I'm too humiliated to go see Scott, so I wait until he contacts me. We haven't talked in almost a week. He only has my work number, and when I get back from lunch on Thursday, my phone is blinking with a new voicemail.
"Hey Mitch, it's Scott. I'd like to set up an appointment with you so we can discuss the next step for taking out a loan. You know where to find me. Thanks. Bye."
Now I have to call him. I have to sound professional, but I feel exposed. He knows I like him. How can I keep my cool when I'm a nervous wreck?
I go to look at what number he called from, but it shows it's blocked. How could a call coming from a bakery be blocked? I'll have to talk to him in person. I tell Natalie that I have an important meeting with a client and that I'll be back before two, when my next appointment is. She nods, giving me permission, which I really don't need to ask for, but that way I have someone to blame if I get penalized for it.
Scott's Scones isn't that far, so I get there within fifteen minutes. I park in my usual spot and do the walk I've done hundreds of times before. Deep breath. I push the door open, the bell dings, and Scott glances up.
He smiles, looking satisfied with himself. "I knew I could get you here."
I raise my eyebrows and walk in further. "Excuse me?"
"I knew if I blocked my number and said 'you know where to find me' that you'd finally make a reappearance." He reaches into the display case. "Blackberry scone on the house." He hands it to me on a small plate, then pours me a cup of coffee. "Go sit and I'll join you."
It all happens so fast that I don't have time to argue or respond. I listen and sit at my usual table, happy that the other customers in there aren't sitting even near it. He finds his way over after taking out a scone for himself and slides into the chair across from me.
"Why haven't you been in lately?" He asks plainly and then takes a bite of his scone.
"I've been b--"
"Don't you dare say you've been busy, Mitch. You and I both know the real reason." He's talking with his mouth full, which usually grosses me out, but not with him.
I blush. Why'd he ask if he knows the truth? I don't want to answer so I take a bite of my scone, but by the time I swallow, he still hasn't spoken. "This is delicious," I say.
"Thanks." He pauses. "Mitch, you don't have to be embarrassed about what happened last week. We're still friends. I still miss you around here."
I smile a little bit. "Yeah, I miss you too." I sigh and let loose. "But now it feels wrong because you're married and you know how I feel and I can't just stop my feelings."
"That's okay, nobody is saying you have to."
I look down and take another bite. "So when do you want the appointment for?"
"I'm thinking next Thursday, so a week from today?" I'm glad he's rolling with the subject change.
"Sure." I sip at my coffee. "What time?"
"Three should work again. Can I ask you a favor?"
I say sure, assuming it's about the loan or the meeting. It isn't. He says, "I've tried calling every babysitter I know, I even called my neighbors, and no one is available on Sunday. Since I know that Lindsey just adores you..." Scott looks to me with the most hopeful eyes I've ever seen. "Would you mind watching her for a few hours? I know you don't work because the bank is closed." He grins, proud of himself.
"Please? I pay really, really well."
"It's not the money, I just..."