Author, poet, speaker, and singer Jennifer Anne F. Messing of Portland, Oregon, is a wife, and mother of three children. She has a bachelor's degree in Christian Education and a diploma in Journalism. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, Jennifer Anne has had 180+ articles, short stories, and poems published in 55 magazines and books including Bible Advocate, The Storyteller, Evangel, LIVE, Seek, Standard and Nudges from God. She reviews classic and family-friendly movies as the "Portland Classic Movies Examiner" for Examiner.com. Jennifer Anne has also authored two poetry gift books. She was born in Manila, Philippines. Visit her website www.JenniferAnneMessing.com, or visit Portland Classic Movies Examiner
“Hey, Emily,” my coworker, Holly, whispers. “Dream Man is here!”
I cast a glance across the airport boutique and see him looking at some fancy journals. I’ve worked as a sales associate at this store for over two years, and I’ve often seen “Dream Man” at the front counter of the airline where he works. He is tall, lean, and muscular; in his early thirties I think, with wavy, brown hair and a friendly smile.
“Can I help you find anything?” I ask, as I approach him.
“I’m looking for a journal as a present for a lady.”
I wonder, Who is that lady? Discreetly I look at his left hand and see no ring. Well, at least he’s not married!
“Would she like a leather-bound journal or a hardcover one?”
“I think this one will do.” He points to a handsome, hardcover journal with a floral design on its front cover.
“Good choice! I’m sure she’ll like it.” I look into his gorgeous blue eyes.
He glances at his watch, looking a bit hurried. “I’m on a fifteen-minute break right now, and I need to get back. I work at West Coast Airways.”
“I’ve seen you there sometimes. Would you like me to put this in a box and gift wrap it? You can come back for it later.”
“I’d really appreciate that.” He takes out his credit card and I ring up his purchase. “Oh, and—please, let me introduce myself. I’m Trent Fairbanks.” He extends his hand.
I take his hand and shake it firmly. His skin feels warm. “Emily Marquiss.”
“Emily,” he says and looks at me for a long moment. “A lovely name. And every time I’ve seen you, you always look nice. You fit right in with all the lovely merchandise in this store.”
I feel heat rising in my cheeks. He’s noticed—me?
“Thank you, Trent.” I flash a smile. “What a nice compliment. I’ll have this gift wrapped and ready for you.”
“I’ll be back in a couple of hours, at one.” He nods and then leaves.
Still in a dream-like state and moving over to our gift-wrapping area, I select a box perfect for the journal. A feminine-looking gift wrap and a lavender ribbon give it a finishing touch.
“Trent seems like a nice man,” Holly says. “Who knows? Maybe he’s the one you’ve been waiting for. I met my husband-to-be when I was twenty-seven.”
“That’s my age right now.” I grin.
“But it’s more than just being the right age, you know,” Holly says. “I think it’s about being ready to meet the right one, and willing to take a chance on that wonderful adventure called love.”
Holly and I are almost finished putting out new merchandise when Trent returns. He walks into the store with a drop-dead gorgeous, tall brunette at his side, obviously a flight attendant for West Coast Airways. So much for being ready for love! I feel plain and invisible standing next to Miss America!
“Emily,” Trent says, “I’d like you to meet my coworker, Sarah Collins.”
“Nice to meet you, Sarah,” I say as I shake her hand.
“A pleasure,” Sarah replies. She has a genuine smile. Next she turns and looks at Trent. “I have a flight in forty minutes. Gotta run.”
“I understand,” Trent says. “I was sure this would be a store you’d like.”
“I’ll definitely be back in here to shop,” Sarah remarks. “Exquisite boutique! See you all next time.” She waves and walks out of the store, pulling her matching carry-on baggage along.
I watch Trent, expecting his eyes to follow Sarah, when instead I suddenly find us gazing at each other. Has time stopped?
“Thanks for gift wrapping this,” Trent finally blurts out. Holding the package, he continues, “The crew is giving Sarah a send-off party this Friday. She’s moving to Minneapolis and getting married.”
“You’re—welcome,” I manage to say, my thoughts spinning.
“Emily, I didn’t ask you earlier. I’m on a one-hour break right now. I’m wondering—would you like to join me for lunch?”
“Usually Holly takes lunch first …” I glance over at her.
“I’m not even hungry yet,” Holly remarks. “If you want to take lunch now, go ahead.”
“I’d love to join you,” I tell him, smiling and picking up my handbag.
“You’ve just made my day.” Trent looks pleased. “Does Thai food sound good?”