*read all of the chapters for Swipe Right – The Chronicles of an Unpaid Prostitute in order here
Just as I was leaving work Wednesday evening, my phone rang. “So sorry Maddie, just found out that I have to head out of town tomorrow and I’ll have to cancel our meeting. Are you free at all right now?”
Ben Davis, ruiner of plans. How was I supposed to say no? I would have to tell my Wednesday night date that I wouldn’t be able to make it. “Um, yeah, sure.”
“Great, I’ll send you the address.”
I arrived at this cool coffee shop right around the corner from my apartment. I’d never seen this place in my life. I really needed to get out more.
I found Ben at a high table, still in his pressed pin stripe suit, his hair perfectly styled, not a single strand out of place. After brief greetings, I got right into it, assuring him that everything was on track for the launch next week. He agreed and went over a few details he’d wanted me to add in and instead of reaching over and strangling him, I simply smiled and nodded. As frustrating as he was, I still couldn’t believe the trust he’d put in me with this project. Our conversation was short, surely one that could have happened over the phone which would have allowed me to keep my date for tonight.
“So, did I pull you away from anything tonight?” He was joking, referencing the last time when he’d made me miss my flight.
“Nothing of importance,” I assured him.
“Oh my god, I really pulled you away from something?” I had to laugh at the apology in his eyes. I waved a hand in the air dismissing it. “Don’t tell me it was a hot date or something.”
This was starting to get a little less professional and a little too personal. “I don’t know if he was hot, I hadn’t met him yet.”
“I feel terrible,” he muttered, putting his hands over his face.
“You should, really. You probably just cost me one of my future husbands.”
He looked up at me with a small smile. “One of your future husbands?”
“Yes. My grandmother always told me, first marriage is for money, second is for love. We’ll never know which one he could have been.” He threw his head back laughing and I was starting to feel that Ben and I were becoming friends.
I excused myself to the bathroom and without realizing, left my phone on table. As I came back a few minutes later, Ben was wearing a sly smile. “What?” I asked, smoothing down my shirt.
“Your phone was going off, you received a bunch of notifications from some dating app.”
“You were going through my phone?” I asked to cover my embarrassment.
“Not going through, no. But I think you could probably start your own reality TV show with all of those suitors wanting your attention.” I covered my face feeling my cheeks flame.
“I should probably call Chris Harrison then, it’ll be the most dramatic season yet.” I loved that Ben laughed, getting my Bachelor reference.
When the night was over, I’d decided to walk and Ben insisted he walk me home. I wished him a safe flight in the morning.
“Who was that?”
I whipped around, throwing a hand over my heart. “Jesus, Darryl. You scared me.”
He smiled. “Sorry.”
“Just someone I work with. Why?”
“I’ve been thinking,” he started, ignoring my question. Nothing good ever came out of Darryl thinking. “You’re in marketing, right?”
How the hell did he know that? “Yes.” I pulled my keys out, making it clear I wanted to go inside.
“Well, I started my new album track list and I was thinking that when I got it recorded, that you could market it.”
“I don’t think you could afford me, Darryl,” I told him with a smile.
“You wouldn’t do it for free? You know, help a guy out? We’re friends.”
I had my hand on the doorknob. “No,” I confirmed before disappearing into my apartment. I meant my one word answer as a general blanket to every question and statement he’d just uttered.
*tomorrow – Chapter Seventeen