Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Dream On ~ Chapter 8
“We made some really good progress,” said Arlyn as she walked Cordel to the door. “I think those embarrassing stories are just what this book needs.” She gave him a wink.
“I do have veto rights,” he joked back, “and you’ve signed a nondisclosure, so my secrets are legally safe with you.”
Arlyn laughed. “Any big plans for tonight?”
Cordel shrugged as she opened the door. “I’m feeling like an Indiana Jones marathon is in the works for me.”
“Fun,” said Arlyn, “enjoy, I’ve never watched them.”
Cordel stopped in his tracks. “What?”
“I don’t watch a lot of movies,” admitted Arlyn. “I hardly ever get through them without falling asleep.”
“These aren’t just movies,” countered Cordel. “They’re history! They’re action! They’re romance! They’re iconic!”
“Well you enjoy,” said Arlyn. “See you tomorrow.”
“Tell me your schedule for tonight,” said Cordel.
Arlyn gave him a side look, but answered anyway. “Nap, answer e-mails, eat a light dinner, work, read, and then bed. Why?”
“How long is your nap?” asked Cordel.
“About ninety minutes,” answered Arlyn. “Why?”
Cordel shrugged. “I just don’t want to be ignorant.”
“Mmm … kay,” Arlyn said slowly. “Thanks I guess. See you tomorrow.”
She closed the door and walked over to the couch smiling. It had been a great afternoon with Cordel. She couldn’t remember the last time she had just sat and gotten to know someone like that, much less let them get to know her.
She yawn and smiled as she laid down on the couch. As she drifted off to sleep, she swam in the gray blue eyes of Cordel Foster.
Arlyn woke from her nap feeling refreshed and ready for the evening. After getting a glass of water she sat down and started to answer e-mails. She had just finished her e-mail to Molly, assuring her friend and boss, that everything was all right, both with her health and the book. She also let Molly know that she had told Cordel of her condition and thanked her for keeping it confidential.
She hit send as a knock came at the front door. Furrowing her brow, she walked to the door. She wasn’t expecting anyone, but her mood lightened when she figured it was probably Molly coming to check on her after work.
Opening the door, she was surprised to see Cordel. He stood smiling on her doorstep with his hands behind his back.
“Did you forget something?” asked Arlyn.
“I did not,” said Cordel, entering her apartment without invitation, careful to keep his back away from her and his hands hidden. “I am here to remedy a wrong.”
She closed the door. “Cordel you’ve already apologized for the earlier. We don’t need to rehash it.”
“Oh no,” said Cordel. “Not that wrong, this one.”
He pulled his arms from behind his displaying two DVDs. One read, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, the other said, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. “Do you have a DVD player? I’ve got one in the car and the driver will bring it up if you don’t. Do you know how hard it is to find a place that rents DVD players? No one needs them anymore, everyone just streams movies now. Such a waste.”
Arlyn cocked her head. “I do have a DVD player, but I believe I made it clear that I don’t watch a lot of movies, especially movie marathons, because I usually fall asleep and that takes the fun out of it.”
“That will not apply to these,” said Owen as he walked over to her TV and opened to the cabinet under it to find the DVD player. “You’ll be on the edge of your seat, and when you have to sleep, we’ll stop. You didn’t say what time you went to bed, so I thought we could at least get the first one in and maybe the second.”
“You’re messing with my schedule,” she said.
“You said, ‘nap, e-mail, eat, work, read, sleep’ right?”
“Okay, have you finished all the e-mails that can’t wait until morning?”
“I have,” admitted Arlyn.
“So that leaves eat.” He pulled two folded bags of microwave popcorn from his back pockets. “You said light dinner, so we eat popcorn for dinner while the movie plays. Schedule intact.”
“Then work,” said Arlyn.
“Indiana Jones was one of my biggest influences as a child. I really wanted to be him, except for the professor part. I would never want to be stuck in a classroom if I could be out in the field. Unfortunately, for Indie, he had to teach in order to afford his adventures. I’m lucky enough to have a T.V. studio pay for mine. My point is, watching Indiana Jones movies is getting to know me better, it’s getting to know where some of my motivation came from when getting into my field of cryptozoology.”
Arlyn sighed. “And the reading?”
“When you’re reading to read, I’ll just turn on the subtitles,” he said as he turned the TV on.
“So you’ve thought of everything,” said Arlyn.
“Even you turning me out and breaking my heart,” said Cordel, as he gave his heart a pat and pouted his lips.
Her heart panged at his last three words as her eyes were drawn to his luscious lips, causing her to lick her own.
“Please, say you’ll watch what you can,” said Cordel. “It’ll mean a lot to me to share these with you.”
“Fine,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “I’ll watch, but I make no promises to stay awake.”
“Great! I’ll go pop the popcorn,” said Cordel as he pushed play. “You sit and watch, I’ve seen this part a million times. It’s so exciting.”
Arlyn sat down on the couch as the movie started with the pre-credits. Cordel practically sang with joy as he put the popcorn in the microwave. Before she knew it, he was sitting next to her with a big bowl of popcorn.
“Scooch in and get some of this popcorn,” he said. “You can’t watch Indie without popcorn and you do have to maintain your schedule.”
Arlyn shush him as she shifted her position to where she was leaning into him, with her hand in the bowl. She practically held her breath as Indiana Jones replaced the gold skull with a bag of sand and then squealed when the boulder started to chase him.
Cordel had been right. The movie was turning out to be great and she could see why he said she would be at the edge of her seat. She saw him watching her out of the corner of her eye and turned her head to face him.
“I thought you wanted to watch the movie,” she said.
“I’m finding watching you watch the movie is just as entertaining,” said Cordel.
She knew she was blushing and looked for a way to change the subject. “Eyes on the screen pal, you’re distracting me from the movie you wanted me to watch.”
He chuckled but did as she asked. She leaned into him to reach the popcorn bowl and was met with the salty scent of the popcorn mixed in with Cordel’s scent. He reminded her of the beach, a bit of coconut with a hint of sea air. She couldn’t help but find it refreshing.
She shook the thought away and concentrated on the movie. He was her client and they were already walking a fine line between colleagues and friends, by watching the movie together. There was nothing wrong with being his friend as long as she kept it platonic.
Arlyn woke up feeling somewhat disoriented. She knew was in her apartment and Indiana Jones was still on the screen. He and Marion were being led by the Nazis to some place in the desert, but the angle was weird as was her pillow.
It was then that she realized she had fallen asleep in Cordel’s lap. Embarrassment flooded her body, she knew it had been a mistake to try and watch a movie. It was against her routine, but just as she was about to burst up and out of his lap, she felt his fingers gently caressing her hair.
Arlyn closed her eyes and let his gentle caress take over her senses. The sweet, simple movement of his fingers intertwining with her hair made her want to curl up into his lap. She opened her eyes slowly as she realized how lonely she had been.
In high school dating wasn’t really an option for her. She felt too big and too self-conscious about her narcolepsy to even try to find a boyfriend. She didn’t go to football games, parties, or dances. In fact, she barely tolerated group projects, much less crowds. She was excused from all speaking assignments and gym class after suffering what her teachers thought was a seizure during a speech assignment. Though she wasn’t yet diagnosed with narcolepsy, her doctors thought the “seizures” were caused by stress.
It wasn’t until her junior year at college, when she had another cataplexic episode that her professor recognized the symptom and that it wasn’t a seizure. His daughter had narcolepsy and he encouraged Arlyn to go to a specialist, which she did.
Her final years of college had been spent getting her Masters in English and sticking to her rigorous schedule. Even while dropping the weight and getting noticed by men, she wasn’t interested. She shook her head gently, not it wasn’t that she wasn’t interested it was that she was afraid.
“You awake?” Cordel askes softly as he stopped caressing her hair and paused the movie.
She turned and looked at him, but didn’t rise. “Yes.”
“Good,” said Cordel, “this is the best part. I was afraid you were going to miss it.”
His voice was still soft, his eyes gentle as he looked at her. Her eyes fell to his soft lips and she knew she wanted to kiss him. He made her feel brave and she didn’t want another moment to pass being afraid. He gently brushed her hair from her face as she leaned up, placed her hands behind his neck and kissed him.
To her surprise he didn’t back away, but folded his arms around her back, bringing her closer and drinking in her kiss deeper. She broke the kiss and leaned back a little, her arms still locked around his neck and his arms remaining put around her back. “You’re right, that was the best part.”
“Truer words have never been spoken,” he whispered as he leaned down and kissed her again. She shifted her body so that she sat on his lap, taking the burden of her weight from his arms.
“Don’t,” he whispered through their kiss.
She paused and leaned back. “Don’t what?”
“I can carry you,” said Cordel. “You don’t have to worry about carrying yourself.”It was a simple sentence but to Arlyn it meant so much. She had been alone for her entire life, she didn’t know what it was like to be carried by someone else. She placed her head on his shoulder and let him hug her tightly as he whispered. “I got you.”