“How are you liking your vacation?” Lisa asked Ryan, as she cut Skyler’s hot dog into tiny wedges.
“I can’t complain. The weather has been perfect, and I like the condo that I am staying in,” he replied. “My room looks out over the beach, which is awesome.”
I thought of a quiet, solitary room, looking out at the ocean waves and the sand that seemed to stretch for miles. No nosey siblings or sticky fingers, and definitely no matchmaking mothers to spoil the scene. It sounded like paradise.
I was about to say so when Ryan added, “It’s quiet, though.”
“You say that as though it is a bad thing!” I laughed, as John’s oldest child Riley ran up to his parents, crying loudly about how “Amy had taken the last Oreo cookie, and she had a whole stack of them, and it wasn’t fair, she needed to share!”
Lisa sighed heavily and left to put out the fire of sibling rivalry.
Ryan laughed too, “Well, sometimes a little noise can be a good thing,” he said, and I liked him all the more for it.
Thirty minutes later, Lisa, Julie and I were helping Mom put away the salads, while John and Ryan were out talking shop and other manly things on the patio.
Lisa gave me a little sideways nudge. “Ryan is pretty cute, don’t you think?”
“Cute? He’s totally hot!” chimed in Julie. I rolled my eyes.
“I think he likes you, Jess,” Lisa continued. “Did you notice how he kept looking at you when we were out on the patio?”
How could I have not noticed? He kept glancing my way while I was eating, making me self-conscious about the loaded baked potato salad I was stuffing into my mouth. I only hoped that I didn’t have a chunk of chive hanging out in my front teeth.
“Of course he likes my sweet girl,” Mom cooed, looking at me in the sappy way that I outwardly loathed as a teenager, but secretly revelled in. “He has good taste, doesn’t he? Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has a cute tush. I wouldn’t mind having a bit of that action myself….”
“Ma!” I cried, anxiously checking toward the door in case the cute tush surprised us again by coming in at an awkward moment.
Julie and Lisa burst out laughing, which prompted the guys to make their way back into the kitchen.
“What did we miss?” John asked, looking toward his wife.
I jumped in before Lisa could answer. “Nothing!” I looked daggers at my mother, then took Ryan by the arm, steering him back toward the door. “Hey Ryan, want to go for a walk?”
To my eternal relief, he readily agreed.
We walked down to the beach and I slipped my sandals off, letting them dangle from my fingers. Ryan took his shoes off as well and rolled his khakis up a few times. The sand was warm and soft, and I loved how it felt as it squished between my toes.
We had only just made it down to the water when I heard someone yelling from further up the beach.
“Jessie!” I squinted in the direction of the sound and saw a man in low riding shorts and no shirt waving toward me. He started to run up toward us and I finally recognized the tattoos and facial hair. It was Mike, from the deli. Oh no.
“Hey Jessie!” he said, as he jogged up toward us.
“Hey, Mike,” I said awkwardly. Why did he have to recognize me from way up the beach, when I was walking with Mr. Hottie of all people?
“We were just hanging out and saw you walking out here. You should come over. We’ve got plenty of beer left. We stopped and got a keg after eating lunch with you.”
“Umm,” I said, looking at Ryan with an apologetic shrug. “I’m sorry, Mike, but Ryan and I were going for a walk…”
“Oh, sorry dude! I didn’t mean to cut into your time!” Mike said, slapping Ryan on the back in what was evidently meant to be a playful manner.
“No problem…dude,” Ryan said, stuffing his hands into his pockets, looking at me with a questioning look in his eyes.
Check back tomorrow to see if this date can get back on the right track!