Wendy returned to the nursery.
“How’d it look?” Carol inquired as soon as Wendy came to the counter.
“I like it a lot, but I have to talk to my cousin about the price, so we’ll see.” Wendy strolled around her nursery as she dwelled on the diner. She came to a stop in the forest area where she noticed a man staring at something, but she couldn’t see what so intrigued him. She stepped closer. Apparently, he saw her out of the corner of his eye and turned toward her.
“Hi. I’m sorry to interrupt, but I noticed you were looking at something, and I wondered what.”
“The way the light from the small window above highlights the purple orchid.”
Wendy stepped closer for a better look and, sure enough, the orchid had a shine to it. “I never noticed it before, very unusual for this plant. Amazing, I’m so glad you called my attention to it.”
“My name is Elliott.” He reached out and shook her hand.
“I’m Wendy, the owner of the nursery. You seem to have a connoisseur’s eye.”
“Yes, well, I’m a painter so I tend to notice little things. You have a great nursery here, where a calmness prevails,” he complimented.
“Thank you. What kind of painting do you do?”
Wendy was intrigued. “Have you painted for long?”
“Since I was eight.”
“Eight,” she laughed. “Amazing, what did you paint then?”
“My attempts were different objects, like bicycles or horses. Now it’s scenery.” His voice surged with enthusiasm. “I’m about to have an art show at the Painter’s Art Museum in Playa del Rey, near Marina del Rey.”
“That’s wonderful. Congratulations.”
Carol called for Wendy on the intercom. “Sorry, I have to go back to the front, but if you can wait, I’d like to hear more about the art show.” “Sorry, I can’t stay but if you want to come to the opening, it’s in two weeks. Food will be served outside at five-thirty and the museum opens at seven. I’ll leave a business card on the counter as a reminder if that’s okay?”
As she walked away, she thought how impressive Elliott looked with broad shoulders, quarterback body, deep brown eyes and the creative type like her.
Between work, the drive to Malibu and back to the nursery Wendy was exhausted. It had been a long day. After a calming rest and some dinner, she dragged herself to Hoffman’s. As tired as she felt, she wanted to talk to Mike about coming to her house before work the next day. She ached for personal attention, thankful for this new relationship. People filled the room when she arrived but not like a weekend. She went to the piano bar where Brad was singing, “If I Had a Hammer,” a folk song written by Peter Seeger. Cindy came up to Wendy and sat next to her. They hadn’t spoken for a few days. The song finished and Brad took his fifteen-minute break.
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