John Cage twirled elaborately. His dismount was improving tremendously. He had almost executed a triple flip, and almost every time he managed to land on his feet. Not to mention, the number of times that he landed on people had decreased greatly. At that very moment, John executed the flip perfectly and landed on his feet in a crouched frog-like position.
"That's your best one yet," Nell Porter observed as she entered the unisex bathroom. She smiled faintly, and took off her glasses, polishing them lightly on the edge of her sage green blazer.
Having been so caught-up in his dismount, John had not noticed Nell come in. He got up from his crouch and looked uneasily into the mirror. Barry White started playing in his head; it gave him confidence. John took a deep breath, and turned to face Nell. Things had been awkward between them lately; both were aware of the fact that they were drawn to each other; both had not experienced love since they met the other; both had gone two agonizing years without the company of the other. "Thank you, Nell." He replied with a curt nod.
Now he's playing the cold card? Nell thought. Rather ironic. I'm usually the cold one. She took a step closer to him. For once, Nell Porter didn't have the words to express how she felt. So, she took a deep breath. "Call me trampy, but I can't wait any longer…" She took another step towards John, and then placed her lips on his, kissing him tenderly.
This startled John. Startled, not troubled. No, it didn't trouble him at all. Infact, he loved it. He wrapped his short little arms around her waist and stood on his toes so their heights would be nearly even, with John still on the shorter side.
When finally John broke away, both were flushed slightly pink and both had small smiles on their glowing faces. "I think that said it all, John," Nell remarked, fiddling with his tie. "But just for good measure, will you go out with me? Tonight. To…" She trailed off. "I recall it was your turn to pick."
"Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage?" John suggested.
"And then dancing." Nell added. "But, not to Barry White because I don't want you salivating over him when we make love."
That was direct. John thought. A little too direct. It intimidated him and, it troubled him slightly. But, then again, he liked it. The voices in his head asked him why he liked her directness. And, this time John knew why—He was in love with Nell. John just smiled his awkward smile therapy smile.
"Kidding!" Nell added with a grin.
"You know, Nell." John began, placing his hands on her shoulders. Nell raised an eyebrow, indicating she wanted him to go on. "You're the only woman I've ever really loved. You've taught me so much. You've given me support, love, your heart, a frog and oral…"
Elaine hurried out of one of the stalls, the white video camera—the one she carried everywhere so that she could capture miserable moments in office politics on film—in hand. "Sex." She finished. "He was going to say sex."
Nell stepped away from John, the frost returning and the coldness being dumped back onto her demeanor. Nell Porter was icing over again. "Elaine, can you please leave?"
"I'm in the bathroom. It's public space."
"Leave or I'll kick your shin again." Nell threatened, her voice raised. She'd only gotten angry like this once and that was when she'd felt threatened by Ally. Yes, threatened by the neurotic lawyer who was always terminally unhappy.
Elaine winced. That had hurt. She recalled. With a frown, Elaine got off the toilet, stuffed more papertowels in her bra, then walked out of the unisex bathroom in search of Richard Fish, her gossip buddy.
"I guess we're alone again." John observed.
With that, Ally and Larry hurried into the unisex, holding hands and whispering something to each other. Smiles, just like the smiles John and Nell shared, were lighting up their faces.
"I stand corrected."
Ignoring the others, Nell gave John a hug. She inhaled his scent—peppermint. He smelled like a candy cane. "I love you." She murmured. A smile spread across her whole face—a smile that actually reached her eyes.