A response to the Daily Post one word Prompt – Trace
“Hi, my friends call me Trace” she said cordially, as she took her seat at the table. Awkward is the best way to describe how she felt as she sat down joining the group which consisted of his brother Galen, his sister Amber, and his parents Mike and Julia. Now that introductions were made and she was invited to sit with them for at least some coffee, she wasn’t sure if she should stay. Her shyness and introverted nature begged her to flee the cafe. Her politeness kept her there.
Last night she had been in his bed after meeting him at The Wet Whistle, a local bar that she rarely visited. There was live music, beer, and no one she knew. That’s exactly what she wanted. An uncomplicated night to help her escape her complicated life. The light banter between her and the nameless man who she now knew as Joshua was fun and titillating. They hit it off quick, she found Joshua likeable and interesting. Avoiding anything too personal, the conversation was kept light with tales of adventures and experiences. No careers or family came up, there were no mention of friends. Just two people having a decent conversation without any sign of commitment.
They danced, alcohol causing a swirling giddiness to keep the two close together as they made their way gradually around the dance floor, laughing and swaying. His hands felt strong on her back, but gentle as they guided her to the sway of the slow melody. She couldn’t remember the last time she had danced. High school prom, maybe? It certainly wasn’t at her wedding… the bastard wouldn’t dance. Joshua, however, seemed to love it. He was graceful and confident, or perhaps he was as lost in the moment as Trace was. Trace felt bold and free, she leaned into him, finding his kiss to be as gentle as his hands.
“Are you local, Trace?” Mike asked between bites of apple turnover, inturrupting her memory of the perfect unplanned night.
“No, sir. I moved here two years ago. It’s such a lovely place, quiet and peaceful” Trace replied.
“It’s a small town, for sure. But wait til you know more people. The peacefulness disappears.” Amber interjected with a look of boredom on her face.
Trace knew all about small towns. The town she came from was much smaller than this. Gossip was rampant, and everyone knew everything that happened to you seemingly before you knew it yourself.
Julia kept eyeing Trace as she sipped on her coffee. “So Josh tells us that you only met last night. What are the chances that you should meet again this morning.” It wasn’t really a question, and Trace did not know how to reply. Julia sat there with her neatly styled hair, her perfect makeup, and her glittering diamonds all mocking the relaxed look that Trace was sporting today. Skinny jeans and a whit tee, a braided hemp necklace with beatiful orange stones, and tan canvas flats. She definitely felt out of place at this table where everyone appeared to be ready for Sunday church services.
“Yes mom, we had a couple of drinks together, it was a nice night” Joshua politely replied to his mom, saving Trace as she began to blush, remembering how nice the night really was. He grinned over at her. “My only regret is not getting your number before you left.” The conversation continued around her, but Trace was lost in her own thoughts.
She had left, quickly and quietly, in the middle of the night. She did not want this. She had been separated from her husband for two years, but the divorce was just now final after a long battle with him and his family. All she could do was smile at him and provide a chance for her mind to quit whirling by paying attention to the coffee mug in her hand. She added some creamer and a packet of sugar, then began to absently stir the concoction. Why exactly had he called her over to their table? To meet his family? To make her blush in front of their accusing stares? She was beginning to become agitated at the banter, but realized it wouldn’t be so bad to see him again. she did enjoy herself last night, she actually felt like herself while she was with Joshua.
“This has been lovely and serendipitous. It was so very nice to meet you all.” Trace politely stated as she glanced at her watch. “But I must get going. Joshua,” she grinned at him, now unable to help herself, “If you wish to see me again, you will find me as you did this morning, perhaps by chance.” She excused herself, gulping down the coffee and leaving the mug on the counter by the other used mugs and dishes.
As she Trace walked out the door, she saw the look on Joshua’s face. His eyes sparkled with humor, he winked, conveying that the challenge had been accepted, and she saw him say something to his parents as he folded his napkin and began to get up from his seat.
Trace hurried out the door to avoid him. She rushed to the next shop on the strip, opening the lock with her keys and quickly ducking inside the shop, vanishing from the awkward encounter. She watched him as he stepped outside onto the walkway, looking around the parked cars, unable to locate her. “Good luck Joshua” Trace said as she turned the sign hanging on the back of the door to Open, ready to start her day.