As Forrest slowly came awake he was aware of sounds within the apartment. He lay there listening for a few minutes and then he realized it was Nicole moving around in the bathroom. A moment later he heard the toilet flush and then soft footsteps moving down the hall away from the bedroom.
He yawned and stretched as he thought of the day ahead. He looked forward to getting to know Nicole some more and found himself heavy with mixed emotions about the fact that he seemed to be much more curious about her than he had with other women. He didn’t want to get too close to another woman. He liked his freedom. He made no qualms about admitting that he was a field player and that was the way he liked it. It was fun to experience variety with no strings attached. No kinds of commitment that would present any hassles or anything like that.
After meeting his ex, he let himself get talked into settling down since he was getting older and all that. Oh, it wasn’t that he hadn’t cared for India. He liked her very much at first, but did he really love her? Did he actually love her? In hindsight, he realized it was probably just a case of being very much in lust with her.
Nicole wasn’t as hot as India had been, but she was still pretty sexy in her own way. It was really hard to compare the two because they were so different. India was younger with jet black hair and eyes while Nicole was an older brunette with red highlights and green eyes. India had straight hair and was somewhat tall. Nicole had curly hair and was somewhat short.
His marriage to India had actually been good during the first six months. The sex was great and India gave him the space that he needed. But then she became a nagging, meddling bitch, wanting more and more. When he’d give an inch, she would demand a mile.
Finally, he had enough. He remembered the night he lost his temper. It was definitely nothing he ever planned on, but it happened. He’d just have to continue to stick to his story and hope for the best.
His unusual fondness for Nicole brought about new worries. It would be bad enough if the truth were to be discovered under any circumstances, but if anything were to become of Nicole and him, then it was all the more crucial that the truth was never known. So, Nicole basically heightened his worries about being found out.
At the same time, he couldn’t help how he felt for Nicole either. He wished he could reach into his brain and turn off whatever it was he was feeling but he couldn’t. Instead, he wanted to run with it and see where it led.
In the past, he had gravitated toward naive, flaky women because they were easy to manipulate. He could pretty much tell them whatever they wanted to hear and they would readily buy it. This enabled him to basically have his cake and eat it, too.
But Nicole wasn’t anything like that. She was much more sharp-minded and he knew she would be tougher to trick, not that he wanted to trick her in any way. He actually liked her intelligence and independent way of thinking. She was unique yet normal, if there was such a thing, and he felt compelled to look out for her.
The more he liked someone, the more he respected them and considered how they felt as well. He knew that Nicole may very well not feel the same way he did and he knew he had to honor her wishes if she didn’t want anything more than just a place to stay until she decided what she was going to do from there.
After a few minutes, he rose from his bed and went to join Nicole in the kitchen.
She glanced at him as he entered the room and greeted him with a smile.
“Morning,” he mumbled sleepily.
“Found the coffee and decided to make a pot. Hope you don’t mind.”
“Not at all.”
“Want a cup?”
“Sure. Sleep well?”
Nodding, Nicole said, “Yes, and surprisingly well. I must have really been out of it.”
As they sipped their coffee, the two discussed their plans for the day.
“So other than going to the grocery store,” Forrest said, “we can just call it a lazy Sunday.”
“Well, not too lazy,” Nicole said. “I still have to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Do I take it just one day at a time or do I make plans? You know, like real honest-to-god actual plans?”
Forrest pondered this a moment in his mind and said, “Well, what would you plan if you were going to make plans?”
“I don’t know. That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out for a while now.”
“Then just take it day by day.”
“Good advice,” Nicole said with a quick laugh.
Forrest laughed as well.
Then they were both laughing together.