Denise sat at her vanity table staring at herself in the mirror. She thought of herself as dull, boring, dispirited, you name it. "No wonder I can't get a date," she told her reflection. She closed her eyes and his face appeared clear as day. Black hair, blue eyes she could get lost in, and a handsome smile that could send her to her knees.
"Today Jelly," she told her golden retriever. "I'm going to march right up to what's his name and introduce myself."
Denise hurriedly slipped into her sweats and walking shoes. She felt exhilarated. She was finally going to talk to him. She hoped. I will go talk to him she thought to herself. Denise felt as if her life was about to climax.
"Where you off to?" Heather her best friend, slash sister, slash roommate asked.
Denise's face reddened. All of the sudden she felt overwhelmed. "No where," she whispered. "I'm not going anywhere." She felt like the wind had been knocked out of her. The joy she had felt earlier had obliterated all at once.
Heather twirled her hair around her finger. "My God Denise don't go all timid on me." She put her arm around her sister's neck. Heather knew exactly where her sister had been going. Heather popped a bubble with her gum. "Just go to his house and introduce yourself," she told Denise, stroking Jelly's head. The dog barked in agreement.
"I can't," she declined. "He'll think I'm a maniac.
"Do something for once on impulse."
Denise bent down to tie her shoe. "Let's be logical," she said. "I'm not you. You could do it, but not me,"Denise said, pulling on Jelly's leash to keep him from attacking a lizard.
"Don't be ridiculous, you can and you will do it," Heather said. "I put my foot down. If you don't, I'm going to go right to his house and tell him your name , and leave your phone number.
Denise's face heated up once again. She put her hand to her heart, it felt like an explosition was going off in her chest. "You wouldn't!" She exclamied.
"I will if you don't."
She knew Heather all to well. If she said she was going to do something she would. Denise knew she could lie and tell her sister that she went to his house. But she also knew Heather had her ways of finding out the truth. Denise felt immobilized as she turned and slowly headed down the sidewalk to the last house on the block where the man of her dreams lived. Jelly slowly trailed behind her as if she knew she was about to make a fool out of herself. Earlier she had felt elated, but now she felt nothing but dread.
Denise hid behind the big oak tree at the end of his driveway. He was out shirtless washing his four wheel drive. Her breathing became shallow just looking at him. She watched as he dipped his sponge into the soapy water and ran it over the hood of his truck. He took a glup of water from the hose, and then splashed some water in his face. Denise smiled as she thought about the date they could have. Maybe they would go to the movies, a walk on the beach, or a night of dancing.
Jelly let out a bark as a little chihuahua came from around the other side of the truck. The man jerked his head up and looked around, he saw Densie crunched down in a huddle behind the tree. "Thanks alot Jelly." She knew he had seen her, and now she had to make an attempt to talk to him. She walked slowly toward him. "H--h-hi," she struddered. "I---I-." Before she could finish Jelly growled at the little dog.
"BB!" The man yelled, scooping him up into his arms.
Jelly jumped forward, causing Denise to fall toward him. He caught her just in time. "Jelly sit! She scolded.
"What on earth!" A beautiful woman came running out of the house, and a little girl the splitting image of her father was right behind her.
The little girl ran into his arms where she had been moments ago. "Daddy who was that?" She asked.
"I have no idea," he answered.
Denise could feel eyes on her back as she headed home. Tears filled her eyes as she let her emotions go. Heather was waiting on the steps when she returned home.
"What happened?" Heather asked.
"Nothing ," Denise cried. "I didn't do it. I found out he's married." Denise sunk to the ground and cried into Jelly's neck. Jelly licked her, trying to comfort her master.
Heather handed Denise some tissue. She dabbed at her eyes and blew her nose. She hugged Jelly's neck, feeling nothing but empathy toward her four legged friend.
"Why don't you quit fantasying for some guy you haven't even met,"Heather said, getting to her feet. "Your guy might be right under your nose," she added, pointing to the house across the road.
Denise looked at her sister skeptically. She shielded her eyes from the late afternoon sun and looked at the house across the road. The Johnsons had been their neighbor for years until they retired and decided to travel the world, putting their house up for sale. Denise hadn't realized that it had sold.
"I don't think I'll be inquiring on another man any time soon,"Denise sniffled.
"Suit yourself,"Heather said. "But I think you ought to check him out."
"And make a fool out of myself again?" Denise squinted her eyes as she looked at her sister.
"What am I going to do with you?" Heather scolded. "You need to get your butt up and try being a little more out going," she stated. "Take a gaint leap into having fun."
Denise stood. That was just great, her own sister thought she was boring and no fun.
"I'm going to Jake's for the night." Heather turned and got into her car and drove away with her hair flapping in the breeze.
Denise started toward the door, stopped and looked at the house once again. She didn't see any sign of anyone moving in, at least not today. She walked into the house, not realizing that Jelly didn't come. Denise walked into the kitchen and got the carton of chocolate caramel ice cream from the freezer. She retrieved a spoon from the drawer and started eating straight from the carton. She closed her eyes, savoring the sweetness of the cream, letting it absorb the saddness deep in her soul.
Before she knew it she had consumed the whole carton of ice cream. "Get fat and ugly," she ridiculed herself. "Surely,no guy willwant tolook at you then," she added as she headed into the livingroom in search of Jelly.
Jelly wasn't in her bed. Denise searched the whole house tono prevail. Jelly wasno where to be seen. Denise flung the door opened and ran out. Her nerves was elevated as she took off running down the street yelling for Jelly as she went.
Denise stopped as she neared the good looking guy's house that she had been previous hours ago. Her chest felt that sudden tightness as she knocked on the door.
"Hi there,"he said.
Denise rolled her tonuge around in her mouth. Then she thought of Jelly, gave herself a mental shake and said, "My dog is missing." Her voice cracked as she told him about Jelly. He promised he would keep his eyes opened for the golden retriever and bring her home or get in touch with her. Denise thanked him and took off again in a jog.
"Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!"Denise shouted over and over. She was just about to give up when she saw a nice looking guy with Jelly. "There you are!" She exclaimed, falling to her knees to stroke her dog. Jelly wined with pleasure. About that time a big great dane came around and licked Denise across the cheek. "Well hello there big guy."
Denise looked up, feeling her face turn red. "I was talking to the dog," she stated.
"That is Dane," he informed her.
"Catchy name," she smiled at him.
"I take it this is your dog?" He asked.
Denise shook her head. "This is Jelly and thanks for finding her."
"Well actually she found me. I'm moving in my mom and dad's house and Jelly came over to welcome us," he grinned.
"Your Josh Johnson?"
"The one and only," he laughed.
Denise remembered her sister's words "right under your nose" and decided to take that gaint leap.
ALSO WRITTEN BY IMAGINATION101