Normally after a stressful day at work, I would turn to sitting in my car and listen to the rock station in hopes of calming me down. Sitting in my car now, I needed my rock music more than ever. With my eyes looking over at the school building, the music was nearly loud enough to drown out the thoughts eating at the back of my mind.
When Olivia found out that she wouldn’t have to ride the bus anymore, she was ecstatic. Now, she was going to be riding to school in style and as she worded it herself, all of her friends would be super duper jealous. She couldn’t wait to tell everyone in her class.
While I was happy for her enthusiasm, I had a personal reasoning behind the sudden change of transportation. After working late into the night, coming here to just get the chance to see Janet made it worth the lack of sleep I was missing out on. Even after a week since the meeting, she had yet to reappear at the bar.
Could she have been avoiding me? Or simply too busy to give me any time of her day? Seeing that she wasn’t going to make talking to her easy, I decided to take things into my own hands. Even if the chance was still slim, it was worth taking.
I couldn’t remember the last time a woman managed to drive me this crazy. After divorcing Melanie, I realized how much time I had wasted on just romance in general. I didn’t have time to start from scratch and I didn’t want to confuse Olivia either. It was supposed to stay that way, but all that got thrown out the window the first time I saw Janet.
My feelings were clear, I knew she was what I wanted. I just needed to figure out a way for her to understand how serious I’d become about her. The first thing I needed to do was just get a chance to talk to her again. Even if it was simply a two minute conversation, it would be all I needed. With that in mind, I did still need to work out the kinks on a confession. Knowing myself, I would probably fuck that up and I needed to make sure what I said would be perfect the first time.
Noticing movement in the corner of my eye, I turned to see the school doors open. Lowering the volume of my music, I got out of the car. Walking over to the side of it, I rested my back against the door and waited for my kid. She was just as much of a klutz as I was, I could only imagine how long she would take if I didn’t make myself apparent.
Waiting silently, I watched the stream of kids flood out of the building. I didn’t blame them, I would probably be sprinting out there myself if I was still stuck in that kind of place. Luckily for me, Olivia was still too young to understand how awful this place can be. While she still enjoyed it, I would take what I can get.
“Dad!” a very familiar voice screamed.
Searching the crowd for her, I easily spotted her goofy grin as she made her way towards me. I immediately noticed that she wasn’t alone. With one hand clinging onto her small backpack, the other was wrapped around a much fuller hand. She was dragging her teacher with her and at that moment, I was finally given the opportunity I was looking for.
Except now that she was coming my way, my mind was running blank. Looking up at Janet, my lips parted as I noticed her apologetic expression.
“I’m sorry, she insisted that I came with her,” she explained, panting slightly from being pulled along. “It’s really hard to tell her no,” she confessed as she looked down at Olivia.
Laughing, I followed her eyes. I was definitely going to have to reward her for being a great wing woman at her age without even knowing. “Yeah, she’s still not used to riding in the car I guess.” I tried to excuse her. “Once she wants something, she’s pretty determined to get it, just like her father.” I joked as I opened up my back door for her. Watching her scurry inside, I couldn’t fight the grin off my lips.
Olivia immediately rolled down the window, nearly hanging out it to get a good look at both of us. “Let’s go get ice cream!” she immediately suggested, already too hyped up. I started giving her rides and now she was becoming demanding of everyone now.
Chuckling, I nodded, “Sure. You deserve it.” Looking back to Janet, I noticed a soft look in her eye as she watched the both of us. “I appreciate you going with her,” I started up, already trying to form the sentences in my head again. This was the chance that I was looking for. Why now was I struggling? “I was thinking—”
“Miss Robinson!” Olivia immediately picked back up, shouting over me. “Do you like ice cream?”
Janet had been watching me, seemingly leaning in to hear my next words. But then she pulled away, looking over at my now terrible ‘wing woman’. She laughed lightly, “Yes I do, who doesn’t enjoy that kind of treat every now and then?”
Realizing that Janet cared a lot about her students, I doubted that she would give me even a minute of her day.
“So does my dad! Do you want to come with us?” she asked innocently, her wide green eyes taking in the both of us. “You guys are friends, right?”
The moment the question left her mouth, we both looked at her surprise before looking at each other. Friends? “Oh, uh,” I didn’t really know what to say.
Janet seemed just as flustered as she fumbled with her words. I noticed a light layer of pink on her cheeks growing as she looked at the both of us.
Maybe Olivia really was looking out for me. “Er, I mean if you aren’t busy. I wouldn’t mind you joining us.”
That pinkish tint was now growing much more red as she stared at me, “Do you really want me to go with you?”
Damn, did she realize how hard it was to find my words when she was looking at me like that? Not trusting my mouth, I nodded instead.
She bit down on that plump lip of hers as she debated the offer. Between Olivia’s pleading eyes and my smile, I didn’t think she stood a chance. She then sighed, looking behind her. “If you’re willing to wait a little, I can go finish up inside and be out in a few minutes.”
I didn’t think she realized how long I would be willing to wait for her. Nodding my head, I told her to take her time before watching her turn away and rush back toward the building. Now alone, I turned toward Olivia with a mouth aching grin. “You are the best, you know that?”