“Higher, Mama! Higher!” Milo squealed with glee as I lifted him up and swung him around and around. It was a warm and sunny day and we were enjoying some time at the park together. It’d been three glorious months since we’d left our old lives behind and moved to the peaceful desert town of Tuckerwood. It was so quiet here, you could almost hear the tumbleweeds passing through the streets. It was exactly what we needed.
“Okay, little guy. I think that’s enough of that…we don’t want to get too dizzy.” I kissed him on the cheek and set him down. “It’s time to go get some lunch…how about we eat then come back here later?” I mentioned to him as I straightened my clothes but he wasn’t listening…he took off with his hands stretched out in front of him. “Look Mama! Puppy!” I caught up with him just in time to stand in between him and the strange dog. “You can’t run up to animals like this, Milo! You could’ve been hurt!” I scolded him.
“It’s fine, mam. Cinnamon is completely harmless.” I whirled around and came to face to face with a handsome redhead. “You can pet her if you’d like.” He smiled down at Milo who in turn stuck out his lower lip to pout. I sighed and gave in. Milo always got his way. “Go ahead.” I waited long enough to let Milo pat the dog on the head a few times. “That’s enough. Thank you.” I politely told the man and then I took Milo by the hand to lead him away. “Wait…may I ask you something?” He called after me. I halted and glanced back at him. “Yes?”
“Well…forgive me for intruding…but are you married?” His cheeks turned pink as he asked this. “No…I’m not.” I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at him warily. “Look, I’m sorry.” He apologized sincerely as he shifted his weight from one foot to another. “I’m not usually so forward. It’s just that I couldn’t help but notice you while I was walking my dog. And I had to come speak to you.” He shrugged sheepishly. “You’re a very beautiful woman.” My suspicions began to fade then. I was flattered.
“Do you think maybe I could take you out for coffee sometime?” He looked so full of hope…I knew it would be hard to let him down easy. But before I got a chance to really think it over, my mouth began moving on it’s own. “I’d love to! We should exchange phone numbers right?” He nodded his head eagerly and pulled his cellphone from his pocket. “Oh…I’m Paul, by the way.” He introduced himself with a shy smile. “Well hello, Paul. It’s a real pleasure to meet you.” I flirted shamelessly as I stuck out my hand for him to shake. “My name is Rachel.”