He tore his eyes away from her, determined not to take her in in detail. Two reasons came to mind; one; a Christian should only be involved in a relationship with another Christian. Secondly, she would never settle for someone like him. She had an air of grace, intelligence and looked like she knew what she wanted. Something about her also seemed familiar, although he assumed he experienced deja vu. He must have taken mental photographs of plagues of women that appealed to him from at least a hundred towns. Surely, she just reminded him of one from some obscure area in his past.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
It took him a moment to answer. “Ian.”
“Are you alright?”
“What?” he asked vaguely.
“You don’t seem happy?”
He inwardly fumed. Whatever he said to her would only lead into an unwanted conversation. Instead, he lowered his eyes, trying to absorb himself in his empty glass.
“Fine,” she said, getting up. “I only wanted to thank you.”
Good; she’s going.
She slid out from her seat, but instead of leaving. Ian sensed her staring at him.
“You know what?” she said angrily.
Oh great; there’s more; is there?
“You’re worse than they are,” she said, gesturing behind herself.
“I’m worse than men who sexually molested you?” Against all hope of receiving a logical explanation, he asked the question, “How does that work?”
“I get men making moves on me almost every day, but you can’t even be bothered looking at me.”
Ian snorted. Was that all?
Apparently he had made the greater sin for not making her the centre of his focus like other men.
“I’m sorry if I dented your ego,” he said.
He immediately regretted his words. Although not said snidely, in fact genuine, he felt too weary to choose his words any more carefully. Unfortunately, one could take the statement as sarcasm, and he felt sure she would. The heat from her stare became unbearable, melting the icy barrier he placed around his heart. This woman may have been vain, but she needed more from him. Whether he felt like it or not, couldn’t he have given her the attention she needed? Would God have expected any less?
“Please sit down,” he said.
Lisa looked at him, bemused.
“No; please. I’d like that.”
Her expression softened as she slid onto the seat with cocktail glass still in hand.
Ian sighed heavily. He didn’t want to engage with anyone, but in this case, he felt he must.
Nothing in this world happens by accident he told himself.
He knew, rather than merely sensed that God had sent this broken woman across his path.
“Ian Wilkinson,” he said, holding out his hand.
She took a moment to gauge his sincerity. Ian took in the blue eyes and the trace of grey hairs among the raven locks, marking her as forty, possibly older. Apart from that, her skin appeared smooth. Her strong chin and stormy brows added strength, rather than detract from her femininity. No wonder the younger men took an interest in her. If not careful, he could also fall for her… but he trusted God.
He knows what He’s doing.