Charisse put the latest bouquet on her vanity and moved the rest back to the coffee counter. She turned down signing the papers and the dinner date and spent her lunch hour getting an appointment for a loan.
Conor continued to send a single rose every day throughout the week, each one asking her when she’d sign the papers. He texted her every day too. On Thursday, he visited an art museum and sent her a picture of the famous Magritte painting of a man in a suit and an apple in front of his face.
His text said, “I’m not just a suit.”
Charisse tapped her finger on the coffee counter. Hair dryers blew behind her, muffling the chatter in her salon. She could tell Conor was getting impatient.
She texted. “I know.”
“Then let me give you the salon so we can move on. I miss seeing you. How is that even possible?”
She missed seeing him too. Odd since they’d only been together three times. “I need a little longer.”
Finally on Friday, she had her appointment with a loan officer. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t give her an answer right away. She’d hear sometime next week.
As Charisse rode back to her salon in a cab, Conor called. She took a deep breath and put the phone to her ear. “Hello?”
“It’s Friday.” His voice resonated in her head and to her heart. She’d forgotten how deep it was.
“Come to my office and sign the transfer papers so we can go out this weekend.”
She watched the traffic out the window. It was almost at a standstill as everyone tried to get out of town early for the weekend. “I can’t just take the salon from you. It doesn’t feel right.”
“What are you talking about? I never should’ve signed those papers to begin with…”
“If you hadn’t who else would’ve my father sold the salon too? It’s my own fault for not reading the contract. I want to buy the salon back from you. I’ve worked out it’s worth, and I’m trying to get a loan.”
Silence answered her. She didn’t even hear his breathing.
Right as she decided to ask if he was still there, he said, “You don’t have to do this. It’s not a handout.”
“I can’t enter into a relationship with you feeling like I owe you. And I really want to get to know you better. I’ll call you when I have the money.”
She hung up before he could respond. She leaned her head against the window and watched a little Mini Cooper cut off a sedan. Maybe she was an idiot for trying to keep things even.