of seeing him made my heart skip beats. How was I going to face him without revealing that I know who he is? I pulled into my usual parking space and walked into the building on spaghetti legs. As I passed my co workers their faces where blurry, I quickly walked by saying "Good morning" trying desperately to make it to my office. As I walked threw the call center I kept my head down, looking at my feet, with only a few feet to go before reaching the sanctity of a closed office door. I glanced up; he was standing in the far corner with his back against the wall. Heat rose from below my waist to the top of my head, I could not look away. Images of "the dream" flashed before my eyes. I quickened my step until I reached my office, and closed the door behind me. Shaking, I slid into the desk chair and glanced at my calendar relieved that I had scheduled meetings all day. Normally I hated being cooped up in meetings but today I welcomed them, almost skipping from one to the other. As long as I was in the conference room or from one office to another the chances of running into Falcon was little to none. The day went by quickly, the later it became the more at ease I felt. I knew I couldn't continue ducking him. Especially since we work at the same company, the time would come when we bumped into each other. I would have to figure out how to handle it when it happens.
Only two hours left before it was time to finally go home. Since I didn't get any work done, I decided to finish at least one report. I sat at my desk and as I turned on my computer I noticed the printer paper was low. I felt dismayed at the thought of leaving my office to retrieve paper, so I ducked around the corner while glancing through out the call center. I took a deep breath in relief, the coast is clear, and walked in a fast pace to the supply room. As I bent down to pull the copy paper from the bottom shelf I felt someone standing behind me, I quickly stood up.
"So you do know who I am." Falcon stood so close to me I could almost feel the hardness of his body. "Are you gonna answer me?"
"I wasn't aware you asked me a question." I had to tell myself...breathe.
He bent down and whispered, "Do you remember who I am?"
I slowly turned around. "Yes." I was looking straight at that broad chest; I looked up into his eyes which were beautiful. Oh Jesus Nicole...breathe.
"Why did you pretend not to know me?" Falcon bent down closer, his lips where almost touching mine.
"It was..." I tried to look away, "a one night stand."
"I want to see you after work, meet me somewhere."
"OK." What in the hell is wrong with me?
"I will come by your office later with the details." Falcon reached up and slowly ran his fingers down the side of my face, turned around and walked out.
I stood motionless with my back up against the shelves what seemed like an hour, I couldn't force my legs to move. It took great concentration to will my body to make it back to my office. I sat at my desk thinking of different ways I could break this "date" with Falcon. I could not go out with this man. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe it was the facts that he was standing so close to me that had my mind in a fog, but now that I am clear headed again I will defiantly tell him that I will not be meeting him anywhere after work and that's that. Every time I thought I heard someone walking down the hall to wards my office my heart began beating faster. At four forty five, fifteen minutes before quitting time Falcon stood at the door of my office. "Are you about ready to leave? It's this wonderful bar and grill around the corner. I figure we could get a drink, and if you are hungry they serve delicious Buffalo wings."
I shuffled papers back and forth on the desk refusing to look at him. "I don't think it's a good idea for us to go anywhere tonight, you see, I'm engaged. I'm sorry, I should have told you earlier, in the supply room. I hope you understand."
"Congratulations on your engagement, your fiance' is a lucky man. But what does that have to do with two people getting together to have a drink and maybe something to eat?" Falcon asked scratching the gray patch in the front of his head.
I looked at him suspiciously; he was acting totally different from the man that had me pinned against the shelves in the supply room. I considered rejecting his invitation again, but instead said, "I guess it has nothing to do with two people having a drink. It would be nice to catch up, since it's been twelve years since the last time I saw you. OK, I will go. But I must warn you, I'm expecting a call from my fiance' so I can't stay long."
"Don't worry I won't keep you long." Did he just say that sarcastically? No, I must be imagining things because he was smiling as he continued. " Let's just meet each other there, that way we will both be in our own cars. Do you know the place I'm talking about?"
"Yes, I know the place. And you're right they do have tasty Buffalo wings." Wait a minute did he remember? No, it must be a coincidence; he couldn't possibly remember what I like to eat when I drink.
"Meet you there at around six fifteen? I gotta go finish up, see ya later." Falcon turned and walked away.
When I was sure Falcon was out of hearing range, I picked up the phone and dialed my sister number, as soon as she answered, I said, "Do you remember that night we drove thirty miles to that little club? You know, right after I broke up with that control freak."
"Yea, I remember. That was the night you left me. You went home with that beautiful man, what was his name?"
"Yea, Falcon. What made you think of him? Don't tell me he's the man at your job! Is he still sexy?"
"As hell. I'm going out for drinks with him after work. Maybe it's not a good idea for me to be alone with him. But then again, technically we won't be alone; we are going to a bar."
"You met him in a club, so technically you weren't alone then, but you still left with him. Sometimes I don't know what you are thinking! Do I have to say it....Mickey, the man you are going to marry. What about him? This is the advice I have for you; don't do anything that you would get upset about if Mickey did the same thing. Just think about this, how would you feel if Mickey went out to have drinks with some girl he had slept with in the past? Would that be alright with you?"
"Damn Trish!" I had to lower my voice before continuing "I was twenty two years old when that happened with Falcon, will you ever let me live down how I was in college. I'm a different person now; of course I haven't forgotten Mickey. It's just drinks for Christ sakes; you act like I told you I was meeting the man at a motel or something. I don't see anything wrong with having a few drinks with an old friend and it wouldn't upset me if Mickey did the same."
Trish sighed. "Look, all I'm saying is be careful what you're doing. It's so easy to find yourself sliding down a slippery slope and I don't want to see anybody get hurt."
I began to calm down; Trish always knew how to diffuse a situation. "Thanks for your concern, but I know what I'm doing."
"OK, if that's the way you feel. You know what's best for you. Have a good time, but not too good of a time. And limit that to one drink, you know you can't handle liquor."
"Thanks baby sis, don't worry I will be fine. I'll call you when I get home. Talk to you later, goodbye."
I hung up the receiver and sat back in my chair thinking, it's no big deal, I'll just have one or two drinks, a few laughs and then I will get out of there. To my dismay I wasn't able to leave the office until twenty minutes after six. I rushed to my car and drove the short distance to "MC ravens Bar and Grill". I pushed open the heavy glass doors and stood still to allow my eyes to adjust to the dimness. I looked around for Falcon. He was sitting at a booth in the back of the restaurant. As I walked to the table I noticed how Falcon eyes watched my body, it made me feel tingly and strange at the same time. When I reached the table I explained, "The project I was working on took longer than I thought. I hope I didn't keep you too long."
"No problem, have a seat. Do you want me to go to the bar and get you a drink? Apple martini right?" Without allowing me to answer either question Falcon excused himself and made his way to the bar.
He returned with an apple martini and what looked like a rum and coke. As he sat across from me I openly looked at his face. He hadn't aged much from what I could recollect. The only difference was the patch of gray in the front of his coal black hair. He had a strong chin and high cheek bones, dimples and perfect white teeth. I picked up the martini and took a sip before asking, "How tall are you?"
He shifted in his seat, "Six-four. I really don't want to talk about me, so who is this lucky guy that will have the pleasure of calling you his wife?"
He looked at me with piercing green eyes; I blushed and cleared my throat, "Um...his name is Mickey. He owns a catering business; we have been dating for three years, engaged for about six months. Let me see---"
Falcon reached across the table and grabbed me by my hand, "He sounds boring. Does he make you bite and scratch Wild Cat?"
Sweat popped on my forehead and the material of the turtle neck I was wearing began shrinking squeezing my neck. I looked down at the large strong fingers holding mine. My mind told my hand to pull away but my hand refused to move. "Don't call me that." I whispered and cleared my throat again. "Since what I'm saying is boring you, tell me what's been going on with you. Are you married?" I held my breath hoping that the answer was yes.
"No. I was married for ten years. Now I'm divorced. Why did you tell me not to call you Wild Cat, if I recall you didn't mind that night?"
I sat back finally pulling my hand away, I felt flushed, like I had fever. I picked up a napkin from the table and dabbed my face. "That was a long time ago. Did you ask me here tonight to make me feel uncomfortable?"
Falcon ignored my question. "I was very upset when I woke up the next morning and you were gone. I kicked myself for not getting your number or finding out where you lived. Why did you disappear?"
I thought about that for a second before answering, "I guess I was embarrassed. I was young and inexperienced, and the things that I allowed you to do to me that night. The things that I did to you. I didn't want to face you the next day."
He took a deep breath before saying, "It seems to me you are still embarrassed about what we did together. I don't understand it. They way I see it two consenting adults should have the freedom to love and make love anyway that makes them feel good. Why be ashamed?"
The sound of Falcon's deep baritone voice was like a symphony to my ears. I sat quiet thinking about what he just said. Suddenly I started to feel anxious, I looked around the restaurant surprised at how crowded it had gotten since I first arrived. I began scooting out of the booth to stand up, once standing I dabbed the sweat off of my forehead with a napkin. I shook my head back and forth saying, "I have to leave." I turned around walking quickly out of the restaurant. I could hear Falcon's foot steps behind me, as soon as I pushed my way out of the glass door he grabbed my arm forcing me to stop and turn to him. He pulled me as I fell against his body. He reached down, cupping my chin to force my head up and kissed me. As soon as his lips touched mine my body melted, I closed my eyes tightly allowing the sweet musky smell of his cologne to engulf me, allowing the feel of his muscular hard body to hold me. I didn't want it to end. After several minutes our lips parted. Falcon kept my eyes locked with his and mouthed "Come home with me." as his hand grabbed mine. He stepped back, turned around and began walking toward his car. I followed.
The next morning after Falcon took me to get my car I drove home filled with guilt. How could I betray Mickey like that? The whole night with Falcon I didn't think of Mickey one time, but know my mind has nothing but thoughts of him. I reached into my purse to retrieve my cell phone, I had three messages. The first one said: Hi, this is Falcon. I hope you're thinking about what we talked about last night. We both know that we should be together, call me later. Second. Don't think I don't know what you are doing. You are nasty...this is your sister. Call me. Third: Hey baby, I'm sorry I'm calling so late; I guess you are probably asleep. I miss you, can't wait to see you tomorrow. I'll call you later. Love you. Bye. I erased the messages, pulled into my driveway and walked into my house. I picked up the cordless phone, as I walked to the couch I dialed my sister's number. Her phone rang twice before she answered, "Good morning nasty girl, you should be ashamed of yourself!"
I sat down before saying, 'I am. But I have to admit Trish I had a wonderful time. I don't remember that last time I enjoyed myself so much. I don't think I have ever been with a man that makes me feel the way he does. The whole time I'm with him it's like I'm in a fantasy, like a romance book. My head is still spinning."
Trish grunted, "Well, while you're in your romance book the real world is turning. And you have a real wedding to think about. A wedding that suppose to happen in two months."
That is the one thing I love most about my younger sister. No matter how many times she warns me not to do something, if I do it anyways she never says I told you so. I sat back with a frown on my face. "I know, I know. And Mickey's coming home tomorrow. The only thing that I know for sure is that I will never tell him what happened, I could never hurt him like that."
"Now I can agree with you about that. But what Mickey really deserves is a woman that is committed to him, I love you sis but I have to say you are dead wrong in this. You have a damn good relationship with Mickey; he is supportive, loving and hell, he's financially stable. Not to mention you don't even know this Falcon guy, you have history with Mickey, what more do you want?"
I heard my inner voice say...Passion, but I didn't allow my lips to utter the word. I closed my eyes took in a deep breath and said, "I hear every thing you're saying, but I really don't want to discuss this now. I'll call you later. Goodbye." As I hung up the phone I swung my legs off the floor onto the couch and started to think, what do I really want? Mickey was everything Trish said, he was...safe. But she was wrong about one thing, I did know Falcon, I knew how he made me feel...excited, sexy, on fire. Passion or security, if you where me, which one would you choose?
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