Brad was running late so headed straight to Sally’s house after the party. The kids were having so much fun, as was he that he had not realized how late it had gotten. He didn’t have time to go all the way across town to clean up and still make it to her place on time. He wouldn’t normally show up on a date, especially a blind date, looking this way but decided to take a chance and risk it. If she didn’t have a sense of humor they wouldn’t make it past this first date anyway.
After pulling into her driveway and turning off the car he took a long look at himself in the rearview mirror. His nose was bright red on a face of porcelain and there were big circles around his eyes. Even frowning there was still a big smile on his face. What the hell had he been thinking? This was a mistake. Who would let a relative stranger into their house looking like this? He must have been out of his mind when he decided it would be okay. He should just cancel. Yes, he’d cancel.
Deciding to turn back around before making a complete fool of himself, Brad was about to turn the key in the ignition when he spotted Sally at her front door. Fuck! There was no backing out of this gracefully now that she’d seen him. And look at her, all poised and beautiful standing there in her white blouse and skirt, long auburn hair blowing in the breeze. She was stunning. She was stunning and he looked like a clown.
“Hey.” She was waving at him now. “Come on in I’m almost ready.”
Okay, let’s get this over with he thought as he pulled the key and got out of the car. He walked around the car, taking his time. He didn’t want the date to end before it had even begun.
“Nice make-up. You didn’t have to dress up on my account,” she teased him.
When he raised his head to look at her he was surprised to see a genuine smile on her face. “I like to make a good first impression.” He suddenly felt at ease. “I lost track of time at my nephew’s birthday party and didn’t have time to go home without being late. I hope you don’t mind. I’m sure you weren’t expecting a clown to show up at your door.”
“I don’t mind at all, but where are the big sexy shoes?” She was teasing again. “Come on we’ll get you cleaned up.”
Brad followed her in to the kitchen.
“Here, have a seat and let me help you get that face off so I can see you.” Sally pulled a chair from the kitchen table for him before going to the cupboard to fetch a small basin. She filled it about half way with warm water and brought it back to the table.
“Take off your shirt. We wouldn’t want to make a mess of it. I’ll be right back.”
“Yes Ma’am,” Brad did an imaginary tip of his hat. He unbuttoned his shirt and hung it over the back of his chair. This just might turn out okay after all he thought, a genuine smile appearing beneath his big painted one.
When Sally returned she was carrying a small bag and two wash cloths. She dropped one cloth in the basin the other on the table, then opened the bag and took out several small bottles. She pulled a chair for herself, placed it in front of Brad, and sat down facing him.
“Are you ready?”
“I put myself in your hands. Please be gentle with me,” he said playfully.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.” Sally poured baby oil into her hand then began massaging it over his face, rubbing his temples, across his cheekbones. She rubbed the oil up the bridge of his nose then along his bushy brows across his forehead. She swirled her fingers around the apples of his cheeks, along his jaw line to his chin, then across his bottom lip. The colors blended and began to lift.
Sally got up to rinse her hands in the kitchen sink then went back to the chair and scooched in closer to Brad. Their knees were no longer just touching; hers were now nestled between his. They shared a smile. She then took the cloth from the basin, wringing much of the water out before beginning to wipe the oily makeup mess from Brad’s face. She rinsed the cloth in the basin and continued, his clown face slowly disappearing.
Brad couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He noticed the twinkle in her soft blue eyes when they met his. He wanted to push her hair back over her shoulder when she leaned in and that one lock of curls fell forward against her cheek. He watched her perfect lips move as she made small talk with him, asking him about his life and telling stories of her own. He couldn’t get enough of her cute little laughs and the way her whole face lit up when she did.
Another rinse and wipe before she brought the basin to the kitchen sink rinsed it out and filled with more clean water. When she brought it back to the table she poured a few drops from one of the other smaller bottles into it then the clean cloth. This time the water was a touch warmer and when she brought the cloth to his face he could smell the faint scent of citrus, a mixture of orange and lemon possibly. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
“That’s bergamot. It will help sooth your skin and get rid of the baby oil smell. Do you like it?”
“It is wonderful, as are you.” The words escaped his lips before he realized what he had said.
She leaned in and kissed him gently. A short sweet kiss. A kiss that said everything and nothing all at once. It was a first kiss, their first kiss, and it held a promise of more.
NOTE: This piece was originally written for a writing prompt contest mid 2015. At that time it was to be included in an anthology but that project has now been cancelled so I can share it here once again. I’ve done a little edit and plan on continuing the story of Brad and Sally this year. I do hope you will join me on their journey.