I spun around to greet the customer I heard behind me and my heart dropped into my stomach.
"Josh....Fucking....Katz..." I thought I had said that in my head but by the look on his face I realized I had spoken it aloud. A smile twitched at the corners of his lips. I could feel sweat forming in the arch of my back and my hands began to tremble. I cleared my throat and quickly tried to unscramble my thoughts so I could speak. "Uhm...I'm sorry....uh...Let me grab you a menu. You can sit wherever You'd like...uhm...I'll be right back." As I turned to walk away I heard him ask, "You mind if I just sit at the bar?" "OH, of course!" I replied as I powerwalked towards the shelf by the patio door to grab a menu and some silverware. I returned to the bar, face probably red as a beet, and sat his menu down in front of him. "I'm sorry about that uhm...greeting. It's just...I'm trying really hard not to be a...uh fangirl." He smiled and chuckled a bit as he looked down at the menu. "Don't be nervous...I'm just human...nothing special...Now tell me, whats your favorite dish on the menu?" He glanced up at me as his words left his lips.
"Hmm...uh...well my go to is usually the Vegan Nachos." I smiled nervously and met his gaze. His eyes were entrancing. Like chocolate and caramel swirled together. It was hard not to be nervous when his stare was locked onto me like that. "Vegan Nachos it is!" He exclaimed as he smacked his hands down on the bar. "I'd also like a beer...something local."
"Well, everything we have here is local so you have a lot of options." I told him as I handed him a list.
A few moments later, he catches my attention as I make my way from the end of the bar towards him. He tells me his drink order and I walk to the cooler to grab him a can. My nerves had started to dissapate as my bartender persona slowly took hold.
"DING..." the bell rang from the kitchen. I jogged over to grab his food as I looked around at the empty restaurant. It wasn't unusual to be this dead. It was 2pm on a Tuesday. Generally we got most of our business Thursday through Sunday...but if anyone caught wind that Josh Katz was here...it would be a full house and I didn't want that. I was enjoying it just being me and him, especially now that I wasn't a nervous wreck. I grabbed the nachos out of the window and made my way back to the bar, setting the delicious looking food in front of Josh. His eyes lit up when he saw the plate of towering chips slathered in a slew of toppings. "Enjoy! Let me know if there's anything else I can grab ya!" I stated, watching the hunger transform his face. He looked up at me "since you have no other customers...would you like to join me? This is a lot of food and there is no way in hell I could finish it all..." I thought for a moment before responding, "Actually, I should be getting off work soon. I was only here to cover for my boss..." Right on cue, Gwen came skipping from the office towards me. Her body language had improved. She must have finally figured out all that paperwork.
"Ana! Thanks for covering for me! I'm finally done with all that god awful mess in the back. You can clock out and take off as soon as you're ready!" Josh looked at me and said, "Offer still stands if you've got nothing better to do..." I looked at him, then to Gwen. "Gwen, can I transfer his tab to you? He asked if I would like to join him and I'd like to..." She looked at me for a moment before a smile slid across her lips. She bounced towards the register tapping the screen before turning and giving me a thumbs up. Relief spread through my body and I made my way to the time clock in the office. "I'm about to share a meal with Josh Flipping Katz..." I pinched myself before clocking out. I made my way back to the bar and had a seat next to him. He looked over at me as he stood up, grabbing his plate and motioning towards a two top table at the corner of the restaurant. I followed him over and we sat together. I grabbed a nacho off of the plate and looked up at him, surprised to see him staring at me. My nerves began to flare up again and I could feel my blood rushing to my cheeks. "You're blushing." He said with a smirk.
I looked down trying to hide my face when I felt his fingers brush my chin. "You don't need to be embarrassed...its cute." My face flushed hot like a sunburn as I looked up to meet his eyes. I studied his face for a moment and wondered how I got into this situation. I had been dreaming of a moment like this and I didn't want to screw it up. How was this happening? Things like this never happened to me!
I cleared my throat and tried to choke out a coherent sentence, "I'm..uh...honestly...you make me fucking nervous..."
"Why do I make you nervous?" He asked, looking puzzled. His confusion was adorable. "To be honest, I'm a huge fucking fan and I've wanted to meet you for some time now, but my anxiety is getting the better of me at the moment..." I looked down at my hands that were trembling. I moved them to my lap to hide them underneath the table. "I get it. My anxiety tries to get the best of me at the worst times. Don't be nervous. Just breath...in and out." I took a deep breath in and blew it out slowly. I felt my body begin to loosen and the blood drain from my face. The knots in my stomach eased and I looked up at him and smiled. "Thanks...I needed that."
"So...you were right." He smiled. "About the nachos?" I asked as I pulled one from the plate. "Well, yeah...but I was referring to your comment....The food is great, but the bartender is better..." He winked at me and I almost choked on my food. "Yeah, uhm...I'm usually not that, uhm...forward...I didn't think you would actually see that comment..."
"I'm glad I did." He said as he took a bite of the chip he was holding. He chewed slowly as he stared into my soul, seemingly searching for something. "Tell me about yourself...I'm intrigued." he said.
I thought for a moment before speaking. "What do you want to know?" "Tell me, what are your goals in life?"
I was in shock that he wanted to get to know me. I still felt like I could be dreaming. "Well, I love anything creative. I draw a lot. When I was a kid, I thought for sure that I would grow up to be in a successful band but that didn't pan out. I've always loved to sing, but I never had the courage to audition for anything. Now that I'm almost 30 I've kinda given up on the idea." I tucked a lock of hair behind my ear as I continued. " What about you? Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?"
He pondered my question before answering me. "Its kind of always been a part of my life, but no. It wasn't always the plan...But this isnt about me, I want to get to know you." I smiled sweetly, feeling nerves bubble up in me again. I took a deep breath to attempt to calm myself before speaking. "Ok, well I'm from a small town here in Colorado. I moved to Denver about a year ago so I'm still kind of learning the ins and outs. My dad was great but my mom was in and out of my life for a long time. She lived kind of a wild life so my dad tried to keep her away. I have an older brother and sister who live back in my hometown. I'm Vegan. Uhm....I mean, what else is there to say? I basically just gave you the rundown." I giggled as I looked down at my hands. "You've got quite a cute laugh." He said. I looked up at him. "Thanks." The blood began rushing to my cheeks once again. I looked down at the nearly empty plate in front of us as Josh looked at the clock behind me. "So I hate to leave but I have to get back to the bandmates. " He handed me his phone. "Put your number in there if you'd like. I would love to keep talking to you." I grabbed the phone from his hand, smiling like an idiot as I quickly tapped the screen. I handed the phone back to him and watched him stand and place it in his rear pocket. He smiled at me as I stood and held his arms out for a hug. I stepped into his arms and he wrapped them tightly around my shoulders. With my head against his chest I breathed in his scent as my knees went weak. I stabilized myself as he pulled away slowly, tucking his hands in his pockets. He looked at the floor as he said "It was great meeting you. Thanks for hanging out with me, Ana." "It was great meeting you too, Josh. I hope to hear from you again soon..." I didn't want to watch him walk away so I turned away and made my way to the office. I turned back before I walked inside and saw him watching me. I smiled and waved before entering the small room to grab my things.
YOU ARE READING
Ana Grimes was a city girl who struggled with anxiety. Music helped, especially one of her favorite bands. She was mildly obsessed not only with the band, but the lead singer, Josh Katz, as well. She dreamed of one day getting to meet him and have a...