The next morning I was feeling great, a healthy amount of sleep did me wonders. Had enough energy to play with some of the kids in P.C. with Piper. Hung out with Kelly for a bit, and had an easy day with few emergencies and the ones that came in were not too difficult to deal with. It was around three that I lost my wonderful energized high and began to remember what I had to do after work. I slowly made my way to Derrick’s office and stood there to wait for him to come in.
“Hello Winter, Should I be frightened that you are standing in my office with a look of dread on your face?” he walked around and sat in his chair.
“I think I messed up.” I sat in one of the chairs in front of his desk, “I told Mr. Parker, the strange man, that I would go out with him tonight. He said he wanted to take me out, as an apology for hurting me when I brought him in, and as a thank you for bringing him in. Was I stupid in saying I would go?”
“Yes, but I can see that he guilt tripped you and can tell that you have little to no backbone when it comes to telling people no. Honestly, I should have known something like this would have happened. However, now that you have said yes, all you can do is try to make it clear that it is a once ever date… that there will be no other dates. Try your very, VERY best to do so, because if there is the slightest chance that he thinks, after this date, that you two are an item you might have to take more drastic measures.” Derrick looked stressed, and tired, like this issue, was one of the worst things he had to deal with. However, I figured it was all the late nights, and the heavy burden of work not to mention the extra bit that I seemed to add to it.
With the impending date creeping closer to time, I found myself fearing the confrontation of Kraig Parker. More than likely it was just me taking this way out of proportion, or just how worried Derrick seemed to be over all this, but fear was running thick in my blood as I called the cab to bring me to the restaurant.
Kraig was waiting at the fence for me, a huge grin aimed at me. He was way more excited about this date than I was. Once the cab stopped he quickly opened the door for me and held his hand out to help me out. I could not bring myself to place my hand in his, so I stepped out before it got more awkward than me just staring at his hand.
Quick with the recovery of my rejection, Kraig walked me to a table and pulled out a chair for me. Unable to find a reason to reject the action; I sat down and thought about how I was going to tell him that this was not a DATE, date.
“Um, Mr. Parker-“ he cut me off
“Kraig, just call me Kraig.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to make this clear that tonight is just a thank you dinner. I’m not ready to have any relationship yet and don’t want you to get the wrong idea.” I watched his glowing mood deflate. However, he was quick, yet again with his recovery.
“Of course, you still need to get used to this town and the new job, and the many new people; Right?” There was that red flash in his eyes, for just a second I was in my nightmare, and then it was gone.
“There is that, but it has more to do with the fact that I do not feel ready for anyone extra in my life.” The red flash again; it was like fireworks going off in his brain.
Kraig looked a little angry, then really angry, and then sad, “Are you saying you don’t want to see me again?” I looked away.
Before I could come up with a good answer the waiter came up to take our order. The poor man was greeted by an uncomfortable silence. I was still in thought and Kraig apparently waited for an answer, whether or not there was now someone watching us. I was apparently right when Kraig snapped at me.
I jumped and noticed that the waiter did too.
“No!” I was surprised in how quickly I spit out the truth. This time it was me who was speedy to recover, though, “Not for dates anyway.”
“So you were going to eat and run and that was going to be it?” Kraig growled out.
“Not any of my business, but she didn’t get to eat before she told you.” The waiter shocked me when he put his two cents in.
Kraig stood up, “You’re right it’s not your business, so walk your punk ass back to the kitchen!”
Other people were beginning to watch the show we were putting on for them. I was afraid that the owner was going to come out and make it worse by doing one of two things; one, kick us out, or two, tell us to settle down or we would be. However, the waiter thought that the show needed to continue.
“Look, there is no need to get upset at me. I was just stating that you two have not ordered anything yet and the atmosphere was getting noticed by other customers before you started yelling.” This man was so calm it was scary in its own way.
“Back up off me, you’ll get your business after I deal with the little bitch first.” I let out a gasp at being called a bitch.
“Now that was uncalled for.” The waiter looked at me apologetically, “Would you be offended if I threw your date out?”
I was in an odd state of shock; I did not know how to answer; so I just stared at him. Kraig, on the other hand, knew what to say to make an answer for me.
“You can’t throw me out! I’m paying you!”
“I think I’ll live without your dollar tip.” With that, he grabbed Kraig by the hood of his jacket and dragged the little man kicking and screaming out of the restaurant.
Silence as the door closed and I sat there by myself.
This had gone so much worse than I had thought it would. I mean, I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park, but this was much, much worse. Now my stalker was extremely pissed off at me, and the waiter had magnified that anger tenfold.
I did not notice I was crying until the nice waiter handed me a napkin, then he sat in the chair across from me and started to talk to me.
“I’m sorry your night was such a mess, I didn’t mean to make it worse; I swear. It was just seeing you struggling with him, and how violent he looked, it made me feel like I should help.” He looked sincere, and even a little shook up.
“You’re right, I was having a hard time with him, and didn’t know how to handle it anyway.” I slumped in my chair and looked at the waiter, “If you don’t mind, all the stress has got my appetite up, could you tell me what’s good and sweet?”
“I could go whip you up something, but I think you’re sweet already.” He stood and left for the kitchen leaving me there in silence yet again.
When he came back I asked how much it would be, but he waved it away, “It’s on-the-house, I just hope it can put a smile on that pretty face.”
I said thank you and gave him a weak smile before looking at the sticky golden mess on the plate. It looked like a cake that had been drowned in some kind of syrup, with some kind of fruit on the side. I was leery about trying it, but when I took that first bite… oh yeah, I smiled. After I was finished, even though he did not want me to pay, I left him a twenty-five dollar tip and a note thanking him for the night.