Misplaced Cable Connection
Joanne Faries

Tina checked her watch, even though she had just looked at the oven clock. Hating a day like today, she pouted. Mitch insisted it was time to upgrade their dish satellite system, but she was the one, due to her flexible work schedule, left to wait for the technical crew.  
“Honey, you can write, read, and relax, “ Mitch made it sound so easy. Waiting jittered her nerves. She knew the minute she went to the bathroom the doorbell would ring.  

Picking up her book, Tina glanced out the window as a truck eased up the driveway. The doorbell rang, and to not appear overeager, she strolled to the front door. A tall muscular man, dressed in blue jeans and a gray shirt, studied a worksheet. “Mrs. Meade, I’m to install your Dish 10,000 package.”  

“Finally here,” she knew she sounded peevish.  

He looked up and his piercing green eyes startled her.  

Those eyes scanned my face as I coughed, sputtered, and spewed water from my guts. A belly flop off the high board incapacitated me. Age thirteen, gawky in my swimsuit, mouthful of braces. This lean, tanned lifeguard pulled me to safety and reassured me I’d breathe again. By end of summer, I’d gasp from his shy kisses.  

“Pat? Pat Terrell?” He nodded, puzzled, yet curious. His glance took in her lithe figure (damn why didn’t I wear a nicer top instead of this cruddy t-shirt?), her tumbled short chestnut curls, brown eyes, and her smile.  

“Tina Smithson, you don’t have braces anymore. Wow – short hair. You look great. How long’s it been?”  

“I was thirteen and you were fifteen. Guess you’re not a lifeguard anymore. Still swim?” Tina kicked herself mentally for that inane question. “Uh, the media room is this way.”  

He followed and answered her, “Yeah, at the Y. Last I heard you were in California.” He fumbled as he unplugged the myriad of cables in the old system.  

“College at Pepperdine, scriptwriting failures in Hollywood. Married Mitch, and we moved back here since my Dad’s illness. He’s better now.”  

“Glad to hear it. Always liked your Dad. He didn’t shoot when he caught us kissing on your swing.”  

She blushed. “I think he liked you best out of all my boyfriends, even Mitch. Are you married?  

“Nope. Never found the right girl, I guess,” Pat sighed. “That’s so cliché. Well, looks like we have the right box, but wrong cables. Sorry, but I need to come back.” He winked.  

Tina stammered, “Thursday. Noon lunch.”  

Without hesitation, Pat agreed, gathered tools, and they walked to her door. He leaned in and whispered, “Purple Speedo. This installation might take a couple trips.”

First published: February, 2008
comments to the writer: leilarae@iceflow.com