Zoe got home and looked at her house. It was a mess. “What the hell was I thinking? Why did I invite him over of all people?” She dumped her stuff on the couch and then began to grab dirty dishes, trash and laundry from various places. She ran around trying to pick up quickly so that by the time Tim arrived, she wouldn’t look like a total slob. She grabbed the last of the trash off the floor and had just dumped it in the bin when there was a knock on the door. Zoe headed for the front door.
Tim stood there watching Zoe through the window in the door for a moment before he knocked. He smiled as he watched her scurry around picking up things. He’d composed his face by the time she opened the door. “Hello Zoe.”
“You look a little out of breath.”
“Yeah, well… I realized that needed to pick up a bit when I got home and just finished.”
“Okay. Shall we unpack dinner?” Tim started walking back towards the kitchen. He deposited two sacks on the table and begun to pull out packages of meat, cheeses, a tub of potato salad, a green salad, two kinds of breads, chips, and a four pack of Fat Tire beer.
“Looks like you got everything.”
“Well, no condiments, plates or silverware,” he admitted as he looked around. Tim grabbed a few forks and a knife out of the dish drain. Zoe took plates out of the cupboard and then the two of them made sandwiches. Adding salads and chips to their plates, they headed over to the kitchen table.
“Glasses?” asked Zoe pointing to the beer.
“I don’t need one.”
“Okay. Just wondered.” She sat two bottles of beer on the table and then sat down.
Conversation was light while they ate. Tim helped Zoe put away the remains after a brief discussion about him taking the extra food home. Zoe lost. They each took a beer and sat down in the living room to continue their conversation.
“So, you really do all these different things?” Zoe still hadn’t reconciled the man at the meeting with the car rental agent and part time BDSM club work.
“Yes. It isn’t that difficult. However, it does help to have people who understand all aspects of my life.”
“Ah, so there is a girlfriend in the mix?”
Tim gave Zoe a look that made her blink. “No. I am heterosexual, in spite of some of the people I hang out with.”
Zoe realized that she’d made a tactical error. “Sorry, mouth ran before the brain thought.”
Tim nodded. He decided it was time to ease back into the original topic. “When is your computer due to arrive?”
“Umm… Tuesday I think.” Zoe felt the blood began to heat up her face.
“Well, when it arrives, give me a call and I’ll help you replace the hard drive.” Tim took a swig of his beer and got ready for the next round of the discussion.
“I don’t need your help.”
“Oh? Then how do you get into your new laptop? Do you have the right tools? Do you know Windows 8?”
Zoe opened and then closed her mouth. She knew how to work a computer, but didn’t know how to work on a computer. “I’m… I’m sure I can figure it out. It can’t be that difficult.”
“Really? What version of Windows did you have on your old computer?”
“XP. Besides, I’ve heard that Windows 8 is really good. Very user friendly. The laptop is very similar to the Windows smart phones and I’ve seen lots of those ads. It can’t be that difficult.”
“Fine Then I’ll let you do the work. However, I’ll help you if you need it.”
“Tim, I use computers all the time at work. I’m sure it can’t be that difficult.”
Tim smiled. “Do you want to watch a movie?” He watched as the change of subject threw her off balance.
“Sure. I have a bunch of DVD’s over there.” Zoe stood up, and headed for the kitchen quickly.
Tim stood and went over to see what she had. There were romances, a few thrillers and dramas, and a lot of what he thought as justice flicks. He picked four and went back to the couch. When Zoe came back, she was carrying a plate of cookies.
“Have you picked one?”
“No, four. Thought I’d share the decision. You eliminate one, and then I will until there is only one movie left.”
The look on Zoe’s face told him that she thought it was a stupid idea. She sighed and set Mission Impossible aside. He took Zoro out of the mix. Zoe looked at the two films left. Last of the Dogmen and Office Space. She really hated that last one and wondered why she’d never given it back to Claire. She picked it up and set it aside.
“Last of the Dogmen it is.” Tim handed it to Zoe to put in the DVD player. She turned on the television set and the DVD player. Then she sat down next to Tim and started the movie. They watched as Tom Beringer fought with Barbara Hershey about who was the boss. When Barbara Hershey’s character mentioned that the smartest member of the expedition was the dog, Zoe laughed.
“She’s right in a way.”
“Of course she’s right! He’s just too damn pushy and controlling.”
“She’s right in that the dog listened to him. If she’d not been so set on proving what a strong woman she was, it might not have ever been an issue.” Tim waited for her reaction after he finished.
“Excuse me? She’s a capable strong woman and he’s a pig headed cowboy who hasn’t gotten over the death of his wife.” Zoe was getting a little upset, although she wasn’t sure why this conversation was pushing her buttons.
“Yes, she is a strong woman. However, there are times to let go of that power. If she had been more open to listening, they might have worked out their differences a whole lot earlier.”
Tim looked over at the screen where the one Dog Soldier had just shot the dog, and Barbara Hershey’s character was trying to keep Tom Beringer from being killed. “Watch the movie for a moment, and then I’ll explain.
Zoe crossed her arms in a huff and watched as the movie progressed. Ten minutes later, she turned to Tim. “How?”
“If she’d been more open about the history of these people, and he’d been more trusting, there might have been a lot less trouble, and no posse.”
“Oh right. Then there wouldn’t have been a movie either.” Zoe flopped back down in her seat to finish the movie. When it was over, she got up and put the DVD’s away.
“Sometimes it isn’t so much about always being right, and building walls, as it is about sharing things about yourself and opening doors. In that movie, they both need that lesson.” Tim stood up, stretched and then took the beer bottles back to the kitchen.
Zoe followed him into the kitchen. “Are you trying to relate that movie to BDSM stuff?”
“No. All I was pointing out is that relationships are about trust and compromise. Give and take.”
“Where is your recycling bin?” Tim held up the bottles.
“It’s in the closet,” Zoe said and then instantly regretted. She started to say something to stop him and then watched as everything she’d shoved in there in her frantic rush to clean house tumble out.
Tim didn’t say a thing. He simply put the bottles in the correct bin and then started picking up the trash.
“You don’t have to do that!” Zoe tried to pick up the trash that had spilled.
“No, but I will.” He finished picking up the trash. Then he washed his hands and turned to Zoe. “I think I’ll head home now. Call me when your computer comes in.” With that, he kissed her on the forehead, and walked out the door.
Zoe stood in the middle of the kitchen trying to figure out what just happened.