New Year’s Stranger

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I gazed over longingly towards Eric’s desk. He’s my manager and proof to me that God exists. 

I could see into his office and I’m in the perfect location to secretly adore him. I observe him taking calls, studying numbers and just breathing. Suddenly, he looks in my direction. Oh no! I’ve just been caught staring like a creepo. I instinctively fake cough and turn in my swivel office chair with such force, I actually spin twice completely before regaining control. I smile painfully and then stare at my computer. He looks slightly bewildered and then continues doing his work. I wonder if that was as awkward for him as it was me.  

Let me fill you in a little. I work at this small accounting firm. Eric is the top accountant, owner and the lady killer. I’ve worked here for a month. It’s been the best month of my life, honestly. For much of the day, I don’t even recall what happens because I’m in awe of this man. He also happens to be single, handsome and under fifty. I have no idea why he’s available, but thank you forces of the universe. I know it was fate.  

As the day is coming to an end and things have slowed down, Eric leaves his office and walks in my direction. I quickly run my fingers through my hair with one hand, pout my lips, and clear my throat all in under a second.  

“Hi Ruth.. a long day, huh?” He says with smiling eyes that warm my soul.

“Yes! Thankfully the year is about over.” I reply with a giggle and try not to look too hopeful.

“Speaking of which, do you have plans for your New Year’s Eve?” He asks.

I try to come up with some great plans immediately so I don’t have to admit I have absolutely no plans and no date. Except with a bottle of wine, Netflix and my cat. The wine is not for my cat either. She quit.

“Oh, you know..” I really don’t, and if I take any longer to come up with something believable, he’ll think I’m an idiot.

“My friends are having a party. It’s going to be quite something. I’m really excited about it. The party and seeing all my friends.” Oh cringe. Did I really say that? I wonder if it was convincing.

“That sounds like a fun time. I was going to see if you wanted to join me and a few friends. I didn’t know if you’d have plans. Well, nevermind then.” He smiles and begins to turn before I start talking again. 

Oh no. What have I done? I look at my phone.

“Oh, wait! I might be able to now. Um, it looks like it’s cancelled.” I hope that wasn’t too obvious.

“I’m sorry to hear that. You’re still more than welcome to come to my house. It’ll be good food and drinks. We’ll be getting together around eight.” He says and flashes his gorgeous teeth. I want to lick them.

“That sounds great! I’ll be there!” I don’t even know where he lives and I’m wondering if two hours is enough time to get my glam on.

I’m getting ready to leave the office and collect my things. I use the restroom and when I get back, there’s a print out of a map to his home sitting on my desk. It’s like the golden ticket. I stare at it in disbelief. I don’t see Eric anywhere around. I go ahead and leave. Once outside, my pace hurries until I reach my car door. My mind is running a million miles a minute. Does he like me? Did he invite me because he feels sorry for me? Does he like me? Maybe he thinks I’m pathetic with no friends, or does he actually like me? I’m not a total troll, he’s just way out of my league. Could he possibly like me?

I finished getting ready. I’m wearing my favorite red dress and my blonde hair is down in waves. I’m finally wearing my gold heels that have been collecting dust for a year. I’m impressed I pulled it off on time. Once I sit in my car, the snow starts getting thick. A weather alert comes up on my phone. Oh perfect, a winter snow storm. I’m determined to make this party. I look at the map and see that his home is right outside of town. That can’t be too difficult to find. However, I have a horrible sense of direction. I begin driving and after a few turns, I’m not sure where I’m at. It’s quickly becoming impossible to see. I have to make it! I just give up on the map, throw it aside and begin taking whatever turn comes up. The road curves and my car runs right into the side of the road and gets stuck. Noooo! I try to reverse, but my vehicle is not going anywhere. I step outside and see what I can possibly do when I spot a truck headed down the road towards me. It slows down and pulls up by me.

“Hi there, looks like you’re stuck.” A man probably in his late twenties says with the window rolled down. He is correct. I’m stuck in the snow and this nightmare situation.

“Hi! Yes, I didn’t think it’d be this nasty out.” I tell him, embarrassed.

Before I have a chance to ask for help, he’s pulled over, takes a shovel out of the truck bed, and clears the snow behind my tires. I just stand and watch, feeling helpless. After about five minutes, he has my car moving and back on the road.

“Where are you headed? I hope home because this storm is just getting started.” He informs me.

“Well, I had planned to go somewhere, but I think I’m lost.” I say. I know I’m lost.

“How about you just follow me, do you live in town?”

“Yeah.. I suppose I’ll just go home. Thank you so much for helping me.” 

I follow him back into town and he pulls into a gas station parking lot. I feel so let down. I text Eric and tell him I won’t make it because of the weather.

“Are you going to be okay to make it home from here? How about I get your number so I can check to make sure you get there safely.” It’s really not that bad in town, but his concern for me was heartwarming. There’s still no response from Eric.

“Okay. I’m sure I’ll be good now. Thank you.” I smile at him. I give him my number and he saves it in his phone. He has kind, blue eyes. They almost seem familiar. I expected him to walk off but he didn’t.

“I’m Chris, by the way. What was your name again?”

“I’m Ruth.” I told him.

“Ruth? Nice to meet you Ruth.” He says and smiles.

 “I’m glad you saved me today. I was almost out of gas too.” I laugh.

Chris laughs and lingers a couple minutes before he tells me goodbye. He walks back to his truck after looking back at me.

I walk inside my apartment. My roommate is home and she’s beaming.  

“Hey! Guess what?!” She exclaims.

“Hey girl, what’s up?” I ask while checking my phone for the hundredth time. There’s still no response.

“My brother is visiting this weekend. He’s going to be here pretty quick, I hope that’s okay!”

“Of course! I can’t wait to meet him.” I tell Emma. She is my best friend and I’ve heard so much about her brother. I know he has to be amazing.

I go into my bedroom to change out of my cold, wet stockings, dress and get into comfy clothes. I can hear someone knock, which I assume is my roommate’s brother.

I leave my room and walk into the kitchen. Who would you guess I saw? It was Chris. He looks at me and smiles warmly. No way.  

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