Beating Him to It

Prompt: Tongue-tied, sometimes words fail. Describe one of those times.

I feel my palms start to get sweaty before I even pull into the office parking lot.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  No, you can’t, a voice inside me whispers. Yes, you can, another insisted.  As I push the creaky glass door open and step inside CCS Bank,  I feel courage bubbling up inside me.  But as I walk toward my cubicle and see Natasha Bennett across the aisle, typing away at her laptop, my courage boils down until there are just a few tendrils of smoke whisping in the pit of my stomach.

I open my mouth to say hello, but some sort of squeak comes out.  I cough loudly to cover it up and slide into my seat.  Hours tick away as I contemplate the consequences and possibilities of asking Natasha to the annual CCS Bank picnic.  I feel childish even thinking about it, it’s like I’m back in 9th grade, worrying about not having a date to homecoming.  Well, maybe I’ll just do what I did in highschool.  Not go.  But then  I won’t ever get the chance to be with Natasha since she’s going to move to Oklahoma at the end of this year.

I sigh, log out of my computer and walk down the hall to the cafeteria.  My friend Jim Saunders jogs up to join me in line for soup of the day.  “Hey, man. What’s up?”, he asks, grabbing a tray.  “Oh nothing. I finished my semi-annual report.” I stammer.  My tone hints something is wrong.  ” Oh my god, wasn’t today the day you were going to ask Natasha out?” He practically yelled across the room.  “Shut up Jim, I don’t want anyone to know!”  I turn red and glance around the room, but no one had heard.  Jeez, they must be deaf.  “Sorry, well you have to hurry pal, I heard Davidson has his eye on her.”  My eyes widen.  Davidson is head manager, no one knows his first name and with 6 feet of handsomeness, I don’t stand a chance.  Once again, the two voices in my head go to work.  You should go now, beat him to it.  One said. The other argued, What chance do you have against Davidson?

Then I surprise myself.  Before I could stop to think about it, I hand my tray to Jim and march over to Natasha’s table.  But once again, I feel the strength drain out of me as I stand here with my mouth open.  I push the words out of my stammering mouth. ” N-Natas-sha w-would you l-like to go t-to the p-picnic with me?”  I swallowed, and watched as her friends stare at me, I could feel Jim’s eyes boring into my back.  But Natasha just looked blank.  Picking up her sandwich, she said one word…


I stood there speechless.  In my head both voices were singing “sweet victory.”  A triumphant smile lights up my face, and I turn and see Davidson in the entrance to the lunch room.  By the hatred in his eyes, I knew I had beat him to it!

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1 Response to Beating Him to It

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