As I stood in the bathroom, drying off my freshly washed body, I couldn't help but think about Cane who was sitting in my kitchen, likely drinking my beer. Cane has a way with getting his way in any situation. I didn't want to go out that night. My plans of having a nice juicy steak with Jett were quickly ruined by Cane but there was little to no way out of this. I threw on my jeans and light blue button up shirt. Ruffled my hair a bit, grabbed my watch, phone and wallet and headed toward the kitchen. I could hear Cane talking to someone.
"If you could meet us at 9 at the bar, we'll buy you a drink and discuss it then." he said. "Ok, great, I look forward to it."
He pressed the end button on his cell phone and looked up at me.
"Dude, this is going to be epic. I have a huge possible sale lined up for the university making t-shirts for the seniors to be worn at tomorrow's game. Mr. Arthur Jones with the athletic department is going to meet us at O'Hannigan's at 9." he gleamed.
I have to admit, the fact that meeting up for a business venture made the thought of going out a little bit better.
"Alright, well that gives us an hour to get there and eat before pitching our sale." I replied. "Let's do this."
Off we went, driving separately because his driving skills are less than average and I happen to like my life. As we were driving, I took a quick detour back to the county trails. I pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car. My phone started to buzz. I glanced at it and hit ignore. Cane was probably shitting himself trying to figure out where I went but he'll get over it. I stared up the hill toward the house trying to figure out what I saw earlier. There is no way anyone could have been in the house. It was taped off and i'm sure the floors were falling apart. But, I saw something during my run. I know I did.
"Leland, you dumbass, it was probably just some kid that snuck under the tape." I whispered as I shook my head and put the rover in reverse. I placed my right hand behind my passenger side seat and looked out the rear window while backing up.
"SHIT!" I slammed on the breaks. Standing at my back window holding onto the glass as if to try to stop my car from hitting her was a figure.
The sun was setting and I couldn't get a good look, so I put the rover in park, unbuckled and opened my door. My phone started buzzing again, but I ignored it. I walked around to the back of the car and there she stood. Long wavy, light brown hair, BIG green eyes, full lips, and skin that was so perfect she could have come straight out of a calvin klein ad.
"I'm sorry to startle you," she said with a little fear in her voice. "I was just coming to close the gate, are you done here?"
I was mesmerized by her beauty. She wore a white tank top and long flowing beige skirt that danced in the wind.
"I - I was just leaving." I stuttered.
"Ok then." she replied. "Again, i'm sorry if I startled you."
"I'm Leland, by the way. Leland Banes. I'm not usually one to be at a loss for words, I guess it's just the adrenaline."
"Harlo." she replied with a smile. "My name is Harlo. It's nice meeting you. Now you should probably go ahead and get so I can get the gate locked up.
I nodded and returned to my rover. I buckled up the seatbelt and pulled away. Watching her through my rear view mirror. I'd never seen anyone so perfect in my life. I pulled out of the line, watching until the lane turned back onto the main road.
My phone buzzed again. I picked it up. 14 missed calls.
"I'm on my way dickhead. I just had to make a quick stop."
I don't think I listened to a damn thing in the business meeting with Mr. Jones. I think I nodded in agreement and let do Cane do 98% of the talking. Which was best because we landed the sale. As Mr. Jones finished up his 8th beer, I couldn't help but think about Harlo. How I almost ran her over. I needed to see her again but I didn't want to seem like a stalker. Why couldn't I get her out of my mind? Harlo -- such a beautiful name, beautiful face.
I shook Mr. Jones's hand as he stood up to depart our table. Cane and I stood up too. It was 10 o'clock and way passed my bed time. I threw some money on the table for the waitress and nodded at Cane.
"Call me tomorrow, Bro."
"Will do." he replied, shaking my hand.
"Give Madge my best."