She matched my expression as she sat back in her seat, “You like her, don’t you?” She asked all innocently. It relieved me slightly not to hear any fight behind her words.
I laughed as I knew nothing passed by without her knowing. “If it’s so obvious, why can’t she see it?” Tapping my hand against the roof of the car, my chest swelled with an unfamiliar excitement as I made my way back to the front seat. This was great, perfect even. Not only would I get more time with Janet, but I was also given the opportunity to get the chance to tell her how I felt. If I fucked this up, I didn’t think I deserved another one.
Turning the music up once more, I was rewarded with my daughter’s terrible singing. Being in a good mood, I sang with her. The weather was nice and I knew of a perfect place to take her to.
We managed to get through five more songs before Janet reappeared, looking just as flushed as she had the first time she was pulled towards my car. By the looks of it, she seemed to have been rushing to get back. Knowing that I was just overthinking it, I brushed the fluttering excitement away. When she opened the door, I grinned at her. “And here I was thinking that you weren’t going to come back.”
“I didn’t want to disappoint Olivia,” she returned a smile of her own that sent my heart sailing. This woman was perfect for me.
“Let’s go then,” I told them both as I drove out of the school’s parking lot with Olivia chanting in the backseat about wanting ice cream.
The drive was thirty minutes out of our way and for most of it, Janet kept to herself. She seemed to have a lot on her mind by the way she was looking out the window. There were multiple times I was very tempted on just reaching over and giving her hand a reassuring squeeze. I had to remind myself that she was currently seeing me as just one of her students’ parents. As much as I wanted to change that, being in the car was not exactly the best place.
Instead, I would glance her way every now and then to try to figure out what was going through that head of hers.
When we rolled up to the small shack, her attention had followed mine. “Have you ever been to Ollie’s?” I asked her curiously.
She shook her head, “I didn’t even know this place was here.”
Shutting off the car, I opened my door. “The moment you had a taste of their ice cream, you’re going to want to come back for more. I’m warning you, this place is addicting.”
Her laugh squeezed at my heart as she got out as well, “I guess I’ll have to see that for myself. By the way you’re talking this place up, I hope I’m not disappointed.”
“Have I disappointed you before?”
She looked at me surprised before shaking her head, “No… You haven’t.”
Olivia, oblivious to us, jumped out of the car herself and rushed forward. If it weren’t for me scooping her up into my arms, I’m sure she would have got to the shack before us and ordered the entire menu. “Slow down Princess,” I told her, smiling at her fit of laughter. “It’s not a race, don’t forget.”
With Janet watching us, I noticed a look of longing.
“Do you have any kids?” I asked her curiously, trying to learn more about her.
She shook her head, “No, but I want to.” By the way she spoke, I was getting the opposite reaction I wanted to. Rather than smiling like she was earlier, she had that lost look in her eye again. Whatever was bothering her was really getting to her.
“Come on, let’s go,” I encouraged, holding back the urge to wrap my hand around hers. I wanted to give her the comfort she deserved. There was still something that was holding me back.
Approaching the front, we were immediately greeted by the workers inside. Just like always, Olivia and I got a peanut butter fudge sunday. Janet on the other hand was staring at the menu long and hard. She looked indecisive. Leaning towards her, I followed her eyes. “Something tells me you’re a strawberry type of gal. Get the shortcake, you’ll love it.” I whispered to her.
She turned towards me surprised and right then and there, I realized how close I had gotten to her. Only inches away, my eyes fell to her mouth. Seeing her tongue run across nervously, my hand twitched at my side. I didn’t care where we were, I wanted to reach up and touch her face. I wanted to kiss her. Meeting her eyes, it was really hard to pull away as I heard her suck in a breath. If it weren’t for her turning her head towards the employee taking our orders, I knew I would have done exactly that.
“I-I’ll go ahead and take your strawberry shortcake please,” she stuttered as she fought to compose herself.
Watching her become so flustered left me wanting to see the same expressions she had made when she was in my bed that one night that was weeks ago. My craving for her was growing by the second and I didn’t know how much longer I could hold myself back.
Reaching behind me, I pulled out money to give to the employee.
“How much do I owe you?” she immediately pulled out her own wallet, struggling to meet my eyes.
I shook my head, “It’s on me.” I told her, refusing to listen to any argument she wanted to give for paying me back. I then turned and carried Olivia over to a nearby bench with Janet on my heel. “They will bring it out to us when it’s done,” I explained as I sat her down next to me. Taking a seat myself, Janet sat across from both of us. Now, I wanted to use this chance to get to know her. Everything I knew about her already was simply from listening in to her dates. I would like to learn things that no other man had attempted to know.