"The One"
by Toni

‘I feel the warmth inside his mouth, He says to me ‘It’s no wonder that you stand out.’
I feel his arms wrap around me and so I rest my head against his shoulders.
I feel nothing but gratitude and the love for this man.
But he only exists in my mind, in my heart, in my dreams.'

As Beth kept writing this, she was feeling more and more depressed. It was time for her to leave work anyway. So she put the poem in her coat pocket, was going to make a quick trip to the bathroom, and be on her way home. She put the coat over her chair. As Beth walked to the bathroom, Dave came out looking for Lisa.

“Um, Lisa,” he asked,
“Could I see you in my office for a second?”
“Sure, Dave. What’s up?”
“Um…this is kind of awkward for me. Um…I- I think we made a mistake breaking up.” ‘Holy crap, I actually said it,’ Dave thought.
“Oh. Well, I-,” Lisa was a little bit surprised. “I don’t know Dave. I- Well, I have been seeing somebody recently, and I really like him. Although, I do miss the warmth and affection in our, um… thing.”
“Do you think we could talk about it over dinner tonight?”
“I’m going out tonight.”
“But it’s a work night.”
“I know, but that still doesn’t mean a girl can’t have a little fun now and then. Even if it is on work nights.”
“Alright, fine, then can we talk about it tomorrow?”
“Um, sure. I guess so.”

Lisa walked out of Dave’s office. When Dave came walking out, he saw Beth carrying with her coat on the way to the elevator. While she was on her way, she dropped a piece of paper out of her pocket. Dave ran over to it and picked it up. He wasn’t sure if it was just garbage or not and was trying to decide to yell Beth’s name over just a scrap of paper. Just then, Lisa came over to him.

“Hey, Dave. Tomorrow, should we go out to lunch and talk about it?”
“That sounds fine to me.”
“Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Lisa and Dave waved at each other as Lisa made her way to the elevator.

‘Oh, man,’ Dave thought, ‘I forgot to give this back to Beth. Guess I’ll give back to her tomorrow.’ Dave went back in his office to get some papers and was on his way out of the office.

When Beth got home, she threw her coat across the room and scoped the fridge for some munchies. No luck there. She checked the cupboards and as well, no luck there either. ‘It’s probably a good thing,’ she thought, ‘eating when you’re not hungry isn’t exactly the best thing to do when you’re bored anyway. Guess I could finish that poem.’ Beth went over to her coat pocket, but couldn’t find it. She tried the other one and couldn’t find it either. ‘Shoot, I bet it fell out of my pocket when I hung my coat over the chair. Damn it, that’s happened too many times! Great, now I actually have to work on those papers that Dave gave me.’ Beth just then realized she left them at the office. ‘Well, it’s not like I have anything better to do.’ She grabbed her coat and was out the door.

Meanwhile, Dave was at home looking over the assignments that Mr. James gave him. ‘Oh, Lord, I’m beat,’ he thought. Dave went over and made himself some coffee and was about to watch the tube when he noticed the piece of paper on his coffee table. Dave was a little curious what it was so naturally, he opened it. After he read it, he was shocked. To think that Beth could write something like that. Beth. Dave re-read it over and over. ‘Oh man, now she’s gonna think that I read it when I give it back to her.’ Dave kept feeling guilty and more guilty not knowing what to do.

“I’ll just take it back to the office, put it on her desk, and pretend nothing happened,” he said. So Dave took the piece of paper, shoved it in his pocket, got his coat, and was out the door.

As Beth entered the office, she noticed Dave getting into the elevator.

“Dave, hold that door,” she yelled.
‘She knows, she knows, she knows, oh crap, she knows,’ Dave kept thinking over and over again. But surprisingly enough, she didn’t even say anything about it. “Hey, thanks, Dave.”
“No problem.”
“What are you doing here so late?”
“Um… I forgot something Mr. James gave me.”
“You? You mean that Mr. Dave Nelson didn’t finish his homework?” Beth teased.
“Yeah, well what about you?”
“I forgot those papers you gave me.”
“Ha! You forgot too!”
“Yeah, but you should expect that out of me!” Dave zoomed straight in his office. ‘I’ll just wait till she leaves, then I’ll put it on her desk,’ Dave thought. Beth was looking through her desk and finally got the papers. Dave poked his head out of his office to see Beth looking around in her desk. ‘Beth is actually pretty attractive,’ Dave thought, ‘she’s got something about her. I don’t what it is though. She’s so free-spirited and carefree. I wish I could be more like Beth.’ As Beth searched frantically for that poem, she looked up and saw Dave staring at her. Dave then asked, “What are you looking for?”
“Oh, just a letter I wrote. It fell out of my coat pocket. I can’t find it anywhere.”
“Do want some help?”
“No, that’s okay.” Beth would practically die if he knew what she wrote on that paper. “Well, I guess I’ll be going home. Do you want to go out to eat or something?” Beth asked innocently. Not wanting to be rude, Dave said, “Sure. But only if I’m paying.”
“Good, cause I didn’t have anything else in my apartment to eat.” Dave was dismayed. Now he would have to wait until tomorrow to give that back to Beth. As Dave walked past Beth, Beth couldn’t help but breathe in his smell. “Whoa!”
“What was that?” Dave asked.
“Did I say that out loud?”
“Yeah, you said ‘whoa!’”
“Sorry, I was just thinking that, um- you smelled good,” Beth said sheepishly. Dave then got a big grin on his face.
“Oh, shut up! It’s not like you’ve never taken a big whiff of Lisa or anything,” she said.
“I know, I’m sorry. You know, you don’t smell that bad, either.”
“This is great, we’re talking about how people smell right before dinner,” she said. Dave started chuckling. Not so much at the joke, but how funny Beth could be.

When Dave and Beth made it downstairs, Beth heard what sounded like a whimper come from Dave.

"What was that," Beth said laughing.
"Well, look at all that traffic," Dave whined.
"So what? We'll just have to walk." And as Beth said that, she grabbed his hand and ran out the WNYX doors. "It's a beautiful night anyway," Beth said.

After they walked for a few blocks, Beth realized that she was still hanging on to Dave's hand. She dropped his hand, feeling embarrassed. Dave must have noticed, because right after that he chuckled and put his arm around Beth. After they found a place, they were seated and they ordered their drinks.

"So, what's the deal with you and Lisa?" Beth asked. Dave looked a little suprised. "Why?"
"Just curious."
"Well, I was hoping to maybe get back together with her, but I'm afraid that she doesn't feel the same way."
"I'm sorry."

Then there was an awkward silence. Then Beth rested her head in her hands. Dave started to chuckle.

"Tired?" he asked.
"Hell, yeah. I have to stop watching so much late night talk shows."
"I do that a lot, too. I always get hooked on Jay Leno."
"I always watch Conan O'Brien. I love him!"
"I never watch Conan O'Brien. I watched it once and I didn't like it very much."
"Oh, man. He has the funniest characters on that show. Like for example, the masturbating bear." As Beth said this, Dave was taking a drink and almost spit it out with laughter.
"What the hell?" Dave said laughing.
"Nevermind, you don't want to get into it." Beth said. After a while, one of her favorite songs came on.
"This is one of my favorite songs," Beth said so innocently. Dave just smiled and said, "Beth, would you like to dance?"
"Yes," she said with no thought, and grabbed Dave and they danced.

After their third song, came a slow love song. Beth just gave Dave a still-want-to? look. So Dave took her and wrapped his arms around her. As they danced, Dave had realized this was the first time he'd ever been this close to Beth. She was thinking the same thing. After a fast song started, they were still slow dancing. Beth realized this and she let go of Dave. They went and sat back down at their table with an awkward silence. After awhile, Dave said, "So, tell me more of this masturbating bear you speak of."

After they gabbed for a few hours, Dave paid the waiter and they were out of there. As Dave was walking Beth home, he kept thinking of that poem that Beth wrote. 'How could she be so smart and fun to be with without me noticing before?' Dave thought. At the same time, Beth kept looking up at him to see his eyes. 'He has such beautiful eyes' she thought. 'Even if they are wrinkled with stress and age.' Dave walked her up to her building.

"Dave," Beth said, "Would you walk me up to my apartment? I'm always afraid to go up by myself."
"Sure." After Dave walked her up, he noticed how dirty the hallway was.
"Yeah, I know. I have a crappy building. That's what happens when you make practically nothing at a radio station."
"Man, you don't deserve to live here," Dave said.
"It's not that bad. It's not like I have druggies walking up and down the hallway."
"Well... I guess I should go then. Goodnight Beth." Dave gave her a kiss on the cheek and left.

When Dave got home, he got dressed and crawled into bed. He turned on the TV to see Conan O'Brien on the tube. Then Dave started laughing as soon as he saw the masturbating bear come on. Then he had a sudden urge to read Beth's note again. He went over to his coat and realized it smelled like Beth. 'Oh, wow,' he thought. After he read the note about 10 times, he decided to slip the note back on her desk after she went to lunch or something.

'Oh my, God.' he thought. 'I'm starting to have feelings for Beth. Crap.'

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