It’s always something

Grant used to be a baseball coach.

That may or may not have had something to do with why I couldn’t sleep last night.

I finally got tired of tossing and turning at 5:30 this morning and wandered into the kitchen to start breakfast. I had just gotten out the waffle iron and thrown some bacon into a skillet when I heard a knock at the kitchen door.

“I hope I didn’t startle you,” Grant said as I opened the door. “I was just loading the car when I saw Joey out feeding the cats. He wanted to show me the kittens in the culvert, and then I noticed you standing in here, and I thought maybe I could give you a hand with breakfast.” He treated me to a smile as warm and intoxicating as Miss Shirley’s Irish coffee.

I smiled back. “Come on in,” I said as I turned back to the stove. “I think I’ve got it under control, but you’re welcome to watch.”

“I can’t believe you got up this early just to cook for me,” Grant said, looking over my shoulder. “Are you this thoughtful with all your guests?

“Only if they understand the infield fly rule,” I replied, feeling his dark eyes on me.

Grant put his arm around my waist and brought his lips close to my ear. “Less than two outs,” he began. I could smell his aftershave. It made me a little dizzy.

“Two men on. Consecutive bases,” he continued huskily, nuzzling my hair.

“I’d settle for a man on first at the moment,” I whispered, turning to face him.

As his lips touched mine …

This is the part where I’d like to start quoting that line from The Princess Bride about the “five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure.”

Unfortunately, this is the real world, where it usually takes more than a basic grasp of the infield fly rule to score a happily-ever-after … so as Grant’s lips touched mine …

“SissySissySissySissySISSY!” Joey burst into the lobby, shouting frantically.

Grant and I turned. “What is it?” I asked, trying to concentrate on the way Grant’s hand felt against my waist, hoping I could commit the sensation to memory and savor it later.


Tampons. Some woman had flushed a half-dozen tampons, and instead of calling the front desk as soon as she realized she’d stopped up the toilet, she let the water spill out all over the bathroom floor and out onto the carpet.

By the time I got the situation under control, Grant was gone. I’d known he would be, because he had school in the morning, and with a seven-hour drive ahead of him, he just didn’t have the luxury of standing around all day waiting for me to fix the plumbing in somebody else’s room … but it still took everything I had to keep from crying when I got back to the kitchen to find him gone.

He left me breakfast — bacon, homemade waffles and a pot of strong coffee — and a note:

Dear Sierra,

I’m sorry I had to leave without saying goodbye, but it’s probably for the best. There’s no guarantee Dr. Scherer is going to offer me the job. If he does, we’ll have all the time in the world to finish what we started this morning. If he doesn’t, it’s probably just as well we didn’t get too involved.

I hope you enjoy your breakfast. Joey says you make better cheese grits than I do, but I think the waffles are passable.

I’ll let you know when I hear something from Dr. Scherer.

— Grant

I honestly do not know how I am going to maintain any semblance of professionalism toward the next candidate. I know this is small and selfish and stupid of me, but I don’t care who he is or how good he is; I just want him to fail so Grant can come back.

I think I hate myself for that.

— Sierra



  1. Judy Wallmark · May 3, 2010

    Woo Hoo!

  2. tumbleweedmotel · May 3, 2010

    Maybe woohoo. He’s got to get the job first.

    If there is a silver lining in all this, it’s that he called today to find out what happened, and he is now aware that in addition to pouring latte art and explaining the infield fly rule, I can do my own plumbing and replace my own carpet. If I were a guy, I think I’d want a girlfriend who could handle her own problems — especially if I had an extremely demanding job.

    (Yeah, Sierra. Keep telling yourself that. He probably thought it was reeeeeeal sexy when you interrupted what could have been the greatest make-out session in the history of time to go plunge somebody else’s tampons out of an overflowing toilet. That’s *hot*.)

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