Post Ep for Arctic Radar
pushed open her apartment door with a little more force than necessary.
She tossed her keys on the table by the door and let her purse fall to
the floor. She looked at the clock
above the TV and sighed.
”10:15. Another thrilling evening.” She muttered as she trudged down the hall to her bedroom. Turning the light on, she saw the light flashing on her answering machine. She pushed the play button as she stripped out of her clothes.
“Donna, hey, it’s me…I uh, I just wanted to make sure you got home okay. Call me later. Bye.” Donna frowned at the phone as Josh’s voice echoed through the empty apartment. She pulled her flannel pajama pants over her hips before reaching for the phone. Dialing Josh’s home number she waited for him to pick up.
“Am I defective? Is that what it is? Maybe my so-called ‘endearing stories’ are only endearing to you. To everyone else, they just point out how psychotic I really am.”
Josh grinned into the phone as Donna ranted. When she finally took a breath, he spoke.
“Date go well?” Hearing the defeated sigh on the other end of the phone he regretted his flip remark.
“It went fine. I guess. It just….he just……I don’t know.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“You already know how I am. What’s the use of retelling the dysfunctional lameness of my love life?”
“I can be there in 15.”
“I’ll put on a pot of coffee.” Neither bothered to say goodbye. They both hung up the phone and went about preparing to see the other. Donna pulled off her shirt and slipped a bulky Old Navy sweatshirt over her head. She pulled some wool socks from the drawer before padding into the kitchen. Opening the fridge she spied the package of chocolate chip cookies she had bought a few days earlier.
“Why the hell not?” She pulled the yellow and brown package from the shelf before rifling through the cabinet for a long enough pan. She started the coffee before separating the pre-made globs of cookies. By the time Josh knocked on her door, she was on the couch, lying on her back with her feet propped up over the back cushions waiting for the cookies to be done.
“Use your key!” Donna heard Josh’s key turn in the lock before the light from the hall streamed across her face.
“Was it that bad?”
“Yes. No, not really.” Donna wiped her hands over her face and sighed.
“You baking cookies?”
“I plan on eating myself into a stupor once they’re done. You can have one. The rest are mine.”
“What happened?” Josh shrugged out of his coat and then walked toward her. He couldn’t help but grin at the sight of her on the couch. He pushed her feet out of the way before sitting down beside her.
“He seemed like a nice guy.” Before Donna could say anymore, he let his mind think the worst.
“Did he try something? You’re not hurt are you?!” Donna sat up and smiled at the worried expression on Josh’s face.
“No. He was the perfect gentleman. It just wasn’t there.”
“It? Oh, it.”
“He’s handsome and smart. He seems like a nice guy. I like him but….”
“The more we talked the less ‘it’ there was.”
“No sparks, huh?”
“Not even a flicker.”
“I’m sorry, Donna.”
“I’m never gonna find the right guy.” Josh felt his stomach twist at the hurt on Donna’s face. He was just about to say something when the timer chimed in the kitchen.
“Cookies!” Donna bolted from the couch to remove the cookies from the oven. Taking a deep breath, Josh followed.
He watched as Donna pulled the pan from the oven.
“You know what? I’m not even gonna put these on a plate. Let’s just eat the damn things off the pan.”
good to me. I’ll get the coffee.” Josh
poured them two cups of coffee and the two of them stood over the sink eating
hot chocolate chip cookies. After a
few minutes of comfortable silence, Josh finally spoke.
”What are you doing for Thanksgiving tomorrow?”
“Margaret asked me to eat with her sister’s family but I told her I had other plans.”
“And they are?”
“I don’t have any. I just didn’t want Margaret to feel like she had to entertain me. What about you? I’m surprised you didn’t go home this year.”
“Mom’s flying in tomorrow afternoon to be here for Hanukkah.”
“Is she cooking?”
“Of course. I told her not too, but she never listens to me. Much like someone else I know.” Josh smiled over at Donna before taking a bite of another cookie.
“You wouldn’t have me any other way.” Donna was kidding, but the expression on Josh’s face told her he was serious when he replied.
“No, I wouldn’t.” He looked down at the floor for a moment before finally meeting her eyes again. “Come over to my house tomorrow. We can help Mom cook and you can run interference when she brings up Amy.”
“Why would she bring up Amy?” Josh grinned at Donna’s irritated expression.
“She keeps asking me what the hell I was thinking.”
“I’d like to know the answer to that.” Donna laughed.
“Hey! How was I supposed to know she was deranged?”
“Uh, try by reputation. Or better yet, you could’ve asked Chris.”
“Yeah, yeah. So you’re not the only one that’s defective when it comes to the opposite sex.”
Donna’s smile faded as she leaned against the counter sipping her coffee. Josh could see she was thinking about her past mistakes again.
“Some days I wonder what’s wrong with me.”
“Nothing’s wrong with you. You’re great just the way you are.”
“Yeah, but you can say that because you know me.” Donna grinned thinking back to their earlier conversation.
“Yeah, I do know you.” Donna sighed and Josh couldn’t help what happened next.
“Come here.” He took her coffee from her hands and placed it on the counter. He pulled her into a warm hug. She melted against his chest and closed her eyes as he held her.
“You’re welcome.” Josh tightened his embrace as she lowered her head and rested it against his heart. He placed a kiss on the top of her head before resting his cheek against her.
“Tonight, when I told you your stories are why I liked you. You said that I like everybody.” He started to lightly trace circles along her back and he could feel her shiver slightly under his touch. “I don’t. I mean….I don’t like everybody.” Josh took a deep breath and closed his eyes in an effort to work up the courage to say the words to Donna.
“I only like you……like that.” There was silence for what seemed like an eternity. Josh finally pulled away so he could see Donna’s face. He frowned at the tears pooling in her eyes.
“Why are you crying?”
“Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”
“I think I’m saying what you think I’m saying.”
“Josh?” Realizing he was just making a mess of things he decided to make his point perfectly clear. He leaned closer and very hesitantly kissed her. He deepened the kiss when he felt Donna’s fingers trailing down his back. He broke the kiss and stared at her for a reaction.
“Yep, you’re saying what I think you’re saying.” A wide dimpled smile parted his features as she pulled him toward her again.
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