Welcome to the fourth instalment of Mark and Ann bits. Mark is tough as nails and Ann is a Firebrand, but they both have soft spot for tiny hearts. Here’s a moment in each of their lives before that fateful day they met.
One of those rare moments, where I find myself with just a little bit of time. I’m sitting in a booth at Dale Ranchos, starring out the window and daydreaming. Daydreaming about the past? The future? Hell, I don’t know. Dreaming about a love I’m likely never to have.
My dreams are interrupted by a man who brings his dog to shit outside my window. He smiles at me like it’s no big deal. Well, it may be inconsiderate but I guess it’s a free country. I finish my meal and start people watching. Something I do to hone my observation skills.
I notice a young mother nursing her newborn. I smile at her and turn away to give her privacy. Then I hear a sour voice. “How disgusting! People are trying to eat here. Can’t you feed that kid somewhere else? Some people have no respect.”
I turn to the speaker and feel my blood boil, especially when I realize it’s dog shit man. I stand up, walk over and stare down at him. “Mister, there’s nothing in this world more beautiful than a mother, feeding her child. No one has the right to watch it, without permission. No one should say anything about it. Especially not some ignorant son of a bitch, who lets his dog shit in front of people who are eating. I hope you washed your hands, shit for brains.”
His face goes red and he eases out and heads for the door. He picks up speed when people start clapping. I walk over to the mother and point next to her. “May I sit down, ma’am?”
She looks hesitant but nods. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cause trouble. I tried to go to the bathroom but it stinks in there. Thank you for what you did, Mister?”
“I’m not a Mister, you can call me Mark. Don’t ever apologize for feeding your baby. You do it whenever, however, and wherever. And there’s no thanks needed.”
She smiles and continues to nourish the precious baby girl in her arms. I sit with my back to her watching the people. Daring anyone to look. No one does except a little old lady who gives me a warm smile and an approving nod. I return the smile and go back to guard duty. One of those rare moments, where I have a little time.
Stephen and Jen had asked me to babysit. They never do it often and I never mind doing it, and I love spending time with the tiny tornado, as I’ve come to think of her. We played all evening and now she’s in bed, and it’s always this time that I don’t quite know what to do with myself besides slump down in front of the telly and hope my mind doesn’t wander.
There’s no chance of that!
With the night so quiet, and the moon shining in the sky, I wonder why I can’t find what Stephen and Jen have. Is there something wrong with me? Stephen would say it’s because I’m too hard-headed for my own good, and that any man would have to be either a saint or as crazy as I was to be with me. I always laughed it off but sometimes I just can’t help wishing.
He would be my match in every sense of the word. Strong and tough, yet gentle with me. He’d be patient, he’d have to be, and he’d have to be sure enough of himself and his masculinity to not be threatened by my outspoken, and often abrasive nature. And I don’t want a pretty boy, the kind that spends all day in the mirror.
No! He has to be a man’s man, gruff, rough, and ready, with calluses on the hands he touches me so gently with. I want to feel his breath in my ear when he whispers he loves me, feel his stubble on my skin as he kisses me, and feel the heat of his body as he pulls me close. I want to hear the growl in his voice when he says my name.
Yes, just like that.
No. That’s not right.
I open my eyes and look right into the smiling face of my little curly mop-topped niece. “I need a drink. Can I have pink girl pop?”
I smile and push myself up off the sofa. If I can’t have the man of my dreams then I’ll settle for my little tornado. I know she loves me as much as I love her.
I take her hand. “Okay, but just a sip and then it’s back to bed. Mammy and daddy will be home soon, and you’re supposed to be sleeping.”