Saturday, ten in the morning in San Diego, California. Jen usually reserves this time for letting the dog out in the back yard, grabbing the news paper off the front step, and heading straight back into bed to resume drooling into her pillow. She works hard during the week, so she sleeps in until her body aches on the weekends. And after spending last weekend at the reunion, then powering straight through a hell-filled work week, Jen was ready to sleep like the dead.
But, no. Not this Saturday. This Saturday, there is a knock at her door, and a persistent ring of her bell.
"For the love of Kim Kardashian-" Jen throws her covers off of the bed and tromps down the stairs, her terrier bouncing at her heels. "Terrance, down!" She reaches the door in a huff and throws it open. "What?!"
Starting at the volume of Jen's voice, a tall, husky young man with blonde hair and a bit of stubble on his chin stands on her doorstep, taking in the sight of her. The only thing he can think to do is hold out the newspaper he had picked up from the front lawn.
Jen grabs it impatiently, muttering, "Find another threshold, ya hippie."
Slamming the door behind her, she stomps into the kitchen, throws the paper on the counter, and lets Terrance out into the back yard. In the middle of refilling his water bowl, the face of the man on the doorstep slowly unfolds in her mind. She drops the bowl in the sink.
Running out on the sidewalk, she squints down the street.
She whirls around to find the same man from her doorstep sitting on the curb.
"Jeff?" She walks over in disbelief. "Jeff Hightower?"
"Hey Jenny," he says quietly, only slightly embarrassed.
She looks up and down the street once more, not sure of what to say first. "You're not running from the cops, right?"
"Cause I can't house fugitives. I've learned my lesson-"
"Jen, I came here to see you."
She freezes, wide-eyed. "I can't house stalkers, either."
He laughs, shaking his head. "I don't need a place to stay. I already have one."
"Oh..." Jen's eyes shift around one more time before she carefully joins him on the curb. "Well. What can I do for you, Jeffey?" She looks down, suddenly aware that she's sitting on a curb in nothing but a slip in broad daylight. She waves at one of her neighbors biking by.
"I just... I wanted to know if you-"
"How did you find me?!"
He furrows his eyebrows at her. "You told me what street you lived on, remember? At the reunion, I said that my band records in Cobbel Square, and you said that-"
"I live a block down on Seymour."
He smiles. "Right." He takes a moment to straighten his shoulders. "Jen, would you want to come-"
"Right," Jen cuts him off, "And then I left before you could tell me how hipster your band is-"
Frustrated, he cuts Jen off with a strong kiss. When he backs away, he's left her speechless. "We're more of a funk-indie fusion."
Jen nods, mesmerized.
He goes back in for another kiss. "We've got this great trumpet player, now." And another kiss. "He's written some lyrics, too." And another. "Which is great, 'cause I could use the help with this new album we're recording." He slides his hands into her hair, watching it fall over her shoulders.
She finally finds her voice. "You-you're here recording?"
"Yeah. For the next couple months. We're playing some gigs in between."
"How very indie of you-"
"And if you'd shut up for a second, I'd tell you that I'd like you to come to one of them tonight."
Jen smiles coyly. "As a groupie?"
"No," he tucks her hair behind her ear, "as the girl I'm playing for."
She thinks about this for a moment, playing with the sleeve of his shirt. "You play for a lot of girls?"
"Just you." He watches her fingers roll his cuff up to his elbow. "Since high school, it's just been you." Jeff tries to make eye contact with her, but she seems miles away. "What do you think?"
"I think..." She squints past him and down the street. "I think I left the water running."
With that, she jumps up off the curb and saunters back to her front door. Watching her walk away, Jeff hangs his head and lets out a long sigh, thinking that, at the very least, he had told her. He had accomplished what he come to do.
She turns around, surprised to see him still seated on the curb. "Hightower! You comin'?"
His head snaps up, wondering if he was imagining what he had just heard. When she throws her hands out with impatience he jumps to his feet, jogs to her side, and they walk into the house together.