Cherie – Chapter 8 – Lion and the Scorpion – Part II

Two weeks ago this story left off with the following cliffhanger:

…But here’s the best part of all of that. She works in a pediatrician’s office as one of her two jobs. She says she loves children. She wants to be a doctor that practices pediatric neurosis when she finishes her education. That’s awesome. So I’m assuming, young woman, loves kids, already has one would probably want another one or two to round out the dinner table. Based on these stories you know that my last 3 relationships all ended for that reason. I’ve already been married. I have a child. I have paid over $120,000 in tax-free money to someone who is not a nice person and hurts those around her. My ex-wife has already burned through her second marriage and has another kid. But I digress.

Oh sure, I could get married and have another kid and live happily ever after. Sure that could happen. But based on my track record, it’s a sucker bet. If I did that and somehow fucked it up again. My child support payments would be coming out of my Social Security checks. No. Just place the gun in my mouth and gently curl your finger so that everything I ever was ends up on the wall behind me.

So I pull the trigger on this lovely, seemingly perfect romance. Because this way I don’t have to say my last 4 relationships ended for the same reason. I can still say 3, because this beautiful flower that has grown between Cherie myself in the last few weeks will be stomped into the earth under the hob nail boot of reality. Doomed from the start. Destroyed before it could ever flourish.

“Do you want more children, Cherie?”

“No. I don’t want anymore children. I told you that on our first date.”

How the fuck could I have missed this incredibly earth shattering piece of information? This is incredible news. Groundbreaking stuff. If she really doesn’t want kids, we could actually sustain a long-term relationship.

Maybe.

She knows my situation. Well, I’ll just play it cool and try to fly level. We’ll see where this goes. I won’t lose my mind and rush into anything. My last girlfriend has been gone for two years. Cherie’s been split from her son’s father for two years as well. Maybe the stars have aligned. She’s really laid back. Getting her education. Working two jobs in her field of endeavor. I’m not going to think about all of this. I’m just going to enjoy our time together. Let the universe unfold as it should.

We decide to get something to eat. She’s come all the way down here. I should at least feed the girl. We walk South on 22nd street. Down to Sansom. We head East and I look through the window at Cavanaugh’s. Too noisy on a Saturday night. We round the corner at 18th and I peek in Wrap Shack. Looks too crowded. Then I get an idea. She once said she liked breakfast for dinner. I know just where to take her.

We hit the Midtown Diner up the street. It’s dead. Which I think is odd, but then I speak to the hostess. She says this is the calm before the storm. They watch all of the people walking South to the bars, and then around 11:30 to 2am they all come back. Then the place gets busy again.

This 24 hour diner has been here a long time. It’s a Philly classic. All of the waitresses are old. They’ve all worked there for many years. That says a lot about a place.  The servers are the kind of old dolls that call everyone “Hon.” The whole dining room is empty. We can pick any booth we want. We take a seat and check out the menus.

“Remember that black lace top I wore on our second date?” Cherie asks.

“How can I forget? I reprimanded you for dressing like that for school.” I respond.

“Well, I had a T-shirt in my car. I wore that top for you. I was all covered with mosquito bites and covered up, but I wanted to show you my body. I changed into the T-shirt before I went to class.”

Wow. I had no idea. I need to pay close attention to this one. She was into me by our second date at El Rey. That little minx. She’s playing footsie with me under the table. She reaches under the table and rubs my leg. I’m trying to concentrate on the menu but it’s useless. This is how she is when she’s sober. I’m sober too. I don’t even think about drinking or smoking when I’m with her. Cherie is the drug I’m on. Just like the song by Roxy Music.

But don’t you know, this couple comes in shortly after and sits in the booth right next to us. I mean right next to us. I turn my head to the right, and they’re right there! C-Blocked again!

Everything is liquid between us and everybody is doing everything they can to stop us from attacking each other. We actually feel a little angry about this. I just laugh and tell her that humans are for the most part social animals. They can’t help but be near each other. We discuss moving to the back, but decide against it. We’d look rude. It’s not that important. We’ll have plenty of time together. The game is afoot and I love it.

“Cherie. Your birthday’s Thursday. What are you doing for your birthday?”

“Nothing. I have to work. I don’t really care about my birthday.”

“Don’t you want anything?”  I know it’s early in the game, but I’m trying to be nice.

“You know what I want?”

“What?”

“I want you. I want to be with you. You know… in that way.”

Okay…. Okay…. This lady knows what she wants. I’m almost find it a bit intimidating but arousing. Man… This is going to be good. I need to plan something soon.

I’m attracted to Cherie, and think she’s a great girl. I love making her laugh and she also has a great sense of humor. I like when she just looks at me with her dark dreamy eyes. I feel so lucky. At my age, to have a lovely girl like this attracted to me is wonderful. I’m not experiencing the intoxicating rush I felt with my last girlfriend, Annabelle, but I feel safer this time around. (See:Annabelle – Nice To Meet You) Cherie knows who she is and what she wants. She’s already been a parent for six years. She’s grounded and responsible. I’m actually relieved that I’m falling for this woman, and I’m not on an emotional rollercoaster like I was with the highly unstable Annabelle. I’m not wondering what she’ll do next, or what crazy decision she’ll make about her life. That poor impulsive fool.

This feels much better. I’m happy that Cherie’s in my life. I’m not a spiritual person, but this feels like some sort of blessing.

The waitress approaches. “Hey there. It’s been awhile since you two have been in here.”

I’m thinking, it certainly has been awhile, since we’ve never been there together. But her sentiment is sweet. Maybe it’s just me that looks familiar. Or that my daughter has mysteriously become a black woman. We order some food and are chatting. Already deciding that we’d like to meetup on Wednesday for lunch. I know just where I’m going to take her. We’re also planning on seeing each other on Saturday too. This is getting serious. Technically, this is only our fourth date, but we’ve had very long dates. It just flows naturally.

My friend Carly said she may be able to hook me up with a room at the Club Quarters for Saturday. She said that if the hotel isn’t 95% full, they’ll hook me up with a room for $50. Which is incredible. If not, Carly said she can still hook me up with a room for $129, which still isn’t bad. Think about what I’m getting. Spend the night with a beautiful young woman? Totally worth whatever it costs. I could also take her down to the shore house. But that’s a hike, and I have to be back Sunday morning to run that salon. So simply for the sake of geography and time, Club Quarters works for me. I’ve already cleared it with my sister that no one will be at the shore house just in case. I won’t have to get a zip car. We’ll cruise down in the Saab.

I think about how frustrating and confounding my courtship was with Michelle, and also with Annabelle. All the back and forth. Flip flopping with their choices. Not really knowing what they wanted. Cherie is direct and clear on what she likes and what she wants. It just makes for a happier more calm relationship.

We finish eating and those C-Blocking losers next to us have already left, so we have a little personal time before the bill comes. Remember how I used to complain about all those senior citizens I was dating and how the wallets never came out? This is so different from that. Cherie drives an hour to come down here to see me. Pays $25 to put her car in a lot. Doesn’t want anything. The bill is only $17. I’ve been with her for seven hours. $17 is what the whole date cost me.

We walk back to the lot at 23rd and Cherry. Isn’t that cop still sitting in his SUV in the same exact spot? It’s been hours!  What is he on, stake out?  We decide to just leave. She drives down to around 21st and Lombard and finds a quiet spot. People are walking by in Halloween costumes. It’s fun to watch. We’re talking and more kissing ensues. It’s really nice.

It’s getting late, and I know she has to make the hour drive back to Pottstown. It’s really great that she comes to me. She said her personality is that of a pleaser. That’s funny. Me too. I certainly am looking forward to pleasing her at some point.

She drives me back to my place and we say our good nights. I ask her to please text me when she safely arrives home. She says she will. I go upstairs and fix myself a vodka club on the rocks and light a cigarette. It feels good to be home in my chair after a wonderful evening with Cherie. I think about our lunch date coming up on Wednesday. I’ll call the hostess ahead of time and reserve my favorite table. I know Cherie has made it clear what she wants for her birthday, but that’s inevitable. I’m going to give that gift to her a lot. That really seems like a gift for me. Again, I cannot believe my good fortune here.

I feel like I should get her a little something, and give it to her on Wednesday. I’ll think on this. Talk to my female friends. I can’t go with jewelry, it’s too early. Huge mistake. That sets the bar too high if we make it to Christmas. God, then there’s Valentine’s Day after that. I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve got a few days to plot what I’ll do. Something small and sweet.

My phone pings and she is home safe.

I wish her sweet dreams.

 

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Author: phicklephilly

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