1.9 Skating Circles

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Sabrina’s P.O.VScreenshot-223.jpg

I smiled as my phone rang the minute I stepped out of work, and I picked it up with a smile in my voice, “You’re not waiting around for me to call you, huh playboy?”

Nicolai chuckled, “Am I that obvious? In any case, I miss you, Sabs. When can I see you again?”

I shrugged, despite the fact that he couldn’t see me, “I dunno. I think we need to let this cool off a bit, Nick. I told you I wasn’t looking for serious, and this is feeling a little more serious every time we hang out. I like you, but I’m not ready for commitment yet.”

With a sigh, he hung up, promising to call back every day until I said yes. I shook my head and turned the corner to the parking lot. I pulled out and made my way into town. I had been dying for them to finish the construction on the new roller rink in the park. When I got there I pulled out my skates and made a beeline for the rink. I knelt down, glad no one was around before touching the glossy smooth surface, not yet roughened up by hundreds of skaters. After a moment, I slid out onto the rink. I was pretty shaky at first, but it soon came rushing back to me. When I was seven or so, Maria, my ex-mom, used to bring me to the roller rink of the guy she hooked up with. Of the rotating door of men in her life, this guys wasn’t so bad. He was still scum, but he was less scummy than his predecessors. He was the one who taught me to skate, teaching me all the little tricks and turns. I got pretty good, but then, like most things in my early life, it came to an end when my mom stole the money from the cash register. If I hadn’t been there, I’m sure she would have been in jail.

Screenshot-217.jpgI was so focused on my stroll down memory lane, that I had barely registered another skater on the rink. They came colliding into me, sending us both sprawling on the ground. It was not one of my finer moments. “Watch where you’re going,” I grunted as I stood up. I turned around to face them, stopping short when I saw it was a giant of a man. I began chuckling uncontrollably, before helping him back to his feet. He rolled his eyes, but I saw a grin playing at the corner of his mouth.

He stuck out his hand, “I’m sorry for running into you, ma’am.”

I shook his hand, “It’s alright. I’ve been hit worse. Call me Sabrina, ma’am is too weird.” He nodded, “I’m Justin.”

The conversation hit one of those awkward lulls, until I nodded towards his obviously new skates, “You learning to skate?”

He gestured to his feet, “Can’t you tell? I’m a professional,” he laughed, “Nah, I’m learning so that I can teach my little girl when she comes out to visit.”

I nodded understandingly, “How old is she?”

He smiled, pulling out his phone and showing me a picture, “She’ll be six next month.”

I shrugged uncomfortably, not wanting to pester this stranger with questions, so instead I began to skate slowly, “Well, Justin, we have a lot of work to do before you’re able to skate safely.”

He cocked his head to the side, “You’d really help me? You don’t even know me.” I just shrugged and we began to go over the basics. Eventually we made it to the middle, not using the bars at all. I held his hands with mine, ignoring the thoughts of how strong his hands seemed. He looked down at me, “Thank you for being so kind. My daughter is going to love this.”

Screenshot-214I nodded, before pushing on with the question that I had been biting back all day, “If I might be so bold, or nosy if I’m being honest with myself here, why don’t you have your daughter living with you?”

He nodded thoughtfully, “No worries, I’d tell you if you were being too nosy. My wife and I were married right out of high school, six years ago. Last November, and awful storm caught us on the tail end of a road trip out to see my folk in Bridgeport. The car tumbled over and over, killing her almost instantly. I was in a coma for several weeks, unsure whether I was going to live. Cassidy, my daughter, was miraculously unharmed somehow, minus a few scrapes and bruises. My wife’s parent kept her with them, while I was in the hospital. Once I was released, we lived in Twinbrook with them until about two weeks ago. I moved here to help us get a fresh start while Cassidy finishes the school year in the same county. In two weeks, she has spring break coming up, and I’m going to bring her out here to show her our new home.” He had tears in his eyes as he finished, and I bowed my head, unsure of what to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry for prying.”

Screenshot-221.jpgHe gripped my hands, “Nonsense, ma’am-er Sabrina, you are the first person out here to show me the slightest bit of warmth. Thank you.” I nodded my head before I noticed the time, “I’m so sorry, Justin, but I have to be heading home soon,” I handed him a card with my number on it, “If I am to be so bold, if you ever need a friend, please don’t hesitate to call. I’d love to meet your daughter.”

Screenshot-226We parted ways, and I left with a spring in my step, happy to have made a new friend. when I got home, my mom planted a kiss on my cheek before handing me several handwritten notes. I flipped through them hastily,  “What are these?” My mother sighed, “Those are phone message taken by me, your father and Ethan, several times from lover-boy, Nicolai.” I shook my head, “I’m so sorry, Mom, I’ll get him to stop calling here, okay?” She nodded before putting her hands on my shoulders, “Hon, I know you’re a sweet girl and afraid of being hurt….but is there a possibility that you’re stringing this guy along? He  clearly cares for you.” I shook my head, “No way. In fact, I ended it today, I told him that we needed to cool off for awhile. I’ll talk to him again.” She hugged me before going back to the kitchen, “I’m here if you need to talk, hon.”

I sighed heavily as I flopped onto my bed, why did this casual dating thing have to be so complicated? Suddenly feeling very exhausted, I fell asleep while trying to push thoughts of my talk with Justin out of my head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1.8 Fight or Flight…or Stay??

gen1-coverSabrina’s P.O.V

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I sat across from Nicolai on the soft picnic blanket, my heart trying to ram it’s way out of my chest. He cleared his throat,before reaching for my hand, I pulled it away sharply, my face burning bright red, “I am so sorry. I am not repulsed by you. In fact I am the opposite of repulsed by you, but that’s not my point. I’m just a little gun shy, it’s been awhile since I dated, and my last boyfriend was pretty serious.” He chuckled before rubbing the back of his neck, “Okay, well I’m glad I’m not repulsive. Should I give you a warning before I try to make a move?” I giggled nervously, “No, no, please, I’m okay. I just over reacted. I’m fine.” He shrugged before offering me more of the fruit salad. Screenshot-194We made some more small chit chat as the sun made it’s way across the sky. He was surprisingly easy to talk to. He offered his hand, “Can I show you something?” I let him lead me to the edge of the lake as the sun began to sink slowly down. He leaned in close and whispered, “Get ready…” I turned to look at him as he scooped me up and twirled me around, dancing to the music of the crickets and the frogs. I laughed until my belly ached. We were both breathless as we made our way back to the blanket.Screenshot-198

 

He sat down and patted his lap, “I promise I don’t bite.” I smiled before resting comfortably on him. I draped my arms over his shoulders before sighing, “I should let you know, before this goes too far, I have no intention of getting serious with you right away. Don’t get me wrong, this date is amazing, but like I said earlier, I’m  still recovering from my  ex-boyfriend. He nodded his head, “Hey, don’t feel bad. I get it, and I’m not really the ‘settling down’ type. Your man really did a number on you, eh?” I shook my head, “You have  no idea.”  He reached up and pushed my hair behind my ears, “I’m sorry that he didn’t realize what a catch he had.” He placed a gentle kiss on my cheek and I used all of my willpower to stop from running away.Screenshot-199

Instead, I stood up abruptly, and backed away skittishly. He stood up too, picking up the picnic stuff, “C’mon, it’s getting dark. I’ll give you a ride home.” I wished I knew him well enough to read his expressions, but I was too busy kicking myself. Before I knew what was happening, I stood in front of him, draped my arms over his shoulders, and brought my lips to his, hoping he would understand. I felt him grin as our lips parted, and he pulled me closer, barely coming up for air. I sighed breathily afterwards, “Okay, you can take me home now.”Screenshot-201

He walked to the front door, and I leaned in for a goodnight kiss. I put my hands on his shoulders, “I want to clear the air before you leave. Just because I’m not looking for anything serious, does not mean I don’t want to see you again, okay?” He took my hand and kissed it, “I had a great time, Sabrina. You will be hearing from me again.” With that, I opened the door, smiling the entire way to my room. I stared at myself in the mirror, after I had showered off, unable to reconcile this person standing before me with the person I was just a few months ago. I shake my head, and slip into my pajamas, sleeping more soundly than I have in months.