David, Julie and Diane share different spaces in one another’s lives, yet their worlds collide on an axis none of them saw coming.
As fate would have it, Mark kept me late, giving me a pile of memos to type out as it approached five. By the time I was done, it was almost six. I quickly freshened up in the washroom, then hurried to the petrol station and found David already there.
“Sorry I’m late,” I apologised as I climbed into the car.
“No problem, I only got here a few minutes ago myself. I’m glad you could make it; how was your day?”
“Alright thanks; yours?”
“Busy, but good, and even better now that you’re here,” he answered with a smile, then started up the engine.
When we arrived at the restaurant a short while later, I was delighted!
The place was absolutely enchanting, with a large thatched dining hall that opened up to beautiful gardens that had a stream running through them. The lighting was dim, and the tables scattered around the gardens had candles in glass bowls ready to be lit once it got dark.
Best of all, unlike the last time we had had dinner, there were hardly any diners when we arrived, and even if more did trickle in, the tables were spaced so far apart from one another, that one could never feel crowded, no matter how many other guests there were.
“Oh David, it’s lovely,” I exclaimed.
“I had a feeling you would like it; where would you like to sit?”
“The gardens look great.”
“I agree,” he nodded, just as a hostess came up to us, with a warm, welcoming smile.
David guided me with a hand gently placed on my back. It was a normal, courteous thing to do, but I had never had a man treat me like this before; I felt like I was special, like I was a lady in this person’s eyes, and it put a warm glow inside of me.
I could tell Julie was delighted with the restaurant; she did not try to hide her pleasure, and I loved that. Although I admittedly had not taken Diane out for a meal in a long time, I remember her always acting like there was nothing special about the outing.
No matter how hard I tried, it was like she felt entitled to the treat and accustomed to the fine dining; so, nothing impressed her. Maybe that’s why I did not bother making the effort anymore.
With Julie, her almost childlike awe made me feel good about myself. I also found that talking to her was so easy; it was almost therapeutic, and I found myself telling her about Diane’s behaviour the previous night.
She listened without saying much, only occasionally asking the odd question for clarification, until I was done, and then she appeared to weigh her words carefully, before she spoke.
“I think you should put your foot down more in your own home. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but my father was king, and his word was law, even to my mother. It didn’t make us view him as some sort of tyrant or anything, we just knew he was boss, and respected that. It was just the way it was.”
“I know; most homes are like that, because it is, after all, the norm, but Diane can be really temperamental, and rather than fight and argue about stuff, sometimes it’s just easier to let it go – and meet you for dinner instead,” I added spontaneously.
For a second I was worried I had been too forward, but then she smiled, and looked down at her hands in her usual shy way, and I knew it was alright.
The rest of the dinner went just as well; Julie appeared to enjoy the meal as much as the venue, and the conversation continued to flow easily. The only blight on the evening, was when I saw a friend of Diane’s arrive with her husband.