Perfect Timing(10)

By: Brenda Jackson

“Ms. Bessie, you know how I feel about your playing cupid.”

“Yes, but then you know how I feel about your being alone. Jason’s been dead for four years. You need to move on.”

“I have moved on. I’m just not ready to get seriously involved with anyone yet.”

“But life’s passing you by and so are rare opportunities for you to meet someone special. Now is the time for you to start seriously thinking about finding the right man for you.”

“And Mrs. Johnstone has taken the notion that I’m him.”

Maxi’s head jerked toward the husky voice and her gaze met that of the tall figure of the man casually leaning in the doorway. She lifted a brow and decided she couldn’t lie. He was extremely nice looking and the slow smile that spread across his face made her feel completely at ease—given their awkward situation. From what he’d just said, Maxi knew that Bessie had been feeding him a bill-of-goods about her just like Bessie had been doing her about him.

Faced with the inevitable, Maxi stood and crossed the room, offering him her hand in a warm greeting. “Hi, I’m Maxine Chandler.”

He took her hand and she noticed how warm it felt in his. “And I’m Dr. Reginald Tanner.” He released her hand but continued to look at her. The look in his gaze indicated he liked what he saw. “I’ve heard a lot about you, Ms. Chandler.”

Maxi chuckled. “I’m sure you have and Bessie has been telling me about you as well, Dr. Tanner.”

Now it was his time to chuckle. “I find that Ms. Johnstone is one determined lady when she makes her mind up about something.”

“Trust me, she is.”

“And I’m sure that you are aware that she won’t let the matter rest until I ask you out.”

“Probably not.”

“So, Maxine Chandler, how about going to a movie with me this weekend?”

Maxi stared up at him, immediately liking him. No doubt Bessie had already obtained all the pertinent information about him besides his name, rank, and serial number. Knowing Bessie she probably knew something about every member of his family. Although the older woman was intense about fixing her up with someone, she took time to make sure any man she sent Maxi’s way was law-abiding and God-fearing.

“I’d love to go to the movies with you.”

Dr. Tanner’s smile widened. “How about if I pick you up Saturday evening around six. We can do dinner first and then a movie.”

“That’s fine. Do you need my address?”

He chuckled. “No, Ms. Johnstone has given it to me already. Several times in fact.” He straightened his stance from leaning in the doorway. “I have to continue making my rounds so I’ll see you on Saturday.”

“All right.”

And then he was gone.

“Well, what do you think?” Bessie asked from behind Maxi.

Maxi turned around and faced the older woman. “He seems nice.”

“He is and he’s also a good doctor. He’s taken good care of me since I’ve been here but like I said earlier Maxi, he might be just what you need since he already has a child—a child who from what I gather needs a mother.”

Maxi’s expression was reflective as she thought about the man she’d just been introduced to. A part of her looked forward to Saturday.

“This will be your first cruise?”

Maxi looked across the table at Reginald. He had taken her to a nice restaurant in Savannah that was known for its seafood. She had just finished telling him about her ten-year class reunion   cruise and her plans to go. “Yes, and I’m looking forward to it,” she said smiling. “It will be so good seeing so many classmates again.”

He nodded. “How do you like being a college professor?”

Maxi took a sip of her wine before answering. “I really enjoy it. I always wanted to become a teacher but I didn’t decide on a career on the college level until later.” After a few moments her expression was thoughtful when she asked. “And do you enjoy being a doctor?”

He smiled nodding. “Yes. My ex-wife Margie and I are both doctors so it made our married life kind of hectic, but being a doctor was all I ever wanted to be. I enjoy it immensely.” His smile widened. “And it affords me the opportunity to meet people like Ms. Johnstone. She’s quite a character.”

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