Surf's Up

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When my phone rang there was no way, no way at all, that I'd sat through two cups of coffee and half a bagel staring at it. No. Way.

"Hi," I said mentally berating myself for the breathy excitement in my voice. Friend zone Steph! More importantly, wife and kid Steph!

"Hey Ace. It's me Brian."

"Hey Brian. You know you're in my contact list so I knew it was you."

"I am? What do you have me listed under?" he chuckled.

"Law Suit Waiting to Happen. You know after I almost destroyed your car." I slouched into the sofa.

"Really?"

"No dumbass, you're listed as Brian," I laughed twisting a lock of hair around my finger. Thank god Cathy wasn't her to watch me behave like a schoolgirl.

He laughed. "Do you want to grab a coffee?"

"Yeah, coffee would be great." No. No coffee would not be great. I'd be all hepped up on caffeine like that freaky kid Tweek in Southpark.

"Cool, I'll pick you up in about an hour?"

"Sounds like a plan."

Three. Two. One...cue hysteria. I leapt from the sofa and hit the stairs at a sprint. In the interests of not being an out and out desperado I'd forced myself to stay in my pajamas, which I essentially used as loungewear as I couldn't stand sleeping in PJ pants so stripped them off every night before I climbed into bed. Taking the stairs two at a time I flung myself into the shower thankful that my tactics for delaying interrogation by Cathy on the previous day had included hair washing and leg shaving. Not that I expected Brian to penetrate past the denim of my jeans but it was a confidence boost to know that if he did everything was ship shape.

It was like a Whitesnake video in Cathy's spare bathroom as I turned the blow dryer on my hair. Just to cause me additional trauma I'd managed to drop my body wash and face scrub in the bottom of the shower, so although I'd saved time by not needing to wash it, my hair was soaked. I wrenched it into a hair band glad that the extra volume from my frantic drying made my hair for once look more 'messy bun' as opposed to just messy. I scrambled into my clothes, black jeans and t-shirt, I couldn't pretend my limited wardrobe gave me style but at least it made dressing easy, if unimaginative.

I took some care with my make-up because at thirty-one you can't just bounce out of the house all fresh faced like some twenty-two year old anti-vaccination, green smoothies cure cancer wellness blogger. I was panting like a kitty who'd been chased up and down the streets of Paris by Pepe Le Pew by the time I was finished getting ready.

I'd just finished lacing up my sneakers when the doorbell rang. Supressing my natural urge to run and fling the door open like a long lost lover I sauntered down the stairs and opened the door with a pretty solid façade of cool.

Brian leaned against the door frame with that deliciously impassive expression on his face. The logical adult in me screamed that 'of course this is why you have the hots for him!' my crushes had always been on the disinterested hot boys. Of course teenage me was screaming 'jump him, jump him!'

"Hey Ace," he said leaning in and pecking me on the cheek. Nothing screamed 'friend zone' like a kiss on the cheek so I wrestled my unruly emotions under control. "Ready to go?"

Did I not look ready? Shit. He was used to hanging out with women who appreciated his rock star status and made an effort. Hell, I'd met Val and the other girls, those bitches were perfect. God knows what his almost ex-wife was like. Probably some perfect creature that made me look like a homeless street urchin by comparison.

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