Pike’s Peek 10K… and how I left my heart on a napkin
When he walked in, I was fixated. The number pinned to his sweat-stained, heather grey t-shirt indicated that he had just run Pike’s Peek. He was dark with light eyes, kind eyes. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. And as he sat down at his table directly in front of me, it became increasingly difficult to focus on what my friend was saying. Moreso when I realized he couldn’t keep his eyes off me either. He got up to go to the bathroom and paused ever so slightly as he passed by our table – a fraction of a second filled with hellos and howareyas and names and whatdoyoudos.
With pedicures in our future, it was time to leave. Something came over me. On my way back from the restroom, I grabbed a napkin. I sat down and fished a pen out of my bag. Hand shaking, I penned a note.
“Hi. I wanted you to know you have a beautiful smile. It brightened my day. -Jane”
I left my e-mail address at the bottom. Inocuous. Sweet. Brave. So brave.
The waitress came over and I asked her to lean in. “See that guy over there in the grey t-shirt? Well, we’re going to pay now. When we leave… and I mean out the door… can you give this note to that guy. Just make sure we’re gone.” She whipped her head around faster than my poached eggs got cold (trust me on that one). I scolded her sharply. “What are you doing?!” I yelled in a whisper. She apologized. Smiled. And agreed.
We got up and scurred to the door. To the cashier. To my my chance at true love. When I noticed that they were leaving, too. He didn’t have the note. She didn’t have a chance. I had left her a hefty tip assuming she would complete the task.
But there was still a chance. He had to pay, right? I had it in me. I could say something… I coud…
He walked out the door. They didn’t pay. Perhaps they left cash on the table, an option I should have considered.
Still shaken from what could have been, I asked my friend to walk around the shopping center with me. They had walked in the opposite direction of our cars. He turned around. He saw me looking. But he walked away. And I did, too.
Today I saw a man sitting on a bench talking on his cell phone. He works on my floor and he’s gorgeous. My coworker and I were really keen on sitting outside for a spell, but with our one bench occupied we had no options. I walked over to him: “Hi. Are you on a private call? My friend and I were hoping to grab a seat on that bench.” Without hesitation, I walked up to a stunning man and sparked a conversation with ease.
But not him. Not the man at First Watch in the heather grey shirt stained with the sweat of a mid-morning race. Not the man who couldn’t keep his eyes off of me. Not the man I could have watched all morning long. If I remembered his number… the one on his shirt…. If I had tripped at the door. If I had caused a scene or had the nerve. If I could have come up with one thing to say. For a moment – for a series of precious moments – my hardened heart was supple with love. The birds were literally chirping on the second gorgeous, summer-like day in a row.
I can’t regret my efforts… it was brave. If he had gotten the note. If he forgot something and had to go back. If he found me somehow… The tip, the one I gave her for delivering the note, it would have been worth it.
And if, by chance, you were at First Watch in Rockville on Sunday. Or if you ran Pike’s Peek. If you know an attractive man who owns a heather grey shirt. Tell him he has a beautiful smile. It truly brightened my day.