Kelly's Wedding, Part 1

(by Gray Haze, 26 October 2006)


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Kelly's Wedding
by Gray Haze

Part 1 - Kelly Meets Her Man

"Hey is that Jim Parker standing over there by the bar?" Becky said as she
extracted a VS 100 from the pack sitting on the table in front of her.

"Yeah, it is," replied Holly.  "I haven't seen him since my cousin and he
broke up six months ago."

"Wow, is he cute," Jen said through a talking exhale.

Kelly sat quietly, oblivious to the conversation.  She had hardly said
anything the whole night.  Besides, every guy was cute according to Jen.  The
bar was toward Kelly's back, so it was hardly worth the effort of turning
around to see who they were talking about.  

Every other Friday, the four girls went out to a bar or night club.  They
have been good friends since college, and even after they started their
careers they remained close.  But Kelly had been in a real rut lately.  Her
job as an accountant was demanding and hadn't been going well at all.
Although she was in no danger of getting fired, her boss did not like her,
and any thoughts of promotions were a long way off.  But what really bothered
her was her love life, or lack there of.  She hadn't had a real boyfriend in
two years.  And although she was stunningly pretty, she really hadn't had a
decent date in some time.  Her friends thought that her standards were too
high, but Kelly just couldn't seem to find that soul mate that she was
looking for.  It just seemed that she only attracted the real jerks of the
world.  

After a particularly tough day at work, Kelly initially declined going out,
but Becky insisted that she go.  So she finally reluctantly agreed, and while
the other three sat there talking and laughing, Kelly sat quietly, keeping to
herself, drowning her sorrows in one beer after another.

"Does anybody need a drink?" Kelly finally spoke up while placing her empty
bottle on the table.

"Wow Kelly, you're pounding the beers tonight," Holly said with a laugh.

"I'll take a rum and coke," chimed in Jen.

Kelly grabbed her purse and headed toward the bar.  She was starting to get a
nice little buzz, and was determined to take that buzz to the next level.
She sat down at the nearest available bar stool and took a ten dollar bill
out of her purse.  She held it in front of her trying to get the attention of
a bartender, but it was quite busy, and she wasn't having much success
getting anyone's attention.

"Be patient, they are a little slow tonight," a voice next to Kelly said.
"It won't be long before a bartender notices someone as pretty as you."

Kelly looked to her left at the man, and her heart suddenly skipped a beat.
He was absolutely gorgeous.  Everything she ever wanted in a man was now
sitting there talking to her.  She momentarily just stared at him, not
knowing quite what to say.  She certainly didn't want to say something
stupid, but she knew she had to say something.

"Well, maybe if I were as tall as you, they would  see me," Kelly finally
chimed in with a seductive look on her face.

"Let me give it a shot," said the man as he lifted his hand up toward the
bartender.

Sure enough, the bartender noticed him, and headed over.

"What will it be?" asked the bartender.

"Rum and Coke and a Bud Light," Kelly said to the bartender.

The two continued to talk while the bartender fixed the drinks.  When the
bartender returned the man sitting next to Kelly insisted on paying for it.  

"Oh, by the way, I'm Jim Parker," the man finally divulged his name.

"Kelly O'Neil," Kelly responded back.  "Thank you for the drinks."

"A nice Irish name," Jim responded.  "It is a pleasure to meet you."

For the next twenty minutes the two continued to talk.  This did not get
un-noticed by Kelly's three friends sitting at the table.  They couldn't
believe that Kelly was talking with this incredible hunk.

"You know, unfortunately I have to leave now," Jim said as he got up off the
bar stool.  "Do you think I can call you sometime, and maybe we can get
together for diner or something?"

"Please do," responded Kelly.  "Let me give you my number."

Kelly reached in her purse and pulled out a business card and a pen.  She
then proceeded to write a number on the back of the card.

"You can call me either at work or at home," Kelly said has she handed him
her card.

"OK, you take care of yourself, and it was nice to meet you," Jim said just
prior to walking away.

Kelly went back to the table where her friends were sitting.  Gone was the
down girl who had to be dragged out by her friends.  She had just met the man
of her dreams, and she was quite giddy.

"Oh my god Kelly, you were talking to Jim Parker," Jen said as Kelly sat
down.

"Yes, and I found him to be quite nice," Kelly said with a dreamy smile on
her face.

Kelly then proceeded to tell the girls all about what just happened.

"And he even asked for my phone number!" Kelly said excitedly.  "I think he
is going to ask me out on a date."

"Wow, and he doesn't mind that you don't smoke," Holly said as she flicked
her lighter.

"What do you mean by that?" Kelly said looking at Holly.

"Does he know that you don't smoke?" Holly asked just after lighting her
cigarette.

"The subject didn't come up," Kelly responded.

"Well, Jim Parker is a real hard core smoker, and according to my cousin who
dated him for three months, he doesn't go out with anyone that isn't a hard
core smoker like himself," Holly replied.  

"What makes you so sure?" Kelly asked.

"Well, my cousin was a very light smoker, and she used to get on his case
about him smoking so much.  That drove Jim nuts, and finally he had enough
and told her that the next person he dates, will be as committed of a smoker
as himself," Holly said as she took another puff off her cigarette.  "They
broke up soon after."

Thinking back, Kelly did notice Jim grabbing a pack of cigarettes off the bar
just prior to leaving.  Although Kelly personally found smoking to be quite
repugnant, she really didn't give it much of a thought until now.  She had
never dated a smoker before, but hanging out all the time with Jen, Holly and
Becky, all smokers, had made her kind of get used to being around tobacco
smoke.  That part didn't really bother her much anymore.  She wanted to go
out with Jim so bad, that his smoking wouldn't really have bothered her too
much.  

That night, Kelly sat up in bed thinking of Jim.  What if Holly is right, and
he only dates smokers?  Would he not go out with me because of that?  Kelly
didn't know quite what to do.  She knew that she desperately wanted to see
him again.  But how was she going to deal with the smoking issue?

Kelly woke up at about 9:30 the next morning.  She had a slight hangover from
the drinking she did the night before.  So she spent the morning just
relaxing, and watching some TV, waiting for her throbbing head to feel
better.  At around noon, the phone rang.

"Hello," Kelly said as she answered the phone.

"Kelly, this is Jim Parker," Jim responded back.  "Do you remember me from
last night?"

"Yes, hi, how are you!" Kelly answered back in a pitched voice.  "Of course I
remember you.  You are that really nice guy I met at the bar.  Thank you
again for the drinks."

The two continued to talk for the next hour.  It was kind of a
get-to-know-each-other chat.  It was amazing how easy Kelly found it to talk
with Jim.  They had so much in common.  

"I forgot to ask you, do you smoke?" Jim said as he lit a cigarette for
himself.

Kelly hesitated for a second.  She remembered what Holly said the night
before and she panicked.   

"Ah, yes I do," Kelly lied reluctantly.  "I, ah, hope that doesn't bother
you."

"No, no, not at all!  In fact, quite the contrary," Jim responded.  "I'm
smoking a cigarette myself right now.  Say, do you want to go out to diner
together tonight?"

Kelly was now in full panic mode.  She had just told a whopping lie to the
man of her dreams, and there was no way that she could go out tonight with
him.  She only tried smoking once in her life, and it damn near killed her.
There was no way that she could fake being a smoker, at least not tonight.

"Oh, I'm sorry Jim, I would love too, but I already have plans tonight,"
Kelly lied again.    "Shoot, I wish I could get out of it, but I promised my
grandmother that I would take her to a movie tonight."  Her grandmother lived
500 miles away in Milwaukee.  

"I understand, I have a grandmother myself, and would never cancel something
with her," Jim said. "Maybe we can go out some other time then.  I would
really like to see you again."

"How about next Saturday night?" Kelly shot back.  

"Damn, I'm going to be away on a long business trip," Jim replied.  "I'm
going to be gone for two weeks.  But how about in two Saturday's then."

"It's a date," Kelly responded excitedly.  "I hate to wait that long, but
that will work great for me."

"OK, I will pick you up at 7 PM in two Saturdays, see you then," Jim said as
he hung up the phone.

"Bye, Jim, see you then," Kelly said just prior to hanging up the phone.

Kelly was now on cloud nine.  She has never felt this way about a man before,
and after spending the last hour talking to him, she was more convinced than
ever that he might be "the one".   But what was she going to do about the
smoking?  She had absolutely no desire to smoke.  In fact, she hated it.  She
had always thought that people were stupid for ruining their health in such a
manner.  


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