David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.
I thought about David and our dinner all night; he had been so charming and such a gentleman. Even when I had been in a relationship, “dinner” had usually consisted of roadside chicken, or a takeaway.
To get taken out to a lovely restaurant and be served a three-course meal before being dropped at my gate, was a completely new experience and a very pleasant one at that. The only thing that cast a cloud over it was the constant reminder at the back of my mind that he was married; so, it did not matter how nice he was being. He was not mine.
Besides, I still hadn’t figured out exactly what he wanted from me; sure, he had paid me compliments and been nice, and he certainly acted like he was interested in me, but he had not said so directly, nor told me just what he hoped to get in return for his generosity. And that made me nervous.
At work the next day, every time the phone rang, I thought it was him, and every time I heard the door open, I looked up expecting to see him – but it never was.
When I woke up the following morning, I was still on a high from the previous night. It was like Julie had lit a light inside me, and now everything around me looked so much brighter.
Ironically, even my irritation with Diane faded. Last night I had gotten home at about 11:30pm and while getting a bottle of water out of the fridge, had noticed several storage containers packed with food.
Furthermore, the kitchen and the rest of the house were spotless and it was obvious she had gone to a lot of trouble to try to please me. It was her way of apologizing and I actually felt bad for her.
Not that I felt guilty about my dinner with Julie; not at all, because one cannot be ashamed of something that had been so beautiful. But I felt sorry for Diane and wondered if maybe I had been a little too hard on her.
I could tell she was having a hard time without a maid, but she was trying; so, I probably should have been a bit more understanding and accommodative.
I knew my softened heart was as a result of my time with Julie, and wondered about men who found new love and then started mistreating their wives; how could they be tender and loving one minute, and then just flip once they got home?
I did not understand them because in my case, I found that my gentle feelings for Julie, spilled over to Diane.
Just like I had the day before, I headed downstairs to fix breakfast, before heading back up to get the kids ready for school. Daniel appeared to be fully recovered from his last attack and would be going today; so, that meant I would only have Samantha to deal with, which was a relief.
Although I had once again prepared a full breakfast, I expected David to at the most have a cup of coffee before rushing off; so, I had gotten dressed to take the kids to school myself. But when he came downstairs, it was immediately clear that this morning was going to be completely different from yesterday’s.
For starters, David had a light, relaxed spring in his step, and a bright smile on his face, in stark contrast to his frosty attitude the previous morning.
“Good morning,” he greeted us gaily, ruffling the kids’ hair fondly and pecking my cheek, before taking his seat at the head of the table.
I was so taken aback by this show of affection that it took me a few seconds to respond: “Good morning.”
“Mmmm, this looks great,” he said appreciatively, as he looked round at the wide breakfast spread I had set out, then surprised me even further: “Please pass me the eggs and sausage, and could you pop a slice of bread in the toaster for me as well?”
“Sure,” I nodded, and quickly carried out his requests, desperate not to do anything to spoil this rare moment.