Isolation Hope

*Grace*

Night after night, he comes in. Always with a new girl. I watch them from the kitchen of the Blue Orchid’s. I have developed a crush on him since he first came here. Such a beautiful man. I bet his bed is never empty at night. I want to be in it so badly. I bet it’s so warm. My cheeks feel red now.

I finally got to meet him five weeks ago. Five weeks out of two years. That took so much. I was busy with work and he had his dates. Then that night, I found him in the narrow hallway. He was in deep pain. I already knew why.

I am number twenty-four. I got mine the night before I met Jimmy. I don’t want to die alone. I’m so happy that I found Jimmy. He seems to want to get close to me as well. So far, nothing has happened between us. I keep hoping that will change soon.

My friends at the Blue Orchid’s keep pushing me to ask him out, but I’m not sure. I don’t fit his type. Jimmy goes out with the pretty girls. I’m just in the middle.

But as I look at the twenty-four burned into my shoulder, I don’t have much of a choice anymore. I have to act now or die alone.

I know what time he beings his dates to the Blue Orchid’s. It seems tacky to ask him out while he’s on a date. Maybe I’ll just say hi. Oh, he’s coming in now. But hang on! Jimmy’s alone tonight. This isn’t like him. He looked up and saw me. He gave me a little wave. My cheeks feel hot again. Jimmy walked over to me.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hi,” I replied. I looked over his shoulder. “Where’s your date?”

Jimmy looked behind him. “Huh? Oh, she canceled at the last minute.”

“Uh-huh,” I said. We both knew he was lying. Jimmy shuffled a bit.

“Anyway, I came to see you.”

I gave him a puzzled look. “Me? Why?”

“Well, you doing anything Saturday?”

It shook my head. “No why?”

“It’s just… I’d like to take you out some time if that’s okay with you, of course.”

Whoa! Did I just hear right? Is Jimmy Miles actually asking me out?

“Uh…” I said. I turned to my coworkers. Big Red gave me a thumbs up as she and the others were crowded around, watching. I turned back to my crush, smiling.

“Why yes,” I said. “I’ll be happy to go out with you!” Jimmy smiled back at me.

“Great,” he said. “I’ll pick you up at seven on Saturday.” He playfully nudged me on the cheek and walked away. I think I might faint. This isn’t a dream. If it is, don’t wake me up. I’m too happy right now.

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