The dim light coupled with the dark sunglasses made reading the menu nearly impossible. She pulled the glasses down the end of her nose and did a quick scan. Pot roast, chicken fried steak, burgers; didn’t these people know about eating healthy?
“You know, if you took those sunglasses off you’d blend in better with the crowd.”
His nonchalant words made her look up. He seemed to be intently studying the menu, yet she was fully aware he knew every move she made. Her heart tripped over itself, as he looked up then reached over, and pulled the plastic from her face. Without a word, he folded the earpieces over one another and laid them beside her paper coaster. Then he returned to the menu and began reading. When she didn't speak, he glanced at her. “Your ball cap is pulled low enough that in this lighting, not even your own grandmother will recognize you.”
If only he knew, that was the whole point. A sinking feeling of uneasiness washed over her. She dampened her dry lips and looked down at the words and pictures of the meals served. Across the way, someone placed a coin in the jukebox and soon Kenny Chesney's newest single blared. A glass of tea with a lemon wedge materialized before her. She glanced up and watched Sandy poise a pencil above a pad.
“What will it be?”
Delaney looked to Logan to begin.
She swallowed and pointed to the friend chicken salad. “I’d like this please.”
Sandy’s hand flew across the pad. “Ranch, Italian, or French dressing?”
“Um, Italian dressing,” she mumbled and folded the edges of the plastic over one another, pushing the menu toward the end of the table.
“I’ll have the All American,” Logan replied.
“Be ready in about ten minutes.” Sandy said as she walked off.
Another awkward silence enfolded around them. Delaney fiddled with the paper band around her napkin. She should say something nice, but what? Her eyes moved around the room. “This is a nice place.”Her comment made Logan look over at her. A bit of tension left the lines in his face. He leaned against the booth back and lifted the edges of his lips. “Locals love it.”
He wasn’t a bad looking man, she decided. Tall, tanned, he had the feel of the outdoors about him. His dark blonde curls made him look like the hero typed that belong on a book cover. She noticed he was staring back at her. Delaney was glad the lighting didn’t allow him to see how her cheeks. If the heat she was experiencing was any indication, they were flaming red. “Have you lived out here all your life?”
“For the most part, I spent some time in Colorado but when my dad wanted to start raising horses, I came back to help him.”
She nodded and looked away. The small bowl of artificial sweeteners suddenly seemed of great importance. Moving the packages around, she began to line them up according to color. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him lean forward and fold his arms, one on top the other, across the table.
“You sure you don’t have other questions?”
She offered him a shy glance, then shrugged. “Everyone has questions.”
“I’ve got one.”
She stopped what she was doing and looked across the table at him.
“What are you hiding from?”
Enjoy your Tuesday and see you soon,