Good morning! Welcome to week three of Wednesday Writing Prompt. What is Wednesday Writing Prompt? Every Wednesday in May, I and four author friends will write a short story from a writing prompt, and you can hop from blog to blog to read each one and see the different ideas that come from each prompt.
The first two prompts are Chance Encounter and Count on Me with connected characters, but this week’s prompt is made up of entirely new characters. Without further ado, below is the writing prompt and my contribution, Better Late Than Never.
Writing prompt: The hero’s best friend sets him up on a blind date, but when he shows up for the date, his best friend is there.
Better Late Than Never
Why had he agreed to this?
Nelson straightened the collar on his shirt and walked into the coffee shop.
He didn’t do blind dates and certainly didn’t need help getting laid, but his friend Nisa was right. He’d been in a slump ever since his unexpected broken engagement, and he needed to shake it off and get back in the game.
If someone other than Nisa had set him up, he would have passed, but she knew him better than any of his other friends. Hell, they knew each other better than any of their other friends, having met in the first grade and gotten along ever since.
Thinking about her made him smile as he scanned the tables, checking if his date, Laura, had already arrived. The quick scan of the interior verified she hadn’t yet. She would only communicate with him via email, and she’d also requested a coffee date, something low pressure for the two of them. She said she’d be wearing jeans, a blue top, and a paisley scarf, but no one in the shop was dressed remotely like that. Good, because he’d shown up early to make sure he beat her there. Taking an empty table along the wall, he faced the door and waited.
Each time the door opened, he glanced up, expecting to see her. About two minutes after the hour, Laura still hadn’t arrived. Strike one. He was a stickler for being on time and expected other people to be early or on time, the way he always was.
He sent a text to Nisa. Your girl is late.
Knowing her, she’d probably have some sassy response. He chuckled softly to himself as he waited.
Surprised, he glanced up to see Nisa standing beside the table. She’d apparently come from somewhere in the back.
Nelson stood. “Hey, what are you…?”
She looked amazing as usual, with her thick natural hair splayed on top of her shoulders in her favorite style, a twist-out. What made him lose his voice was her attire. Jeans. Blue top. Paisley scarf.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“Have a seat,” Nisa said, sitting in the chair opposite him.
Nelson sat slowly.
“I know you’re wondering why I’m here, dressed like this.”
“Yeah, the question did cross my mind,” he said carefully.
“It’s because… I’m your blind date. I’m the person you’re supposed to meet, and I’m the person you’ve been emailing for the past week.”
“What the hell are you doing, Nisa?” There was only silence at their table as everyone around them continued eating, drinking, and typing on their laptops. “We’re friends,” Nelson said tightly.
Nisa folded her hands on the table and made direct eye contact. “I know. Believe me, it was a difficult decision to let you know about my feelings for you, and I was hiding in the bathroom trying to work up the courage to come out here and face you. But I finally decided it was worth the risk.”
Nelson couldn’t believe his ears. “How long have you felt this way?”
“Damn. Why didn’t you just talk to me instead of this elaborate scheme?”
Nisa shrugged. “I guess I was afraid of your rejection, and this way I forced my own hand.”
Hesitation filtered into her face, but there was no need for her to be uneasy. He had always found Nisa attractive, but every time he was free, she was in a relationship. When she was free, he was in a relationship. They never seemed to be single at the same time. Until now…
“What are you thinking?” she asked quietly.
Nelson scrubbed a hand across his jawline and studied her across the table. “I’m thinking that blue looks good on you, like every color does. I like the paisley scarf. I like the way those jeans fit, and…I’m wishing I hadn’t let so much time pass without making a move.”
She bit her lip, which was the cutest, sexiest thing. “You feel the same?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Because if we don’t work as a couple, how can we go back to being friends?” His chest tightened at the thought of losing her support, her goofy sense of humor, her ability to make him laugh even when he was angry or having a bad day. Nisa was his sanity in an insane world, and the one person he could always count on.
“I had the same worries,” she admitted. “But I figured it was worth it, especially after you and Nadia broke up and you didn’t get seriously involved with anyone else.”
“Me and Nadia,” Nelson muttered, shaking his head.
“What happened between the two of you? You never told me why you split.”
“Because I couldn’t tell you that she ended our engagement after she accused me of being in love with you.”
Nisa’s eyes widened. “Why did she say that?”
“Because I am.”
Her eyes went even wider.
He’d been in denial for a long time but Nadia forced him to face the truth. Now that Nisa knew how he felt, the rest of the confession came easily.
“We’d had a couple of fights about you. She didn’t like our closeness or the fact that there were things I wouldn’t share with her but I shared with you. She was always suspicious of our phone calls and our text messages. Didn’t matter when I let her see my phone to prove our conversations were innocent. In her words, ‘your face lights up every time her name appears on your phone.’ The last straw was when I whispered your name in the middle of us making love.”
Nisa’s mouth fell open.
“Yeah, it was pretty terrible. I gave her a lame excuse, that your names were close together because they both start with N. She saw through the lie.” Nelson sat forward, looking deeply into her eyes. “The truth was, I had been thinking about you while I was with her, and the closer we got to our wedding date, the harder my relationship with her became.”
“I don’t know what to say. I thought I would have to convince you to give us a try, but it seems we’re on the same page.”
“As usual. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
They stood and Nelson took her hand as they walked out of the coffee shop. As soon as they exited the door, he pushed her against the outside wall and captured her lips with his. Her mouth was soft, pliable, and tasty. Better than he had ever imagined. Knowing that he’d been missing out all these years because he’d been worried about messing up their friendship, made him want to give himself a swift kick in the behind.
His tongue swept the inside of her mouth and she groaned. That spurred him to slip his arms around her waist and pull her tight against his body. They’d hugged numerous times over the years, but this hug, this embrace, was hotter and made him hornier than ever before. Tracing her waistline with his hands, he moved his palms upward and barely managed not to squeeze her breasts. There would be time for that later.
Nelson released her mouth reluctantly and lifted his head. Nisa looked at him with passion-drunk eyes.
“I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time,” he breathed.
“I’m glad you finally did,” she whispered, her breath brushing his mouth in a gentle caress.
“Your place or mine?”
“I live too far away. Yours.” She did that cute little thing again where she bit her bottom lip.
Nelson gave her another quick kiss, already addicted to her mouth.
Then he took her hand and led her to his car.
1. Would you let a friend set you up on a blind date?
2. Should Nelson have spoken up sooner?
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