“A little early to be hitting the Jack isn’t?” She turned around with a smile.
“Yep and I got a long way to drive today.” He was sad that he hadn’t been able to get back to the bar or to Colleen. He forgot to get her number and the few times he did call the bar, a man answered.
“So back to the real life, end of summer.” She poured him a cup of coffee and sat it on the bar.
“Yeah, back to school for the boys, I’ve never taken them school shopping by myself.” He sipped the coffee and sighed, he missed his morning coffee. “Maybe I can con their sister into taking them shopping.”
“So you have three kids?” She didn’t really google him, she knew the music, and hell the jukebox blared it on Ladies night.
He held up four fingers, as he sipped his coffee.
“Stephanie is the oldest and the only girl, Then Jesse, Jake and Romeo. Jesse is in college at Notre Dame.” He smiled, talking about his kids.
Colleen saw the sparkle in his eyes, as he talked about his children. Four kids, he has four kids. She wasn’t afraid of a man with kids, hell she worked with kids always lifted her spirits
“Where are the two you came with, Jake and Romeo?” Colleen asked him.
“They are actually walking the beach for the last time. Not sure when we’ll be back here again.” He finished the coffee and pushed the cup to her.
She started to refill it but he waved it off.
“One to go?” She took out a to go cup and filled it with coffee, handing it to him. “Drive safe maybe I’ll see you next time you’re here?”
“I hope we can maybe get together sometime.” God he sounded like a green kid asking a girl for a first date.
Colleen looked at him and smiled.
“Maybe Blue Eyes, You never know.” Colleen winked at him.
He picked up the cup and winked back. He was almost out the door when he remembered that he needed her number. Walking back to the bar he sat the coffee down. Colleen slid the guest check toward him, written on the guest check was her name Colleen O’Sullivan and her cell number. He pocked the paper and winked at her.
“It’s been a while,” Jon laughed as he left the bar.
The boys were leaning on the car, it was the first time in months they’ve heard their father laugh. They nudged each other. The ride back, he was like the old dad. They both wondered how long it last?
Stephanie had agreed with her dad to go to take her brothers school shopping, so he was off the hook.
“So pop’s was laughing coming out of a bar? Sure he wasn’t drunk?” Stephanie asked as she added white polo shirts to the cart. They had gone to the mall, thee with their list in hand they hit several stores for pants and polos. The night before they had gone to the schools website to get the list of supplies they needed, plus their schedules.
“They have a few new teachers this year.” Jake said as he looked at his phone. “I got one for English, and for history.” He tossed the pants he had tried on. He was getting taller than their father, and he loved it.
“I have a new one too.” Romeo said as he put his pants in the cart too. “I don’t think daddy was drunk, he smelled like coffee to me.”
“I think he had some company while we were at Greg and Max’s house.” Jake said as he pocketed his phone.
“Yeah, when we left, he was out on the deck watching the waves.” Romeo told his sister. “We had gotten back from dropping mom’s stuff at Goodwill.”
“Yeah, he had a bottle of wine and was just sitting there when we were leaving.” Jake told his sister.
She had been worried when, her father had said they were going out to the Hamptons to clean out the bedroom. He had held up so well hiding, acting like it was normal to have your wife commit suicide. He wasn’t that great of an actor, she knew it would be a matter of time before he crawled into a bottle. Their Uncle Mookie had done the same thing when his dad died.
“Why do you think he had company? How could you tell?” She checked the tags on the pants and tossed in four pairs each. She knew they were getting bored and it would be a matter of time before, she would be shopping alone and they would be in the food court.
“Two plates, two coffee mugs, bowls, frying pan.” Romeo was ticking off a list of the stuff in the drain board. “Oh yeah and one wine glass.”
Two plates hum? Stephanie thought about all this that the boys noticed. “Maybe dad had company come in for dinner, maybe some football people?” Stephanie told them as they headed to check out.
“That wear perfume?” Jake questioned. Looking up from his phone.
“Perfume, really? That’s something.” Stephanie got the boys past the food court, they stopped at the shoe store and then loaded the car and headed home.
Jon was waiting till the boys had left with their sister to pull out the crumpled restaurant ticket from his wallet. He had thought about calling her every night, but something stopped him, it was called his ever-present sons.
Colleen was in her apartment planning her first day of school, it was always challenging with the end of summer and getting her students back into “Oh God we’re back to school,” frame of mind. She grabbed another soda from the fridge and tackled her computer list, English was her favorite things to teach and creative writing a close second. She was looking over her student list and about spit her cola on the screen. Just then her cell phone shrilled. She looked at her messy desk, where the hell was her cell?
Jon was about the hang up, he hated leaving a voice mail.
“Hello?” Colleen prayed they haven’t hung up, she hardly ever answered blocked numbers.
“Colleen, did I call at the wrong time? This is Jon.” Boy that sounded really mature Bongiovi, Jon rolled his eyes at how he sounded.
“No, no Jon, my desk looks like world war three just blew up, getting ready to go back to work, I needed a break.” Colleen laughed
You could hear papers shuffling around and a dropped phone and a few words that sounded like Shit and damn then she came back to the phone.
“Sorry about that, I knocked over my soda and then dropped the phone,” She laughed again and Jon smiled at the sound of her laugh.
“I’m leaving this room, it’s like when Harry and the gang went into Greengots and everything they touched multiplied till it about buried them.” She put her drink by her overstuffed chair and sat down, curling her feet under her. “Now I can talk. How have you been? Did the coffee help you get home okay?”
“Home and car unloaded, then for the past two weeks my kids have been driving me crazy. This was the first time I’ve had peace and quiet.” He poured a mug of coffee and went into his office and closed the door. If the kids came home and the door was shut, they knew he was working and would wait till it opened again to pester him. “Are you an aunt yet?” Thanks to all four of his kids being huge Harry Potter fans he had an idea how bad her desk was.
“Six pounds, twenty one inches of bouncing baby girl, and she has her daddy wrapped around her tiny little finger.” Colleen laughed again. “He wants to set her up in the bar as an oompha loompa, but thankfully her mother said her daughter’s not going to be dyed orange.”
“That’s a smart mother.” Jon laughed. “That’s great, I love being an uncle, spoil them and then, send them home.”
“I won’t get to do much of that, they live there and I’m here working till break.” Colleen sipped her soda. The name that she had seen on her class list kept popping in her head, should she ask him or just google him later?
“I meant to ask you what you did beside tend bar.” He pulled out a pen and started doodling her name.
“I’m an English and a Creative writing teacher, not very exciting, but it pays the bills.” She told him as she sipped her cola. “I’m starting at a new school this year, my friends talked me into teaching in a private school. It’s going to be a huge change for me, not teaching in public schools where you have to go through a metal detector every day.”
“That sounds dangerous.” Jon stopped the pen for a second.
“It had its days. Lock down was the hardest on the kids and the teachers.” She sat her can down. “I was lucky though I never had a knife or a gun pulled on me.”
“Damn, good thing your friends got you out of there before that happened.” He thought about when he and Dot had taken the kids out of public school and placed into Polly Prep. Here was a teacher who had to go through a metal detector, where kids come to school with guns.
They chatted a little longer and Jon finally got the nerve to ask Colleen out.
“I was wondering if you might like to go out, say Friday or Saturday. Dinner and a show or something?” It had been years since he asked a woman out, what did people do now on a date? He could ask Stephanie or Jesse, but then again, would they be upset if he started dating again?
Colleen smiled, it would be wonderful to go out and celebrate the start of school.
“Sure! That sounds like fun,” She gave him her address and they set up a time for him to pick her up, before he hung up she got his number and put it in her phone.
He smiled as he hung up, he had a date, an honest to God date. He got up and headed to the kitchen and nearly walked into Stephanie, waiting outside his door.
“What’s her name and where did you meet her?” Stephanie asked when her breathing and nerves calmed down.
Jon stopped as he picked up the broken coffee mug.