Today’s short story is entitled “Almost Blind” and was partly inspired by some of my experiences in junior high. I hope you enjoy it!
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
By Celise Saenz
Micah Weston raised his eyebrows. He stared across the table at his legal assistant and ex-girlfriend, Kara. “You did what?”
“I set you up on a blind date.”
“Exes don’t schedule dates for each other.”
“I’m your friend and friends do.”
Kara was right. They had only dated a month before deciding they had no romantic future. “It’s still strange.”
“Get over it. You’ll love Bree. She’s the manager at a bookstore I visit a couple times a week. She’s beautiful, but not in a glamorous way. A little quiet, but loves to talk about books. Something you two have in common.”
“Quiet’s good. A change from what I’m used to. No offense.”
Kara flashed a grin. “None taken.”
“So how did I come up in your conversation?”
“She eats lunch every day at the park across from the bookstore. I saw her sitting on a park bench one day when I was passing through and stopped to talk. She was reading a legal thriller, and I thought of you.”
“And she agreed? Just like that?”
“I mentioned how your ebony hair is just long enough to make a girl want to twirl it around her finger, and how your ice blue eyes make women fall in love on the spot. When I told her you became a lawyer to fight for justice, she begged me to introduce you to her.”
Micah rolled his eyes. “My looks didn’t work on you.”
“Initially, they did. You’re meeting her Friday at seven, outside the bookstore under the covered patio. It’s up to you to plan the rest.”
“What, you didn’t pick the restaurant?” Micah rubbed the back of his neck. “You could have checked with me first, said something. I might be busy tomorrow.”
“You’re not. It’s my job to know your schedule, and I have two special words for you now.”
“What are they?”
The next morning Micah woke up groggy and grumpy. The idea of going out with someone he hadn’t met kept him awake throughout the night.
After showering, Micah dressed in a pin-striped suit. Since he’d be in court part of the day, he opted for his brown wing-tipped leather shoes and light blue tie. Deciding to skip breakfast, he fed his ferret and grabbed a cup of hazelnut flavored coffee on the way out of his downtown Dallas loft.
When Micah entered his thirteenth-floor office suite, Kara looked up from her computer. “Good morning. You’re due in court in thirty minutes.” She glanced at the clock. “A little behind, aren’t we?”
“Perk up. You’ve got a date tonight.”
“Thanks for the reminder.”
At eleven o’clock the case ended in a settlement, giving Micah two hours before his next appointment. The courthouse was less than a block away from the park Kara mentioned. I could take a stroll. Maybe I’ll get a glimpse of her.
Micah headed towards the small bridge and stopped in the middle of it, resting his arms on the railing. From there, he could see much of the park in every direction, but he didn’t have to look far. Not over forty yards away, he spied Bree. She sat eating pieces of honeydew melon and reading a book. After a moment, she placed the book into the wicker basket next to her and retrieved a napkin. She wiped her mouth as she lifted her head and viewed the park.
It was then that Micah recognized her. Her light brown hair was now chestnut and she no longer wore glasses, but it was her. Micah could never forget the girl he’d made a high school career out of tormenting twelve years ago. He whispered the name to himself. “Sabrina Michaels.”
Guilt washed over him. He’d known Sabrina liked him, and the crazy thing was, he had liked her, too. But she was an outcast and the captain of the basketball team didn’t date outcasts. To keep his friends from discovering his feelings for Sabrina, he’d made fun of her and even made her the focus of his practical jokes. “What should I do, Lord? Tell her now and save her the trouble of coming tonight?”
He couldn’t stand her up. That would cause her more pain, and he’d still be miserable. Micah turned and walked back towards his car, a plan for redemption forming in his mind.
At 6:45 Micah sat down at one of the patio tables outside of the bookstore, praying Sabrina would forgive him. He assumed she’d come straight from work, so he had his back to the street.
As he said the word “amen”, someone with a light voice spoke to him from behind. “Excuse me, are you Micah?”
He stood and turned to face her. Any doubt that lingered, vanished. Sabrina wore a purple and white floral sundress. A cardigan hung from her shoulders. He thought he saw a flash of recognition in her eyes, but she said nothing. Micah rubbed his goatee. Perhaps she didn’t recognize him. “I am.”
Sabrina ran a hand through the soft waves that fell an inch below her shoulders and smiled. She let go of the clutch bag she held with one hand and reached out to greet him. “I’m Bree.”
He encased her hand in his and fought the overwhelming urge to hold on to it. Instead, he picked up the yellow roses he’d brought with him and handed them to her. “These are for you.”
“Thank you. They’re beautiful.”
“I made reservations at Mariani’s. If you’re ready, my car is across the street.”
She tilted her head to the side, allowing her honey colored eyes to lock onto his. “Do you still go by Cai?”
Micah froze. Normally cool under pressure, he blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “I’m sorry! I was an idiot trying to look good in front of my friends. For what it’s worth, I found you intriguing and attractive back then and still do. I’d love to spend time with you tonight, but I understand if you can’t forgive me.”
Sabrina broke eye contact with him. “I can, under one condition.”
“Accept my apology.”
“I don’t understand.”
She fiddled with the clasp on her purse. “Do you remember the day before graduation when someone put green dye in your shampoo bottle?”
“Of course I do. My hair and eyebrows were green for a week. Got some in my eye and thought I’d be blind for life.”
“I paid Cecil Wilson to do it. Kind of a final payback.”
Micah chuckled and took a step closer. He tilted her chin up, causing their eyes to meet again. “I deserved it. Will you have dinner with me?”
“Yes, and I’m sorry I almost blinded you.”