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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

5: The Introduction

            The Image flashes.  That one that comes fifty times a day, every day, tormenting Jasmine with ecstasy and agony. It’s the image of her first official introduction to Davie at Glendale Racquet Club that Thursday night when, upon Gabbie's encouragement, insisting the group was seeking more female players, Jasmine and Mindy joined Mixed Doubles Night.  

            When the two friends arrived, they saw a gathering of players between Courts 1 and 2 by the net.  Gabbie hadn't yet arrived.  A young African American in his 20s was stretching, two players were pulling out racquets, a blond female in her 40s was teasing one of them while bouncing a tennis ball, and two others were standing, waiting for the rest to get ready.  All chatting and laughing, the players were plainly good friends.  Would Jasmine and Mindy fit in, or would they be invading a tight-knit clique?  Jasmine found herself curiously transfixed by one of the male players, roughly 5 foot 10 with a modest build, the type Jasmine finds especially attractive: muscular in the upper arms and thighs, without the bulging calf muscles or the shine of overdoing it.  To Jasmine, weight lifting is a good until it reaches that perfect plateau, before it’s more ego-building than body-building.

He stood clutching his racquet head with both arms around it, like it was a faithful friend.  Standing firm with his racquet clutched gave him a sexy edge, but professional-sexy, and definitely athletic.  Did he know that if she were to pull out her cell phone and capture him on her phone he could pass for some tennis pro posing for a photo op? She felt this impulse within her to pull it out and snap a shot, but her better mind stopped her.  Awkward.  Instead, she tried to capture it indelibly in her mind.

            Mindy moved quickly from back court to the net, while Jasmine found herself in slow motion, wishing Gabbie was on time and could do the introductions.  She wasn't good at these.  Especially when she was transfixed with something forbidden.  The Image continued, like a short video, and the best part comes next when she’s about eight feet from Mr. Almost Tennis Pro, when he looks over to her.
           
Did he know she had been looking at him, admiring him?  He seemed not to notice Mindy, his gaze fixed upon Jasmine.  For a heartbeat that felt like Eternity, their eyes locked.  In that instant when time was stopped, Jasmine felt that she was watching a high speed train pass in warp speed.  The train whisked with countless cars, each car carrying volumes of books, each volume carrying memorials of some faraway place and time, each memorial shared by Jasmine and this young man with whom her eyes were locked.  Did he see the train too? 

            “I know you,” he said.  He did see the train.  He knows we know each other.  He gazed again into Jasmine’s eyes, searching for the where, when, and how.  “Not high school,” he said.  Of course not.  Go deeper.  Further.  “Not college either,” he continued.  You’re nowhere near warm.  I don’t know how, but we know each other.  “Do you attend Quail Canyon?”  That’s it?  We “know” each other from church?  From passing in the hallways between services?  Just an ordinary acquaintance from church?  She looked again at him, this time at his full face and features, his oval-shaped face with distinctive dimples, straight eyebrows, and deep, dark brown eyes, all sitting under a generous head of dark brown hair, not quite curly but with wavy whisks.  Then she knew: the youth pastor at her church.  Looking straight into her was Pastor David standing buff, athletic, and perfectly beautiful in his shorts.   Never before had she noticed how muscular he is, especially in his thighs.  Of course, never before had she seen him in shorts.

            A confused mixture of emotions circulated through her system, none of them willing to dominate and take center stage and none of them willing to exit: flattery that he recognized her, let down that their acquaintance came from a place as mundane as church, and relief that their acquaintance was mundane, for, after all, she was married. 

            At each flash of the Image, Jasmine marvels and thanks her angels she managed the right reply: “Yes, I do.”  He grinned wide, looked again into her eyes  -- did he know she was married?  Had he seen her at church with her husband or only when she was alone?  He held out his hand for a shake, “Call me Davie.”



* * * * *

Original post of this day, a whisper of mystery:

Life on Earth is a remarkable interplay
between outer experiences and inner discoveries.
The purpose of life is for the inner discoveries
for which the outer experiences are merely catalysts.
~ whisper of mystery, 8/19/18


© 2018 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.

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