Jerry rubbed his eyes and glanced at the now-serving sign. The number twenty-seven was illuminated on the LED display, and he shook his head when he glanced at the fifty-nine printed on his ticket. The career center reminded him too much of the DMV. Rain pelted the window behind him as he closed his eyes and wondered how long it would take to speak with a representative.
The air stirred as someone took the seat beside him. He cracked open his eyes and saw a little blond girl sitting on the floor just to his right. He heard the creak of a plastic diaper under her onesie when she moved, and her pigtails bounced each time she nodded her head to the song in her mind. When the little girl looked him in the eyes, she smiled and held up her sippy cup to offer him a drink.
Jerry smiled at the child and winked. The child’s mother shifted positions in her seat, and he noticed her dark red shoes from the corner of his eye. The ankle and leg just above that shoe were well formed and perfectly smooth. He blinked twice when he realized that he was thinking about how that skin would feel under his fingers.
He cleared his throat and took note of the woman’s clothing as he looked up to introduce himself. She wore a black skirt that stopped just above her knee and a pleated white blouse. The sun broke through the clouds and sunlight shone brightly in Jerry’s eyes as he tried to look at her face. The bright light forced him to hold up his hand to shade his eyes and focus on her. When he saw her beauty, his mouth fell open and his jaw jogged up and down soundlessly a moment before he remembered to breathe.
He stammered, “Beautiful. Um… Kid. You have a… beautiful daughter.” His heart fluttered when she smiled.
“Thank you. I hate long waits. How long have you been here?”
“I’ve been here an hour already.” He extended his hand with a warm smile. “My name is Jerry.”
An electric spark jumped between their fingers as they touched, and they both jerked their hands back reflexively with a laugh. “Ouch. You should try a visit here as a single mother. I’m Helen. How long have you been looking for a job?”
Jerry shook his head as if to clear his mind. “I’m sorry. What did you ask me? I didn’t hear anything after the word single.”
Helen’s smile widened and Jerry thought, maybe this will be worth the wait after all.
Eddie D. Moore travels hundreds of hours a year, and he fills that time by listening to audiobooks. When he isn’t playing with his grandchildren, he writes his own stories. You can find a list of his publications on his wordpress blog - Eddie D. Moore, or by visiting his Amazon Author Page. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a copy of his mini-anthology Misfits & Oddities.