“Bella, I was wondering if you want to go skydiving sometime,” Jae asks.
It takes an effort to not let my jaw drop.Â “Skydiving?” I blurt.
Jae nods.Â “Or boating or four-wheeling or something.Â I need feedback on the services my company provides and thought maybe I could use you as a guinea pigâ€”if you don’t mind being used for non-laboratorial experimental purposes, that is.Â You don’t have to jump out of a plane on my account but I would like a woman’s opinion on other recreational activities.”
The double entendre of his last words dawns on us at the same time.Â Jae turns beet red.Â “I apologize, I didn’t mean for that to sound like that.”
I hold onto my cart, I’m laughing so hard.Â “I’d love to. . .hee-hee-hee. . .do some experiâ€”ha-ha-mental recreational activities-hee-hees with you.”Â Jae’s blush is replaced by a grin and soon he is laughing hard.Â “Sounds like a lot of fun,” I finally am able to say.
Jae’s face brightens and I melt again.Â “Great.Â Here’s my number.”Â He hands me a slip of paper.Â “Give me a call when you have some time.Â We’ll make a whole day of it.Â I really appreciate this.Â You are doing me a big favor.”
I try, I honestly try to not laugh.Â It doesn’t work.Â He catches it, too, and we snicker and snort.Â “I’m not in the habit of doing favors for strange men, but I’ll make an exception this time.”Â How can I not make an exception?Â A cute guy chases me around a store to give me his number.
Jae is still all smiles.Â “Terrific.Â I’ll talk to you later.”
“Bye,” I say as he turns to leave.Â I stand there staring at the paper.Â Jae Elliot â€“ 895-184-5346 it says in bold script.Â I can’t believe it.Â I have the number to a cute guy I just met who wasn’t put off by the orange catastrophe or by my weight.Â An adventurous man who actually wants to spend a whole day with me.
He’s gone by the time I roll up to the check-out counter.Â What a difference a few days makes.Â The humiliation with Wesley and my subsequent depression melts into oblivion as I think about Jae’s smile.
The cashier hands me the receipt.Â “Thank you, ma’am” I tell her cheerfully.Â Maybe a bit too cheerfully from the look she gives me.Â I push the cart through the automatic sliding doors and into the sunshiny, breezy day.Â I scan the car park but Jae is nowhere in sight.Â Darn, I think.Â I had hoped to catch a glimpse of his vehicle.Â Probably a Jeep or truck since his business was adventure tourism.Â But no matter: I have his number and all’s right with the world.
As I stash the groceries in the boot, I wonder what activities we will do.Â Skydiving was more than I wanted to attempt.Â Boating sounded harmlessâ€”unless I capsized the boat.Â Hiking and biking were outâ€”I couldnâ€™t keep up with him and no bike had a seat big enough for me.Â Four-wheeling and white water raftingâ€”now I can try those.