good samaritan by phoenix.writing

5 Dec

When Zita realised she couldn’t find her phone, she didn’t panic at first.  While she tried to keep it on her person, she didn’t always manage it.  With four mouths to feed and eight little feet to run after, she didn’t stay nearly as organised as she wanted to.

But that was part of the reason that she had the phone.  Adam had given it to her as a Christmas present, even helping out with the monthly bills, because he had been sure that she would benefit from more time management and organisation.

Apps, he said, were the wave of the future.

Adam had a habit of giving her presents that he thought she should make use of, but to give him his due, the iPhone had been very useful in ways that Zita had not expected.

It seemed there was an app for just about everything out there, so not only was she trying to budget and track her expenses as Adam had suggested, as well as using the calendar for all her appointments, she had found an app where she could track everything about the babies, a grocery list that remembered all those regular items she needed to buy, a banking app so that she could check her balance and pay bills from her phone, and so on and so forth.

In short, her life was on that phone, and after not finding it in the usual locations, she tore the apartment apart looking for it, all to no avail.

Shit.

Because it also contained all the contacts for her and the kids, babysitters and doctors and potential daycares and everything.

Double shit.  Or in her case, quadruple shit.

She couldn’t even think of the last time she’d had it, mind too panicked to be able to actually focus.

There was a knock at the door. Just what she needed, someone trying to sell her something.  The peephole revealed an ordinary-looking man, and she pulled open the door with a sigh.

He was actually very handsome, she saw without the distortion of the peephole.  In his mid-thirties, she thought, tall, dark hair, dark eyes, and … proffering her phone?

She snatched it up, woke it, and confirmed that it wasn’t just her frazzled imagination: this was her phone.

She looked back up at the man she’d grabbed the phone from.  He was still standing patiently in the hallway, and now she thought about it, he looked vaguely familiar.

“John,” he supplied, “from your Business Management course.  I usually sit at the back.  Since I had your phone and couldn’t contact you, I was going to leave it until next week so that I’d seem less … stalkerish, but I kept getting alerts about things you should be doing, and I realised you were probably missing it.”

“You can stalk me all you want if you bring me such lovely gifts.”  She beamed at him, realised that she probably sounded like a complete moron, and invited him in.  “I could make coffee, at least, a thank you for taking the time.”

He smiled at her, and her heart fluttered.

She ushered him in, closed the door behind him, and turned around to behold utter chaos.

He was clearly trying not to stare.  She cleared her throat awkwardly.

“I was trying to find the phone,” she said quietly, face flaming.  “Um, why don’t you try to find a seat, and I’ll just get going on that coffee.”

She slunk away to the kitchen, wondering why the hell she hadn’t suggested that they go out for coffee one day when they weren’t in her disaster of an apartment.  She looked down at herself and whimpered.  And when she wasn’t dressed in pyjamas.

At this point, she’d probably just look desperate if she ran off to change, so she made the coffee and headed back out to the living room … to discover that he’d been cleaning up for her.

She wasn’t sure how it was possible to be this mortified and this touched all at the same time, but she definitely was.

“Stop that,” she told him, offering the coffee.  “You’ll make me feel beholden to you for all eternity.”

He finished with the pile of CDs that he was putting back on the shelf and came over to accept the coffee.

Their fingers brushed when he took the mug, and she decided that the tingle that went right up her arm meant that it had been far too long since she’d had sex.

There was nothing like quadruplets to kill your sex life.

He smiled at her again, moving to sit down on the couch that he had cleared, and she did the same.

“It was nothing,” he said simply.  “I’m happy to have helped.  And if I can confess without sounding like a phone-snatching psycho who now knows where you live, it was a lucky chance as far as I was concerned.  You’ve always seemed in such a hurry, I didn’t want to bother you.”

He’d been paying attention to her.  She still couldn’t work out why she hadn’t been paying more attention to him, except that she sat at the very front of the class in order to focus, focus, focus, and it was possible she just hadn’t seen him much.

It was also possible she should be far more worried than she was, but the vibes she got off of him simply weren’t scary at all.

“Out of curiosity,” she thought to ask, “how did you work out where I live?”

“Bill, the instructor, is a friend.  Had to swear backwards and forwards that I had only good intentions, and he found out your address for me.”

Because of course the college had it on file.  That was very clever.

“The world needs more good Samaritans.”

“I confess that I had an ulterior motive,” he admitted, staring at her intently.

“Oh?”

“Harder to ask you this if I’d never met you.  I was wondering if you’d like to go out to dinner.”

Zita should have thought about it, but she didn’t even hesitate.

“Yes.”

<><><>

We met Zita last week in Multiplication.

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One Response to “good samaritan by phoenix.writing”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Unexpected Alliance by phoenix.writing « the character project - December 12, 2010

    […] Adam, Aiden, Zita, and Isa have been seen previously in Blame Aiden, Flustered, The Consequences of Rage, Multiplication, and Good Samaritan. […]

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