Not to be outdone, Blaine, the barista added yet another layer to the tulip he had fashioned out of milk froth and espresso drips.
The judges waited until the buzzer sounded, ending the competition and without too much deliberation, chose Blaine’s work as the winner. Theresa, tried to blink back the hot rush of tears, but managed a half-assed smile before she looked away.
“Better luck next time Theresa.” The judge said, as he watched her swipe at her eyes with her sleeve. It wasn’t that she was so disappointed, it was just that she knew she hadn’t done her best work. She’d been preoccupied with watching Blaine’s deft fingers, his sinewy hands, and smooth, tanned forearms as they created what turned out to be the winning entry. She was a sucker for artistic men, especially watching them work.
Blaine was nodding and shaking hands, accepting the congratulations with an easy grace that baffled Theresa. If she’d won, she would be lording it over him, making sure he was aware of her superiority. She didn’t know whether or not she’d be able to fake a graceful congratulatory handshake, but she’d better get her game face on quick, as Blaine was headed right toward her.
“Great job Trace” he said in that old familiar way. “I thought you had the win right up until the last. It looked like somehow your concentration broke, was that it?” He touched her shoulder and tipped his head in that infuriatingly cute way, as he waited for her answer. He used to tip his head that way when he was going in for a kiss, of course that was before they broke up. Had it only been two months ago?
“Thanks.” Was all she could muster without looking up. Then, when she could no longer control herself, she blurted out “I’m pregnant Blaine.” She jerked her apron off over her head, and ran through the thinning crowd, out the shop door and dove behind the steering wheel of her car. She fumbled with the key, finally turning it in the ignition, but it wouldn’t catch. The car, ground and ground, as she frantically twisted the key over and over again. Finally giving up, she threw her arms over the top of the steering wheel and sobbed.
Blaine stood outside the car. She sensed rather than saw him. She knew he was there, knew he would have chased her, but she kept her head and eyes hidden, finally reaching over to roll down the window.
“You have every right to be angry.” She sobbed, still hugging the steering wheel.
“No,” said Blaine softly. “You warned me, you weren’t any good at being alone. I’ve been gone what, two months, and look at the mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”
“What?!” Diane whipped her head in Blaine’s direction, incredulous that he would assume she’d slept with someone else when he knew it was him she loved.
“Haha! Gotcha!” Blaine laughed. Then he tipped his head and went in for the kiss.