He showed up at the bus stop every day. Sat inches away from her, every day. Smiled pleasingly every day, but she was leery. She hadn’t trusted a man in a long time; not for affection, not for protection, not for any kind of emotional support or feelings of belonging. He was on her mind as she sat on the sidewalk having coffee with Susan.
“I just can’t get him out of my head,” she said.
“And why do you think that is?” Susan replied.
“I suppose I’m obsessed with the idea of him,” she said. “But ideas about men have gotten me into dark alleys and unending trouble in the past.”
“Doesn’t mean this one is a bad guy.”
“No, but it does mean I need to tread lightly, wherever men are concerned. I’ve learned my lesson with them.”
They both fell silent for a minute, Lisa tapping her acrylic fingernails against the table first, then her paper coffee cup, and finally her spoon. She was deep in thought when Susan spoke again.
“Tell me again what he looks like.”
Dreamy-eyed, Lisa explained, “He’s tall. Salt and pepper on top with lots of hair. It’s swept to the side. He always has a rain coat with him, though it never rains here. He has a tan-colored brief case, too. No wedding ring; no hint of shadow on his ring finger either, like he’s removed the ring before he approached the bench. He looks like your average, moderately successful businessman on the outside, but when he looks my way and smiles, I can see something else underneath. Like a second guy, someone who is full of light and, I don’t know, glowing. Not really glowing, but radiant, ya know?”
“What does he say?” Susan asked.
“Small talk. ‘How are you? It’s sunny this morning, isn’t it? Are you ready for another week of changing the world?’ He always asks me that on Mondays, without fail. ‘Are you ready for another week of changing the world?’”
“Well, are you?” Susan asked.
“Tell you what, he almost makes me think I could. Almost, but then reality seeps back in as soon as I get on the bus, and another plain, ordinary, uneventful, I-did-not-change-the-world type of week begins.”
“Maybe next time he says it, you should say, ‘I just might believe I could, if I had someone like you in my life.’”
“Be serious!” Lisa replied!