After work Mariam decided to stop by Don's Bakery again for a nice talk, and a cup of coffee. She couldn't wait to tell him all about her article, and the couples she had interviewed. Mariam saw Don standing inside the Bakery, from outside the window, he was standing behind the counter.
Mariam walked in and gave Don one of her million-dollar smiles, she was known for having. Don looked over and sad, "Looking beautiful as always." Mariam blushed and replied, "Thank you, you are such a sweetie." Don looked over and said, "Honey I am not sweet, just being honest," and giggled a little. Mariam looked over and asked, "Do you have an hour or so to spare, for little ole me?" Don replied, "Of course anytime" and grabbed a couple of sandwiches, then lead Mariam towards a back table.
Mariam began telling Don about the couples she had talked to today, and how inspiring they were. Don looked over and said, "Sounds like you had a wonderful day." Mariam looked at him and said, "I sure did, interviewing those couples and seeing the love they had for each other, made me feel like so happy." Don looked at Mariam and said, "I still get a little teary when I see happy couples, it reminds me of Elisa and what we had, but don't get me wrong it isn't tears of pain I am crying but tears of joy." Mariam replied, "I am glad to see you still have hope of finding another love."
Don looked like he was about to cry, so Mariam decided to change the subject and ask him about his day. Don replied, "It has been pretty busy, but seeing you Ms. Mariam has brightened my day." Mariam smiled and replied, "Thank you for being such a good friend to me, when I needed one the most." Don said, " I would do anything to see that big smile." Mariam and Don talked a few more hours before she left to go home. Mariam was so happy she had found such a good friend in Don.
Later that night Mariam's head was floating with all the beautiful loving things she had just witnessed that day, and she couldn't wait to see what surprises tomorrow would bring. Talking to the couples, and seeing the way Rob reacted to her while they worked together, gave her hope that things were heading in the right direction.
The next morning Mariam rushed to work, she couldn't wait to get started on writing her piece and spending time with Rob. Rob was one of the first faces Mariam saw that day, he was getting out of his car, of course it wasn't long until she saw Cherish trailing behind him.
Mariam looked over at Rob and asked, "You ready boss?" Rob looked at Mariam smiled and said, "Of course Ms. Mariam." Cherish decided to chime in and asked, "What are you two working on anyway?" Mariam replied, "You will see when it is finished." Cherish got a little angry and said, "I was just curious. Gosh!" Rob turned to Cherish and said, "Sweetie it is company policy not to discuss an article until it is done." Cherish told him okay and gave Rob a kiss, followed by a sly look towards Mariam.
Even though seeing Cherish kiss Rob bothered her, she wasn't about to let Cherish see that. So Mariam looked over at Rob and said, "Lets go then," and gave him a playful push towards his office. Once they were inside, Mariam began going over what she had written so far. Rob was very pleased, he told her he would allow her four full pages for her article and they both got to work.
Mariam knew she could finish the article herself, but she wanted to spend any extra time with Rob she could get. The rest of the work day was filled with Mariam flirting helplessly with Rob and him flirting back with her, instead of her finishing her article.
When it was time to leave Mariam looked over at Rob and said, "You are such a flirt" smiled and walked out the door. Rob ran after Mariam and said, "I am not the only one Missy" and laughed. Mariam knew they was getting closer, and Rob was starting to look at her different. She caught him staring her up and down the whole day. After work she made her usual trip to Don's to chat and eat.
When Mariam arrived at the bakery she noticed Don sitting at table already. Mariam walked over to him and said, " I guess you knew I was coming." Don looked at her and replied, "I didn't know, but I sure was hoping." Mariam blushed as usual, smiled and sat down.
Don told Mariam about his day at work then asked, "So have you won your knights heart yet?" Mariam looked over at him and replied, "Almost, just got to put a little more effort into it." Don chuckled and said, "Mariam this guy must be crazy, you are absolutely perfect." Mariam replied, "Don you are too much." Don looked over and said, "No sweetie, I am just telling it like it is, you are beautiful, sweet, smart, and funny." Mariam almost wanted to cry, she had never had someone say so many sweet things about her.
Don reached over and gave Mariam a hug and said, "Sweetie if someone can not see how much you are worth, maybe they are not worth fighting for." Mariam knew he was right, but the only way she was ever going to find out if Rob loved her was to ask him. Don look over at Mariam and asked, "How about we go out on a date, not as boyfriend and girlfriend, but as friends." Mariam looked over and replied, "Of course, but only as friends." Don said, "How about we leave this place and go catch a movie." Mariam asked, "What about the bakery, who will close?" Don chuckled and said, "I own it Mariam, so I can close it whenever I want," and he began shutting everything down.
Mariam and Don had an awesome time that night, she had never laughed so much in her life. They watched a movie, and followed that with a stroll down Broadway. At the end of the night Don looked over and said, "Mariam I have had a wonderful time with you, I haven't felt this way in years." Mariam looked over and said, "I have had a great time too, but I better be getting home if I want to get to work tomorrow." Don laughed and replied, "Okay but come by and see me tomorrow." Mariam said I will and they both went their separate ways. When Mariam got home that night she took a shower, and went straight to bed, she knew she needed her rest.
Now or Never
The next morning Mariam knew the time to tell Rob how she felt about him, was now or never. When she arrived she went straight to Rob's office, he was drinking coffee and typing. Mariam walked over and told him good-morning then walked away. Mariam thought to herself, "Guess I will finish writing this and then pop the question," and got to work.
They were not talking nearly as much as they did the last few days, mainly because Mariam's nerves were getting the best of her. Mariam typed word after word, until she had finished her lovely piece. Once she was finished she put it on Rob's desk and said, "Ready for your eyes boss, you are going to need a tissue." Rob picked up the article and began to read it. He read every heart wrenching word.
Mariam knew her article was great, she made sure that the readers could feel the pain and love, that Robert and Vivian went through. She covered everything in this piece from cancer, to how love can conquer everything. Rob was in tears when he was through. He looked over at Mariam and said, "This is absolutely beautiful." Mariam thanked him and asked if they could talk. Rob said sure and Mariam begin to talk. She was so nervous but she knew she couldn't keep it in anymore. She looked over and said, "Rob I enjoy spending time with you, and think you are a wonderful person and I really have strong" before she could finish she noticed nosy Cherish had walked into the room.
Cherish looked over at Rob and asked, "Baby do you want to get lunch?" Rob looked over at a thoroughly annoyed Mariam and said, "Excuse me Mariam, hunger calls." Mariam just waved and looked away, from the hand in hand couple as they left. She sat in Rob's office and waited for him to return so she could confess what she felt for him. Minutes turned into hours and she was beginning to think he wasn't coming back, when all of a sudden him and Cherish walked in giggling. Mariam looked up and said I was fixing to leave. Cherish looked at her and said, "We completely forgot the time," and laughed that annoying high-pitched laugh as she walked by Mariam.
Once it was just Mariam again she looked over at Rob and asked, "Well, can I finish what I was going to tell you?" Rob replied, "Sure, I am all ears" then before she could say anything Cherish walked in again. Mariam was at her boiling point and just blurted out, "Rob since we can not get any privacy, I am just going to say it, Rob I love you and not like a friend." Rob was in awe, and just stood there, he didn't say a word. Mariam felt like a fool, if he felt the same way she did, he would have said it but instead, he just stood there. She ran out of Rob's office and went to talk to Don.
When she got to the bakery she was in tears and Don ran towards her and hugged her. He looked at her and asked, "What is wrong baby?" Mariam looked over at Don with tear filled eyes and said, "I told him Don, and he didn't say a word back, I feel like such a fool." Don replied, "You are not a fool, your perfect and he is the one who is the fool." Mariam said, "I wish he felt the same way Don, but I guess he really just sees me as a friend." Don just stood there and continued to hold Mariam, until she stopped crying, he had never felt so close to another woman besides Elisa as he felt right there holding Mariam in his arms.
When she was finished crying she looked over at Don and said, "Don follow me." Mariam was so heartbroken and Don made her feel so loved. She just wanted to be held that night. When they got to Mariam's place she put her arms around Don, and began to kiss him. Don was enjoying this moment so much, it almost killed him to turn her down, but he knew she was hurt and he did not want to be her second choice.
Don pulled away and said, "Mariam I will stay here with you, but nothing is going to happened, at least not now." Mariam shook her head and said, "Just hold me then." Don agreed and they fell asleep on the couch in each others arms.
To be continued.............................................