He looked up at me, giving the smallest of head nods to the camera, his expression a warning. We'll talk about this later. Play it cool.
I couldn't argue with his logic. It probably wan't a good idea to hash out the strange circumstance of our meeting again in front of a national audience. I blanched and tried my best to backtrack, to act normal.
"I mean, er," I cleared my throat. "It's nice to meet you, too, Da-Patrick." Stupid, stupid. Get it together.
"Just Pat, please," he gave me a winning smile that the cameraman would be sure to capture.
"Alright, then, Just Pat, we've only got 5 minutes, so, talk. What's your story?"
"What's my story? What is this, an interrogation? Sorry, officer, you've got the wrong guy." He chuckled lightly.
I raised an eyebrow, not impressed with the facade.
"Well, I'm from a neighborhood a little south of here, it's called Palm Springs. I grew up with my mom and dad, and I have two older brothers. In high school, I always thought I would be a professional surfer, or something like that. Maybe a marine biologist. But then I realized-"
"-marine biologist jobs aren't as common as you thought they were?" I interrupted.
He laughed, a real laugh this time, not just for the camera's sake. "Yeah, something like that. Right now, I work as a chef at this little restaurant right on the beach. It's not exactly a fine dining place, it's more a cross between a café and a diner. But I love it there."
"What's it called?"
"Carter's Corner. It's not on a street corner, but, alliteration, you know."
I laughed despite myself. "That's false advertising. Who's Carter?"
His smile dropped and he looked ill at ease. "No one important, really." I could tell it was someone important. He recovered quickly, re-molding his face into a carefree mask. "What about you, though? Where are you from? What do you do?"
What do I do? I sit on my sofa binging hours of television and wallowing in self pity.
"I'm an accountant, for a firm in Chicago." I was an accountant, and now I was hoping that my boss, the same boss that had fired me, wasn't the type to watch reality dating shows.
"Me and my ex, Dylan, we, uh," I continued. "We just went through a breakup. He's moved out to West Africa now, and I'm here in California, doing... whatever it is we're doing."
There was a funny glint in his eyes that made me think he was making fun of me in his head or something.
"Well, I hope that whatever it is we're doing, we can keep doing it." He winked for a split second, so fast I almost thought I imagined it. The cameraman waved his finger in a circle, signaling five minutes was up. "Patrick" must've been timing us; that was too perfect a line to just happen to leave it on. I looked at his wrist- no watch. Impressive, that he could count in his head while holding a conversation. Just like flirting with some random girl on a plane without thinking of your girlfriend back home, I thought.
He got up and leaned forward, taking my hand from my lap and kissing it. I involuntarily recoiled a little, but he just smiled wide.
"I really did mean that, you know. I hope I get to know you a lot better, Lyra Kennedy," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.
In circumstances where I hadn't met him on the plane three days ago, and where, even if I had, he had given me his real name, and where, even if he was Patrick from the plane sans the girlfriend, I might've thought this was sweet. Given the current circumstances, though, I was a little freaked out. This didn't stop me from admiring his smooth personality (and ok, maybe his butt) as he walked out and another man walked in.
YOU ARE READING
As Seen On TV | [2018 Wattys Winner]ChickLit
**WATTYS 2018 WINNER!!!** "Are you sure you want to go through with this?" He whispered gently, between both of our feverish gasps for breath. "With what?" "All this." He gestured around to the bedroom, but his expression said much more- it include...