In this installment of Washed Right Out, Riley wrestles with seeing his ex Jonathan again and there is an unusual confrontation.
Washed Right Out, Chapter Twelve. Prompts used: have your character buy something.
Riley truly wanted to follow Karen's thoughtful, learned advice of staying in his office and waiting to be kidnapped, but there was something he had to do. He would have to talk to Jonathan, once and for all. He could end the situation all by himself.
Forty-five minutes. It would take Karen and Samantha forty-five minutes to get from the Les Belles Vagues Boutique to the building where the Belle Facce offices were. Half of that time would actually be spent in the car. The other half would be getting ready, stopping for a coffee and a light snack at the nearby bodega across the street from the salon.
Who knows—they might even be waylaid by a customer, popping in for a quick trim and a wash. If Sam ever had a weakness, it was the customer with no prior appointment but who carried cash and shot sad puppy eyes at her until she acquiesced and let them sit in her chair for a cut. That would be another ten minutes tacked onto the ETA, hypothetically speaking.
These thoughts occupied Riley's mind as he mechanically went through the motions of setting his work station on standby and taking the elevator down to the lobby. Anything to push away the mental images of Jonathan, looking like a homeless person, desperation in his eyes. Jonathan, who’d spent most of his adult life obsessing over every detail of his appearance, who would lose his mind if his clothes and hair were not perfectly coordinated and who often demanded the same from Riley.
"It's only a talk," Riley muttered to himself. "It's only a talk."
It's never just a talk, sweetheart, said every single dating show he’d ever seen and every relationship article he’d ever read.
"It could be..." His voice trailed off when he realized he was answering his own weird thought process out loud. He was so glad he was the only one in the elevator.
At that point, the doors opened with a sharp electronic ding, and a minute later, Riley was standing on the sidewalk outside the office, squinting into the light of the mid-day sun that had broken through the clouds. He wished he’d brought a hat. Actually, he wished he’d brought a weapon, like one of the mace canisters Sonia had left in his apartment.
There were several people sitting at the outdoor patio area of the Dairy Square, including a woman with a baby in a papoose and an elderly couple sharing a large dish of frozen yogurt, but Jonathan was nowhere in sight. Riley frantically scanned the street that Dairy Square sat on, but his choppy-haired ex-lover wasn't there. Even when he crossed the street and traveled the length of it on foot, Jonathan was a no-show. He wasn't lurking in an alleyway or hiding in the doorway of a clothing boutique or ducked down in an abandoned phone booth.
Riley made his way back to the Dairy Square and dumped himself into an empty chair. He wanted to be relieved, but that wasn't happening. He’d finally psyched himself up to confront Jonathan, and now he was disappointed—in himself, in Jonathan, in the remains of their relationship.
He had time before his co-workers would register his unusual absence, so he went inside and ordered a small Styrofoam dish of pomegranate frozen yogurt. The elderly couple had left by the time Riley returned to his chair, replaced by a young man in jeans and T-shirt, with the most delicious looking blond hair Riley had ever seen on another human being's head. It didn't look so much like hair as strands of gold overflowing in unkempt waves.
Riley bit down hard on a sizable chunk of yogurt, hoping the brain freeze would put his brain back in order. It didn't help. The bowl was portable, the spoon was portable, he was portable; he had better things to do than sit in the cold and eat even colder yogurt by himself.
Something soft brushed against his arm. He would have turned his head to look but the voice behind him froze his body.
"Riles. You're here."