"I hate rain!" The young woman in the parking lot yelled. She stood in one spot, face to the sky, stamping her feet in a puddle.
I watched her for several moments before approaching her. A man has to be cautious about walking up to a woman in a mall parking lot. He can get a face full of pepper spray or a tazer to the nads. Especially, I might add, a man who looks like me. I have a dozen tattoos, body piercings, a shaved head, goatee and several earrings in both ears. I'm also rather muscular. In short, I'm potentially a little scary. Standing at least eight feet away, I cleared my throat. The woman was soaked and shivering, dressed in a lightweight woman's suit with a skirt. I was in bluejeans and denim jacket. The rain didn't bother me.
"Ma'am? Are you in need of assistance? I can get the mall security."
"I can't find my car!" She started to cry. Her makeup was a wreck, mascara running down her cheeks in black rivulets. Her hair lay in sleek, wispy curls giving her a waif like, little girl lost look. It was so wet, I couldn't tell the color.
"Let's get out of the rain," I suggested. "I'll find a security guard and see what we can do."
It took very little persuasion to lead her back into the mall. Careful to keep my distance, I took her to the hair salon just inside the doors. They fetched towels and called security. I brought the young woman a cup of coffee from the staff lounge and sat with her. She shivered and held her coffee like a lifeline. I talked to her quietly to calm her down.
Mall security showed up about 10 minutes later. They stood around scratching themselves a lot. After a few prompts from me, they got the important information and went to look for her car. While they were gone, the ladies in the salon offered to do the woman's hair and makeup for free.
The security officers started with the place she said she had parked, but there was another car in the space. After wandering around for about 45 minutes, they decided to check the rest of the lot. They came up empty.
* * *
Miss Woodstone and I were left alone in the parking lot. I backed up a few feet, hands in my pockets.
"Thank you so much for all your help." She smiled and fiddled with her keys. "I don't know what I would have done without you."
"You would have thought of security eventually."
"But I wouldn't. I guess I'm kind of dumb."
"I doubt that," I chuckled nervously. I'm not all that suave talking to women.
"I'd like to thank you properly. How about dinner tonight? My treat."
"That would be great. Your husband won't mind?"
"Not married," she wiggled her ring finger. "Or engaged."
She sighed. It did nice things to her chest, but I forced myself not to stare.
"I'd like that. I'm single too," I admitted rather shyly
I didn't tell her it was because I didn't date all that much. I've had five girlfriends in the last six years. I hate meeting new women. I express myself rather outrageously with my appearance, but I'm really shy.
"Shall I pick you up?" she asked politely.
"I'd be happy to meet you. Where and what time?"
"The Swinging Monkey at seven."
"Can you get a reservation that quickly?"
The Swinging Monkey is a new, exclusive, trendy restaurant.
"I've been on the books since before it opened. I came here to pick up some new shoes to go with my dress. I just had my hair done when the rain came."
"Unpredictable weather around here."
"So I've noticed. Well, I need to go, Chase. See you at seven!"
"I look forward to it, Miss Woodstone." I held out my hand to her.
"Tracey," she corrected with smile and a flicker of her eyelashes.
"Tracey," I amended myself. I took her hand graciously to my lips.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes