Rachel stood paralyzed. The void wasn’t wide but the rocks were slippery under her bare feet. She had eagerly followed her friend in taking off her shoes to walk across the mighty Mississippi River. Well, the headwaters anyway. It wasn’t far, maybe only 20 or 30 feet to the other shore. There was a clear path of dry rocks the whole way.
Children, parents, and teens were crossing back-and-forth, in various stages of wetness, and even a gray-haired couple had made it across once. But she, right in the middle, had gotten stuck over one large step. Looking down, all she could see is the wet gap before her. Then a hand slips into her line of vision.
“Need a hand?” Asks a very masculine voice.
Rachel looks up to see the owner of the hand and voice and he is the most handsome blonde haired young man she’s ever seen. She takes his hand and nearly falls in with that slight adjustment of balance. He helps her over the gap and then over two more smaller ones before asking, “you can make it from here?”
His green eyes twinkled and she knew he was teasing her some.
“Yes,” she said blushing. “Thank you,” she said it with all sincerity and he heard it.
“My name is Thomas.”
They shook hands and she realized she hadn’t let go of his yet. She dropped it suddenly, laughing, and stuttered, “my, my friend is w-waiting for me.”
“Yes, I see her there,” he points over her shoulder.
Rachel turns to see her friend on the shore gazing at her with a tipped head, concern, question, and exasperation a mix on her face. She gives her friend a smile and small wave before making her way over the last few rocks, her mind whirling on how she might get his number.