Bartholomew swung through the door of the coffee shop and saw The Nanny waving at him. She was beautiful. Her blonde hair was up in a bun exposing her long porcelain neck and strong jaw line. She wore a buttoned blue blouse, a pair of tight jeans and cowboy boots. Her eyes were a bright fiery blue – as if they held the light of heaven. The only remnant of her previous Goth attire was the over-large cross necklace of which Bartholomew could see the top before it disappeared into her blouse.
At the sight of Bartholomew, a smile spread across The Nanny’s face. She stood up and welcomed Bartholomew with a hug – a BIG, looong hug. He barely noticed the cross imbedding into his chest.
“I am so happy you could make it,” said The Nanny as she sat back down.
Bartholomew sat down across the small round table from her. “Yeah, happy to be here. I'm glad you could finally fit me into your schedule.”
“I'm so sorry about that,” she said with a sympathetic look in her eyes. “Things have been much busier than I could handle.”
“Dog-sitting?” asked Bartholomew with a bit of sarcasm in his voice.
“Yes! Oh it has been amazingly more work than I ever imagined,” said The Nanny with such enthusiasm in her voice and eyes that Bartholomew's sarcasm faded. “But I think I have finally figured it out. I know what should happen now.”
Bartholomew didn't understand what she meant but moved on to the subject he wanted to discuss with her. “What happened to Geraldine? Why didn't you tell me she was missing?”
“Yes, she is missing. Oh… does that bother you?”
“Does it bother me? Does it bother me?! Yes, it bothers me! Geraldine was a nice girl. All right, she was crazy, sex-starved and would take advantage of every situation, but there was a nice side to her, too.”
The Nanny smiled-- seemed pleased about something.
“Geraldine is missing! Why are you so happy?!” Bartholomew almost yelled.
The Nanny said nothing but stared at Bartholomew with such sparkling eyes and such beautiful skin and such full-bodied hair and such positive energy and... Her presence was disarming, as if her whole soul was there to do nothing but love and support someone. Bartholomew couldn't help but think how different she was when he had met her at Gerald's house. Her black Goth clothes and dark eyeliner were gone. More importantly, he sensed that her attitude was completely different. Before she seemed to be waiting. The Nanny previously was disciplining and corralling Gerald's sons and daughter, as if keeping them in line until something else happens. But now, The Nanny was purposeful. She seemed focused, honed-in and ready to do whatever it was she was meant to do after a long delay. This made her very happy, full of life and much larger than Bartholomew's anger or cynicism.
“Bartholomew, would you be relieved if Geraldine walked through that door right now?”
“Well, wha... of course. I don't want anything bad to happen to her.”
“Bartholomew, would you feel something in your heart, something beyond politeness and kindness, if Geraldine were to walk in that door and sit right down at our table?” asked The Nanny staring unflinchingly into Bartholomew's eyes.
Bartholomew did not answer. What was The Nanny getting at, he wondered. Wanting an answer, The Nanny reached across the table and put her hand on Bartholomew's. There it was again, the feeling Bartholomew had when he first met her, when she had first put her hand on his arm – he wanted to share everything with her.
“Yes, yes, I would feel something in my heart,” said Bartholomew. “Geraldine is too crazy for me, but there is still something nice about her… underneath. I liked it when she would say nice things about me and how she liked to be with me. And...,” Bartholomew hesitated, “when I broke up with her, when we were on a picnic, she was really hurt. It was then I realized how much she really liked me and that there was a part of her that was..., was... truly good.”
The Nanny moved closer to Bartholomew. “You are amazing, Bartholomew. There is so much I want to share with you. Your kindness and your heart are in tune with something inside me. It makes me want to give something back to you – something special, something deep and personal.”
Bartholomew's eyes grew big. What did she mean? This casual date was going better than he imagined, maybe a little better than he was ready for. Bartholomew moved closer to The Nanny. “What would that be?”
“I can't share it with you right now,” said The Nanny. “It's not time yet. Maybe a few more dates, a little more history, a few more interactions and then it will be time. I can't wait. I’m very excited!”
Bartholomew couldn't believe what he was hearing. He felt he must say something instead of sitting there like a dolt with his mouth open. “Uh...I'm...you...yeah. Yeah, that would be great. I'm very excited, too.”
A yelp was heard from outside the coffee shop. “I have to go,” said The Nanny. “I'm sorry to cut this date short. Can we get together next week? I'll call you.”
“Yeah, next week would be fine,” said Bartholomew. “We'll talk.”
The Nanny walked to the door. Bartholomew stared at her beautiful jean-wrapped ass as it moved across the room. She turned as she opened the door. “Bartholomew, if this works out right, you're gonna get yourself a girl who is everything you could want.” She smiled and walked out of the door as another yelp was heard from outside.
After The Nanny disappeared from view, Bartholomew almost fell out of his chair with pent up energy. He sat up straight and, not knowing what to do, stayed in the coffee shop for another half hour thinking of all the ways he wanted to get to know The Nanny better. Not all of them would be considered polite, by some people, but they were all certainly filled with kindness.
* * * * * * *
Coffee with an Angel, is the 20th story in The Book of Bartholomew. The story, written by Mark Granlund and illustrated by Mary Sandberg, tells of a casual coffee date between Bartholomew and The Nanny. Are they both talking about the same thing? Or are they misunderstanding each other? Bartholomew wants some answers, but will The Nanny give them? You can see the full-color flipbook version of this story here.