He thought she was teasing him. Her skin was sun-baked, the perfect bronze; hair wild and curly, eyes glistening. She giggled, “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Like what?” he retorted.
“I don’t know,” she leaned forward, looking at him intently from her side of the table. “Like…like a hungry wolf,” she raised an eyebrow and then a smile crossed her face.
He chuckled, “I can assure you madame that you have nothing to fear with me.”
“Oh really?” She smirked. “It’s just that…well, what big teeth you have!” Their laughter filled the booth they were sitting in. The waiter came with their food. “About time. I forgot how long you have to wait for things up here,” she declared.
He was staring at her and was relieved she didn’t notice. “What do you do to pass the time there on that island? I still can’t believe you live there.”
“What’s not to believe? I’ve always been bohemian at heart,” she responded. This was true even now she was wearing a colorful maxi dress with a long strand of pearls and a wooden bracelet. “There’s always plenty to do. But I spend most of my days with the children while Robert does his scientific research.”
“Ah, children. You always did have a heart for them. You’ll make a great mother one day.”
“I hope one day soon.”
“I thought you would have a little tribe following behind you by now.”
Her eyes darkened. “Me too, but Robert’s just so busy with work and who wants to be pregnant alone?” She brightened up a little bit. “All my family is still here in the states there would be no one to keep me company.”
“Don’t you have friends?”
“Why I’m offended!” She pouted playfully. “Don’t be silly, of course I have friends. However, not everyone’s schedule is as open as mine.”
He scoffed, “You mean not everyone there is as rich as you are.”
“You know better than anyone that money means nothing to me.”
He should believe her. It hadn’t been too long ago when they had been together as a couple and he had quit his job to start his own business, she had supported him mentally, emotionally and financially. “Anyway look at you now. You’re your own boss, your own man, living very comfortably and even able to make time in your busy schedule to meet with an old friend.”
“It’s the least I can do.”
“You don’t own me anything.”
She was wrong he owed her a great deal.
“Owe no man anything but love,” he offered.
“I never said it…but I’m sorry for missing the wedding.”
“No need to apologize. It was sudden.”
“I can’t believe it’s already been three years.”
“Well believe it…when are you going to settle down?”
He smiled weakly, “When I find the right one I suppose.”
“Ah. Yes. Thee one. What are the odds of you meeting her, I don’t know, this century?”
He laughed, “I don’t know but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.”
“That’s all you’re doing? Boy you need to get down in some sackcloth and ashes because these things come only through prayer and fasting.”
The check was on the table. He glanced at his watch and realized that their thirty minute lunch date was over. She was teasing him. That was the only reason that she found him and told him that she was in town for the day with her husband. Her busy husband. Her husband that brought her here with him and then left her alone to go tend to his scientific research. Her busy husband that took her away from her friends and family to live on an island with him while he did research. Her busy husband that didn’t give her children because of his science and research. Her busy husband who loved her. Her husband who had loved her at a time when he had failed to. He had been weak and could not love her the way she deserved to be loved. Her husband that married her at the first opportunity he got three years ago. A husband that he now envied because for that fact alone he was a better man than he would ever be. He had his chance. They had been together for five years from their last year of high school all through college and in a moment of weakness he gave her up for a moment of groupie love and she found out. She was here teasing him. She was here to remind him of what could have been.
They got up from their chairs and walked out of the little café on Las Olas Blvd.
“Thank you for coming to meet me,” she said.
“My pleasure.” He thought to say he missed her but that would be inappropriate. He wouldn’t ask for her number on the island and she wouldn’t offer it. They stood there in silence. Without warning she looked to the sky, closed her eyes, tuned the world out and let the sun rays wash over her. She was beautiful. When she was satisfied she allowed herself to return to her senses.
“It was good seeing you,” she said.
“And you are still quite a sight for sore eyes.”
She blushed, her cheeks reddening even through her gold skin tone.
“I don’t know when we’ll be back this way again.” It was a double entendre. She was talking about her and her husband of course but it also was a reference to them seeing each other like this.
“Maybe next time you’ll have a bundle of joy, or three.”
“And maybe you’ll have found the one,” then in a hushed voice she said, “Sometimes I wish I could have been that for you.”
She gave him no time to respond. “I’d better be going now.” She turned on her heel and started walking in the direction she came from. He didn’t take his eyes off her. Suddenly she stopped and turned around to face him, bent forward and blew him a kiss with both hands. “I wish you all the love in the world tiger.” Then she turned around and walked off into the crowd.
He remembered the last time she had blown him a kiss. They had still been together. Things had finally been picking up with his new business and he hadn’t been able to sleep. Finally at around 3 in the morning he had called her, stealing her away from her slumber. They went walking along the beach. The moon had been bright that night. Her skin shimmered underneath the moonlight. They didn’t say much just enjoyed each other’s company and by the time they arrived back her at house the sun was just coming up. The moon had still been in the sky. The sun and the moon were engaged in a kiss radiating a most pure light. She had opened her door kissed him good morning and then gone inside closing the door behind her. He had been on his way back to the car. She came back outside stood on her doorstep, bent forward and blew him a kiss and shouted “I wish the whole world could experience our kind of love.”
Not even a month later their relationship had ended.