A Mutual Understanding
That evening, Wayne was home early working on the preliminary sketches for his drawing of Junie. The age-old brooding softness that her face had acquired lately, stayed in his mind. She had always been a motherly sort of person, he thought. After graduation she had stayed home to help her mother cope with their large, unruly family and their sick grandfather. It was not surprising that she hadn't wanted a family of her own right away when she finally got married to her high school sweetheart two years ago.
When the phone rang, he answered absently. "Hi, out there."
There was a slight pause on the other end of the line. "Hello. Is this Wayne Robinson?"
The very same."
Of 24A Pine Avenue?"
That's right, you lucky person. Are you taking a survey or something?"
We haven't been formally introduced but I saw you at the Post Office the other day."
Wayne dropped his charcoal and sat up. "I don't believe it! Not the sexy number with the beard and the blue eyes. How did you get my name?"
I assumed it was the return address on the parcel you were carrying."
Wonderful! But that was taking quite a chance, wasn't it? I mean, what if I'd been mailing that parcel for my father?"
In that case I had intended to sell aluminum siding or some such."
Good idea. Aluminum siding's real big around here these days."
My name is Adrian Taylor. Would you consider having dinner with me this Saturday?"
Sure. But why wait? What's wrong with tomorrow night?"
I don't socialize during the week. I have no time. Do you like opera?"
As in dying divas and lusty tenors? I love it! A friend of mine sang in the opera chorus last year and he gave me a ticket a few times. It was fabulous!"
Let's meet for dinner first at the Admiral Hotel in the city. Do you know it? It's not far from the bus station. It'll have to be early, I'm afraid. Say 6 o'clock."
Yeah, that's okay, I guess."
Good. By the way, you do have a tie?"
Yes, of course."
Wear it. I'll see you there. Goodbye."
Bye." Wayne hung up the phone and stared at it a moment, mesmerized by the peculiar merging of fantasy and reality. He remembered what the man looked like so clearly. The cool, precise voice fit the image, he decided. But what kind of an invitation was this? And what more did he know about the man now then he had before the call. Only his name. Wayne had never known a man named Adrian before. It, too, fit the picture. Classy, like the rest of him, he thought. Maybe too classy. ...