The Beginning - Part 1
I was sitting at one of my favorite diners call `Chicks' having lunch and going over some paperwork that needed to be done by the end of the week, when Stella came over to take my order. Stella is a good friend of mine who helped me when I was in a bad relationship with Kenneth.
As I was getting ready to leave, I spotted a young man I believed to be in his early twenties. He was dirty, had a black eye sitting and was sitting at a booth at the far end of the diner with both knees up to his chin.
"Excuse me, may I sit?"
"Whatever," he said.
"Stella, could you bring us two sodas?
"Sure thing, Trayton."
"Thank you, Stella." I turned to the young man and introduced myself. "Hi my name is Trayton Conrad and yours is?" When he refused to answer me, I spoke in a soft gentle voice and asked him again what his name was.
When he lifted his head up as I approached him, I saw he had a fat lip and a cut on his forehead and a black eye.
"The name is Shane Michael Arnold and I am 27."
"Nice to meet you!" I smiled. "So you want to tell me how you got beat up?"
He became annoyed at me. "Umm no, not really, and besides this isn't any of your business," he said in an angry voice.
"Alright then; let's get you home and fix up your face."
"No thank you. I can take care of myself. So please leave me the hell alone!" He was still very angry.
"Mmm." I gritted my teeth. "My car is right here, and please do not argue. Just get in and get belted up." Once in the car, I asked him where he lived.
He was calmer now with his anger gone. "Umm. I live in South Philly in a not so good neighborhood. As we approached a bunch of buildings on the right, he pointed to the last building on the right. After parking the car in the lot, we get out and headed up to his place. He fumbled with his keys and dropped them.
When he bent down to pick them up, I stopped him and said, "let me get them for you."
Once inside, I saw a messy apartment with clothes just thrown about the room and food lying about.
"Umm, sorry man. I didn't get a chance to clean up."
Raising my eyebrows at him, I said, "we will talk about that later but first let's get you cleaned up.
I went down the hallway and found the bathroom and looked in the medicine cabinet and found Aspirin and band aids and some ointment and went back to the kitchen where Shane had two waters out.
"Come and sit and let's take care of your face. Here, take these to make you feel better."
Looking up at me hesitantly, he took his water bottle and swallowed the Aspirin. "Thank you."
Once I got Shane cleaned up, I nodded at him and said, “let’s go sit on the couch and talk. First, let’s talk about how you got beat up. Okay?"
He looked up at me and said, "I was walking home from work and some thugs came out of nowhere and started beating me up and took off with my wallet."
"Did you get a look at their faces?"
"No, they were wearing ski masks."
"Alright, we will go into the police station tomorrow and report it and see if we can get your wallet back."
Shane got silent for a moment when I said, "We need to talk about this mess you have here. When was the last time you did your laundry and went to the grocery store? Hmm, look at me, Shane, please!"
When he looked up I saw his beautiful blue eyes that looked sad and tired.
"I've been working too much and haven't had the time to go."
"Alright then, how about we order Chinese and get this place cleaned and go to the store?"
A few hours later, the apartment was spic and span and the shopping had been done.
"Look it's getting late and about time I head for home. What time do you get off work tomorrow?"
Shane smiled. "6:00pm."
"Great! I'll come and pick you up." Then I said my goodbyes and left.
When I was on my way home, I thought about how gorgeous he looked. His eyes were beautiful and so blue. I thought he might be the one. I decided not to bring up the subject of his obvious messy way of living until tomorrow night when we have a chance to get to know one another better.