Read a Ro­mance!

Suds and sparks

Woman's World - - Start your week with a smile! - —Kathy L. Matisko

He broke into a grin, and she felt a spark light up in­side

When Julie met Cole, it was awash with pos­si­bil­ity!

Julie no­ticed him as soon as she walked into the Suds and Sparkle Laun­dro­mat. Tall. Trim. Tousled dark hair. He was feed­ing coins into a washer and didn’t look up. Prob­a­bly mar­ried, she thought with a sigh.

She was about to open her de­ter­gent bot­tle when she heard a shout. “Watch out!”

Julie whirled to see an empty laun­dry cart ca­reen­ing to­ward her. In a flash, the man reached out and stopped it be­fore it crashed into her.

A tod­dler peeked from be­hind the cart and stared wide-eyed at Julie as a woman rushed over. “I’m so sorry— are you okay?” Julie smiled. “I’m fine.”

The woman gently led her son away, and Julie turned to the man who had saved her. “Thank you.” “Al­ways glad to help a damsel in dis­tress.” He grinned and ex­tended a hand. “I’m Cole.” “Julie.” Ges­tur­ing to­ward the quilt she’d brought, he said, “That’s pretty.”

“My grand­mother made it. It’s the dou­ble wed­ding ring pat­tern.” “Ah, a wed­ding gift?” “En­gage­ment. The wed­ding was called off.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he sym­pa­thized, though his face had seemed to brighten a bit.

As she care­fully loaded the quilt into the large-ca­pac­ity ma­chine, she added, “I fig­ure, I might as well use it. Who knows if I’ll ever get mar­ried?”

Did I re­ally just say that? Julie felt heat rise to her face.

Cole just smiled. “I know what you mean. I’m sin­gle—not even a girl­friend.”

Wow, she thought. Good­look­ing, friendly and avail­able?

Cole mo­tioned to a bench along the wall, and they sat down and fell into easy con­ver­sa­tion.

He men­tioned that he had just moved into a new house and didn’t have a washer or dryer yet, and he chuck­led when she de­scribed her quilt-mak­ing grand­mother, who loved read­ing ro­mances. The time flew by, and all too soon, he was ready to leave. “See you next week?” he asked, hope in his eyes. She smiled. “I’ll be here.” The fol­low­ing Tues­day, Julie and Cole ar­rived within min­utes of each other. He broke into a wide grin when he saw her, and she felt a spark light up in­side her.

They had just started their wash­ers when a woman rushed in, dropped off a bun­dle at the dry-clean­ing counter and was hur­ry­ing out again when she abruptly stopped. “Hi, Julie! What are you do­ing here?” she asked. “Is your washer bro­ken? I’ll send Bob over to fix it.”

Julie’s face turned pink. “Oh, hi, Aunt Linda…well… my washer is work­ing fine, thanks.” The woman shrugged, kissed Julie’s cheek then hur­ried out the door.

When she’d gone, Cole raised an eye­brow. “You have your own washer?”

Julie blushed. “Yes, but it’s too small for my quilt.” He was study­ing her, and she felt her color deepen. “And I came back to­day be­cause…well…i wanted to see you again—”

Sud­denly, he laughed. “Well, my washer and dryer were de­liv­ered two days ago,” he said with a shy smile.

“Then…why are you here?” she asked.

“Be­cause I didn’t get your phone num­ber. And I wanted to ask you out.” His hope­ful ex­pres­sion made her heart race, and the spark she’d felt ear­lier grew into a warm glow.

“I’d love to,” she smiled. Who knew? With any luck, this ro­mance story might just turn out to be her grand­mother’s fa­vorite.

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