Celeste’s cell buzzed. She was in a meeting with a client. Ignore it. She knew who it is.

The client wasn’t completely happy with the new design. Celeste’s boss entered the fray to assuage the client. Trampling over her work was, well, just business. She still didn’t see how the cabinets would work well where the client wanted them.

What did she know, though? Let the boss figure it out. She sighed. The wind gusted. Rain beat hard against the window like any other day in Portland.

She rode the elevator down. What a day. The text was from her ex-boyfriend. He’d moved the last of his junk out.

She shivered on the street. What now?

“Are you okay?” asked a stranger, his voice pitched over the torrent.

She didn’t know what to say. She half-shrugged and half-shook her head.

“Is there a place to eat around here?” Rain streamed off his Columbia overcoat.

Duh, there are plenty of places. What was with this guy? “Well, yes. What sort of food are you looking for?”

“Warm and dry for starters.” His grin burst open like a broken damn. “I’m Ben, by the way.”

“Celeste.” She shook his hand. Warm, with specks of dried paint.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m getting soaked. Do you have any … plans?”

“No, not exactly.”

“Let me buy you dinner. I don’t bite.” He raised his eyebrows.

She wasn’t sure. “I’ve had a bad day.”

He shrugged. “I’m a good listener. I work with troubled youth.”

That was interesting. “Really?”

“Yep. You pick. My treat.”

It really had been a lousy day. Perhaps it didn’t have to be all lousy. “Okay. I know a place close.”


She led the way.

“I thought I’d be eating alone tonight.”

“So did I,” she whispered.

Picture is copyright by Alyssa L. Miller.

Daily Post prompt. (300 words)

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