Never Too Old For Love
“Business still hasn’t picked up.” Chelsea laments as she goes over her accounts ledger. Chelsea has only a couple of good clients.
“Life is good, but it can very well be better.” She adds. “There is just not enough steady repeat business, and I am constantly dwindling away at my resources to maintain my lifestyle.”
Slowly rising from bed, Chelsea begins to mechanically fix breakfast. The aerobics class seemed especially brutal last night, and she is feeling the affects of it. Shuffling to the shower the water is at first cold and harsh but later becomes a welcome balm to her tense muscles. Taking her time, she lathers in Victoria Secret Garden’s Love Spell and when finished towels herself dry.Chelsea picks a beautiful pink cashmere sweater with a pair of hip-hugging blue denim jeans.
Chelsea still possesses a youthful figure even at age 41! She brushes her rich raven-black hair back and into a very becoming chignon and allows wisps of hair to protrude on both sides of her lovely oval face.
It is just such a beautiful day outside that Chelsea feels suffocated in her studio apartment. She decides that she needs to get a few things from Office Depot. Also, she feels that getting out of the house will give her the change of scenery she needs.
Chelsea slides behind the wheel of her pastel pink Ferrari, one of the lovely mementos of a career as a fashion model that was cut short by a tragic fall on the runway. Although she completely recovered she never returns to the modeling arena. Instead she returns to her hometown and takes classes in graphic design. Chelsea remembers her conversation with her childhood friend Barbara.
“I don’t understand why you don’t return to your modeling or at least major in fashion design.” Barbara quirks.
“Because I am tired of the hot lights, the long hours and the so called beautiful people.” Chelsea always replies. “Besides, this is what I really want to do now.”
Pulling into the parking lot Chelsea parks beside a very interesting vintage red Mustang. After giving it a quick once over she goes inside and straight to the Office Supplies Section.
Chelsea is looking for bargains when she turns and looks into a pair of the most gorgeous brown eyes in a light mahogany face. He is no “drop-dead” handsome, but he is none the less very pleasant on the eyes. He looks to be in his late thirties or early forties; it was really hard to tell. When he smiles at her, Chelsea wants to melt. She is a teenager once again.
“You look like you are really checking out the merchandise,” he jokes.
“Just trying to make sure I don’t miss anything!” Chelsea smiles and thinks to herself that maybe he could be the one.
“So, are you married?” he is to the point. The guy catches her by surprise. None of Chelsea previous encounters with men can mirror this. Chelsea is used to the usual barrage of men desperately trying to hang on to their quickly fading youth with snappy dialog and false promises. This explained why her love life is pretty ... well nonexistent. Working in her studio office gives her great pleasure, but there is no substitute for a good relationship.
“Hello?” he repeats bringing her back to the present.
“No, I’m divorced. What about you?” Chelsea says finding this stranger more interesting by the minute.
“I’ve never married.” he replies, and Chelsea can detect a little bit of sadness in his voice. He continues.
“I’m originally from Houston. I experienced a bit of a bad time there. I fell in what I thought was love with a very bewitchingly beautiful woman. And as a result I came very close to losing myself.” He begins not knowing why he’s sharing so much with an outsider.
“So, on the advice of a dear friend I left town. For the last twelve and a half years I’ve been working with some engineers in Montreal. I’m an architect. I completed three projects and decided I’d return to the South for some of that great hospitality. You seemed so preoccupied … gazing at those supplies. I’ve been watching you for a while, just trying to get up enough nerve to say hello, and hoping you weren’t married.” he finishes.
“Well, I’m glad, you did… real glad!” Chelsea says breathlessly. Chelsea silently thanks God and proceeds with the conversation, being bolder than she’d ever dare, following his lead and somehow trusting his honesty.
“So, how long have you been in Memphis? Have you been dating much?” Chelsea probes.
“I’ve been in the city about eight weeks,” he says, “Chelsea, I admit there are a lot of women in Memphis, but I haven’t found anyone that really interests me until I saw you standing there. You know, the young women come up to me talking, smiling, and then the next thing I know, there are three or four little ones behind them. Makes me think they are just looking for someone to help take care of them all. Oh ... by the way, my name is Paul Bradshaw,” he finishes.
“I’m Chelsea Alexander, Paul. I am really glad to meet you.” Chelsea replies smiling. Chelsea remembers hearing about how young women are looking for men to take care of them.
To Be Continued
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS