“So, how are things between you and Curtis?” Marsha asked Jodie.
Jodie turned to look at her, a slight smile on her face. “They’re going well,” she replied. “I’m having lunch with him in an hour.”
“Good. I’m happy to hear that. I was beginning to think that another year would go by and you two don’t hook up.”
“Are you sure you don’t have a problem with him and me?”
“Why should I?”
“Well, most African-American women have a problem with their men dating outside of their race.”
“Well, not me. As far as I’m concerned, it really doesn’t matter. What about your family, though? Aren’t going to have an issue with it?”
“My brother won’t but our parents will but, I don’t care. I’m a grown woman and it’s my life to do what I please with it.”
“Good for you. So, where’s Curtis taking you for lunch?”
“Wow. I’ve heard of it. It’s in Soho. It’s a romantic brasserie which serves traditional French cuisine. I’m very impressed.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing him.”
“I can tell. You’re cheeks are all flushed and your eyes are bright. Girl, you’re really into him, aren’t you?”
“Yes. For the first time in my life, I’m in love and it feels wonderful.”
“I know what you mean. I have been in love more than once and each time, it felt great.”
Jodie shook her head. “You’re teasing me now.”
“You’re right. I’m sorry. I’ve never been in love but from where I’m sitting, it does look wonderful. I hope that one of these days, I meet a guy who gets to me the way Curtis has gotten to you.”
“Don’t worry, Marsha. Your guy is somewhere out there and when the time is right, you’ll meet him. Now, I’d better get back to work.”
“You return to your work while I sit here for a while and daydream about my Mr. Right.”
Jodie smiled and turned back to her computer screen to finish up typing up the report.
An hour later, she was sitting at Balthazar, across from Curtis who was staring at her with a slight smile on his face. “I’ve been looking forward to this all morning,” she said.
He reached over and covered her hand. “Me too.”
She blushed. His hand felt warm on hers and it was doing crazy things to her. “I’ve never been here before. It’s-it’s very upscale.”
“I’ve never been here before either but a friend of mine has and have positive things to say about it. He said the staff is very friendly and the food is tasty.”
“I like the décor.”
“So, how’s your week so far?”
“Good but busy. How about yours?”
“Busy. It’s good now because of you.”
“You’re making me blush.”
His smile deepened. “It’s very becoming.”
She lowered her eyes and tucked a blonde wisp of her behind her ear, feeling self-conscious. The way he was looking at her made her heart race and her face feel hot. Not to mention the way her body was reacting. The waiter went over then to take their orders.
“My sister is getting married on Saturday,” he informed her as they had the Balthazar Salad. “I was wondering that if you aren’t busy you would be my date.”
“No, I’m not busy,” she was quick to tell him. “I’d love to go.”
“Great.” He seemed pleased and–relieved.
They spent the reminder of lunch talking about the wedding. She was both nervous and excited about meeting his family. An hour and half later, he took her back to the office. They stood at the back of the building, facing each other. “Thanks for lunch, Curtis.”
“My pleasure, Jodie.”
“I’ll see you on Saturday.”
“Yes. I’ll call you before then.” He leaned over and kissed her on the lips, making her heart almost leap out of her chest. When he raised his head, she opened her eyes and stared up at him. “Goodbye.”
“Goodbye,” she replied breathlessly. She watched him get into his car and drive away. Leaning against the building, she tried to catch her breath. A smile spread over her flushed face.