Trent was a no show. I waited until one-thirty before giving up. I didn’t want to think that he would stand me up, but there was no getting around it. I should have known. I’d never had good luck with guys. Why would things change now? He was too good to be true. Brent was helping a couple of girls that were obviously there to flirt and not to buy anything when I broke down and went to lunch by myself. I walked the couple of blocks to my house and let myself in. I threw my purse on the couch and slumped into the arm chair, blowing air out in dejection. Sally jumped into my lap, and I absent-mindedly began stroking her. She dug her claws into my legs and started kneading away.
“Ouch,” I said, “do that up here.” I unceremoniously dumped her onto the top shelf of her scratch tower. She looked at me with big round eyes as if I’d thrown her into ice water.
“Get over it,” I said. I stomped into the kitchen and threw the pantry door wide. “Chicken noodle or tomato soup?” I asked myself. “Oh, what does it matter. You’re just going to fill the bowl with crackers anyway.” I opted for chicken noodle, my childhood favorite. I needed comfort food.
I sat at the table and tapped in the number for Lyle.
“Yo,” he said. “Whassup?”
“I hate men.”
“Woa. Me included? That why you called, sugar?” His smile came across in his voice, so I knew he hadn’t taken offense. He knew me better than that.
“No. But you’re the only one.” I drummed my fingers beside the steaming bowl of soup that I had no desire to eat.
“Tell Papa,” he said.
“You’re at work, right?”
“Uh huh. What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?”
“I don’t want to get you in trouble.” I took a tentative taste of the soup. It wasn’t as hot as I thought. Sally came into the kitchen meowing. She obviously ...