A Moment With You
"I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
— John Keats
She hadn't expected a lot when she was in Georgia.
It was just another homeschool conference with her hardworking mom and her younger obnoxious brother who had been F***ing this and F***ing that at her for the last hour since they arrived. She was over it and she was over her brother.
"Why did it have to be Gabriel? It would have been easier with Seth. At least he can be decent.
She had enough with Gabriel's constant ranting and raving and swearing at her over the phone that she got angry and hung up on him.
I couldn't understand anything over the seven F words he had put in each sentence.
Mom had called him back and she had honestly thought she would take her side for once, only to get her ass chewed because she hurt her poor little brother's feelings.
Mom had left to go sort out the situation in the parking garage where Gabriel was, leaving her alone at the table.
She looked around and saw the many homeschooling families setting up their vending tables. Most of them she had seen before back in March during that awful convention in Tennessee.
They all looked so damn happy and she wanted to be too, but at that moment she wanted to scream and break something against the wall.
Seeing as there was no way in hell she could do that, she pulled out her phone, found her older sister's number and started texting.
I'm already regretting being here.
She pushed send and put the phone on the table. A few minutes later she heard Carrie Underwood's "He is Good" playing and she grabbed her phone and opened it. Sure enough, it was a text from her sister.
Why? What's wrong?
She started to type back
All Gabriel has done is f*** you this and f*** you that and I am so over him-
Then she saw mom and Gabriel come back. She quickly closed her phone before she got into any more trouble.
Gabriel sauntered in with his typical arrogance, like he had just done some incredible deed worthy of civic sainthood.
"Don't you ever hang up the phone again!" her mother snapped at her in a low tone.
Rage filled her entire body. All she wanted to do was take one of the wooden display boxes and slam it into Gabriel's perfectly straight nose, but then she heard her phone ring in her lap.
Her sister was calling her. She picked it up and said, "Hello?"
"Hey," came her sister's voice, "I got your text. Is everything all right?"
Did I really seem that desperate?
"Oh no, I just have a really bad headache and I'm tired," she lied. She knew better than to vent out her feelings with her mom and her brother there.
"Oh ok," her sister said, "So are you guys setting up?"
"Yeah," she answered, relieved that her sister had bought the excuse she used all the time, "It's a zoo in here. Do you want to talk to mom?"
She handed the phone to her mom, relieved that that was over. She hated having to lie about what she really felt, but most of the time she had to; so to avoid a fight with her family.
She was overemotional and kept her feelings to herself. The only way she could let them out was in writing. It was like therapy for her. It calmed her down and gave her a sense of peace for a while.
Mom was done talking and gave her back the phone. For the next half hour they worked on setting up their table. She was having fun laying out all of her mother's beautiful soaps. She couldn't help but smell each one that came out of the box.
I really hope we sell a lot. We need the money; I really need Mom's sanity.
People were already coming over and saying how beautiful their display was. She loved it when they said that. Mom worked, no, she overworked herself on perfecting everything in the business and hopefully it would pay off.
When she was done with her job, she started walking around and looking at the other vending tables. She had looked around earlier and was excited seen that one of her favorite Christian companies, The Providence of God , was down and across from them, but it had been empty.
She walked by it again and wasn't surprised to see two older boys working there. They were opening up boxes and laying books out.
I hope they have the books that I want.
While she was thinking the older of the two boys looked up and smiled at her, "Hello," he said softly.
She smiled back and kept on walking, not wanting to disturb his work. Something about him though made her feel…she didn't know what it was, but something in is his warm smile made her feel at ease. She looked back and saw him working.
Most of the time when boys looked in her direction or smiled, or even talk to her, she felt a sickening feeling in her stomach. She became nervous and painfully shy, and all she wanted to do was leave.
He was different. When he smiled at her, there was no sickening feelings, no shyness, nothing. Instead she felt a certain confidence. That was something she knew she didn't had.
For a moment she was tempted to turn around and go back, but she shook it off.
He's just another guy doing his job, and I should probably be doing mine.
Later that evening she was in the shower and she still could not get that guy off of her mind.
What is wrong with me? I don't even know his name!
She thought of how nice it would be if she had the courage to go talk to him and then her brother would stalk over to her and say, "Get back to the table," and the guy would be in utter shock that anybody would talk to a girl like that.
Somehow I doubt that.
She was drying her hair with the incredibly hot hair dryer, her face beginning to sweat and she dreaded knowing that her makeup was definitely going to melt off an hour after she put it on.
When her hair was dry, she was pleased with the result. Her light brown hair was silky and smooth, and curled around her shoulders.
Her face on the other hand, was red from the hair dryer's heat, but the worse was her god awful acne. Most of it had cleared, but there were still small areas on her cheeks that required heavy makeup.
She placed a cold washcloth on her face in some hopes of cooling it off. When she was done she put on her acne medication, powder foundation (which did cover up a good deal of her acne), eye shadow cream, and eye shadow. She was right in the middle of perfecting her eye liner, when she heard her brother say on the other side of the door, "Hurry up, I have to get in there."
She rolled her eyes, "I told you that I take a while and that you should have gotten ready first."
He clearly seemed to ignore her, but the door opened and her mom came in and said, "You can do it out here in front of the closet mirror."
She was glad her mom was trying to help, but she wasn't going to be bullied around by her brother. For once she was going to stand her ground.
"No, he can wait."
And much to her surprise, her mother closed the door.
After she was done with her makeup (which covered a good deal of her acne) she pulled on her half slip, white cami, and the adorable yellow dress she had bought at the thrift store.
It looked nice on her and Mom had said that she looked good in yellow. A pleasant thing to hear, seeing as most people looked terrible in it.
She put on her heels, gathered up her clothes and walked out of the bathroom. He brother passed by her without a word.
"You look nice," her mother said cheerily, "You look so good in that color."
"Thank you." She was always glad that mom didn't have to worry about what she wore, but then again she never wore anything without her mother's opinion and approval.
She put her clothes in the clothes bag and sat on the bed waiting for her brother to get out of the bathroom.
The hotel room they were in was nice and airy. The beds were big and soft. She looked out the large window and saw the view down in the parking lot where people were going in and out. About their own lives.
After her brother was done, they all decided to go out to the nearest Kroger store and buy some food for the next couple days. It was easier and much cheaper than going out every night.
Great. Walking around a store in these heels. What was I thinking?
So, the Kroger store trip wasn't that bad. It was strange that they were the only white people there. Not that the people were mean or anything, but she was used to an equal mixed community.
Then there was the heavy rush hour traffic. Thank god for the GPS system. She had never seen traffic like that back in Virginia. Maybe Atlanta is a lot bigger than she thought.
They finally got back to the hotel room and started eating. She didn't realize how hungry she actually was. She tried not to eat a lot for fear that her belly would start showing through her thin dress, but the chicken and the Chex Mix was so tempting.
When she was done, she noticed a small grease stain on her dress.
"Mom I think I got grease stain on my dress," she said, getting up and walking into the bathroom.
"Get some cold water on it now," her mother said.
She took a washcloth, put it under cold water and rubbed at the stain. Thankfully it came out.
That was close. I wouldn't want him to see it.
Wait, what? That guy working at The Providence of God table? What's wrong with me? I only saw him once!
She walked out and checked herself in the mirror. Her cami top was showing through the back of her dress.
"Oh great," she said, trying to pull it back down.
"You look fine," her brother said.
"No, I don't," she snapped, "Unlike you, I actually care about the way I dress."
"Alright, that's enough," her mom said, coming over and giving her top a hard tug.
"There," her mom said.
"Thanks," she said turning and making nothing else was wrong.
Before they left to go to the vending hall, Mom prayed for good sales; like she always did.
I don't see why she's so worried. We're going to do fine.
"We are so lost," her mom said from the driver's seat.
Really? What was your first clue?
"Mom," her brother said, in his typical know-it-all voice, "we need to turn left, not right. Just follow the GPS. It's not that hard."
Everything was going fine for a while. Until Mom ended going pass the convention center.
"Great! Now what?"
Mom pulled into a drive way, but backing out in a 15 passenger van wasn't the easiest thing in the world.
"See if anyone's coming," her Mom asked.
"Alright," she said looking out the side widow. She saw a couple of cars pass and everything seemed clear.
"I think you can go now."
She started pulling out when her brother said, "Stop!" And soon a car came zooming by.
"What the hell were you thinking!" her brother snapped from the passenger's seat.
"I'm sorry," she said, her heart beginning to pound out of embarrassment.
It wasn't my fault.
"Why are you so cruel to her?" her mom asked as she slowly pulled out into the road.
"Mom, she almost got us in an accident!"
And having you swear at me saved our lives?
Nothing else was said as they drove into the convention center parking lot.
When they got out of the van, they could see other homeschooling families beginning to walk in toward the vending hall for the special selling night.
I really hope this trip is going to be worth it.
While they were getting ready a young teenage boy with messy curly black hair and a pleasant smile walked up to the table.
"Hello, Isaac," her mother said.
Isaac was one of six children and his family ran a homeschooling magazine and had become good friends with them. Their table was down at the entrance, where Isaac probably should have been helping, but instead he was bouncing around the place doing what he did best; socializing with anyone who crossed his path.
"Hey," he said, "Seth isn't here?"
"No," her mom said, "He had to stay and work. So we had Gabe come and help."
"Oh ok," said Isaac casually, saying hello to Gabe.
"What's your name?" he asked, when he noticed her.
She giggled and gave him her name, not surprised that he hadn't remembered it, even though they had met twice before. He was so cute that she didn't really mind.
They both talked for a while. Isaac talked about his brothers and sisters and what the family was doing, and she told him about their trip up to Georgia and how heartbroken she was to not be able to use her computer on the way there.
People started filling the convention hall, "I had better get back to the table," Isaac said.
"Bye," she said as he walked back.
Soon the show began, but it was slow. People came and saw the soap and commented on the display. Mom stood and smiled and said her rehearsed line over and over again. Mom was such a natural at talking to complete strangers.
I am not. I don't know how she does it.
She looked over at The Providence of God table where the guy she saw earlier worked and noticed that a small crowd had already begun to gather. No surprise there. He worked for one of the biggest Christian companies in the U.S.
"Pray," she heard her mother said.
She's really beginning sound like Annelle; The Bible beater from the 80s chick flick "Steel Magnolias" a personal favorite of hers.
Her mom was right though. A little prayer went a long way; so she threw a quick one up to God and waited for what would come out of it.
Even though she knew she was suppose to be watching the table and talking up customers, she couldn't help but watch Isaac's three year old sister, Grace, playing with one of the vendors. The lively child was so sweet with her pixie like face and thick black pigtails.
Grace chatted happily with people as if she had known them all her life. While she played, her older sister Katie, who was fifteen, stood on the side and watched her.
"Is that all Katie does is watch the younger two?"
"Yes," her mom answered, "She watches them all the time."
Grace was laughing louder and people walked by and smiled at her.
Such a sweet little girl.
"She kind of reminds me…of me at that age," she said.
"Oh yes," her mom said, "she does."
She looked beyond Grace and Katie and saw the two boys at The Providence of God table. The boy she had been thinking about all evening was talking to several customers. He seemed so at ease with what he was doing, but then he had probably been at it for a long time.
I guess he was taught to interact with customers.
He does have a smile that's worth looking at.
Even though she was at a distance, she had just now realized how attractive he was.
Of course, if you want to sell products, then put a tall good looking guy at the table and I'm pretty sure people won't have a hard time buying.
Soon, she saw several little girls walk up to them table. Of all of the customers, these were her favorites.
"Is this really soap?" asked one with wide eyes.
She laughed and said yes.
"Even these?" asked another pointing to a rack of soap cupcakes.
"Yes, even those."
The girls looked t her wide eyed with wonderment, "We don't have many money now, but we're definitely coming back tomorrow!"
I hope you do.
"Come on sales weren't that bad," she said as she pulled her heels off her feet. The selling for the night was over and they were back at the hotel room getting ready for bed.
"I wanted to do more," her mother said.
"Well I think we did a lot better than most people," she said.
The night hadn't gone that bad, in her mind it didn't. They had made a few sales and she saw a lot of vendors that she wanted to visit. She had stopped by and looked through the books she wanted, but firmly told herself that she wouldn't buy anything until the end of the convention.
And later on she had passed Isaac and he had asked what her name was. Again.
Does he purposely try to forget?
When she went to bed, she couldn't get her mind off of him. His smile was still fresh in her mind and she couldn't stop looking over at his table whenever the opportunity arose.
I'm acting like a silly girl from a stupid romance novel. This not Twilight and I'm sure as hell am no Bella Swan.
And yet as she fell asleep, she swore she heard a voice inside saying, "Tomorrow you're going to talk to him."