Obviously a continuation of Conversations part 1 which I posted eariler. 🙂
That night ended like all the others. The three of us went our separate ways. Jerry to his loft downtown on Washington, Maggie to her house in Brentwood, and I went to my apartment in the Central West End. Rufus greeted me at the door with a meow. And I went to bed. I dreamt of nothing and got up for work the next day. All in all, it was a normal night except for Jerry kissing me. The sun had set and would rise again.
I went through the motions the next day at work. But that wasn’t unusual either. I went through the motions everyday at work. Betsy tried to get me to go out with her friend again. She was always trying to set me up with someone. Next week it would probably be her neighbor’s cousin. It was getting old after two years.
I didn’t have too many friends at work. In reality, I didn’t have too many friends period. Most people just didn’t get my sense of humor. Nor did they appreciate my views on the world. Jerry and Maggie simply accepted me regardless of any personal differences we had.
I went home around five-thirty and there was a message from Jerry. He wanted to get together for dinner tonight. It was Friday so I checked my calendar. Nothing, well that was a surprise. I waited until six-thirty to call him back. I didn’t want anyone to know that I didn’t have something better to do even if it was one of my best friends. We made plans to meet at Café Meridian a block from my house in an hour. That gave me plenty of time to change and make myself look like a human being instead of a human work drone.
I arrived at seven on the dot and thought twice about it. Jerry was perpetual late. Imagine my surprise when I saw him sitting at the bar chatting up a pretty dark haired girl. He smiled when he saw me. I watched him say something to the girl and her shoulders lurch in that flirtatious giggle that showed she was interested in him. He stood, buttoned his jacket and headed my way. I just watched the girl follow his sashay as he walked toward me.
“New acquisition?” I asked.
“Who?” He asked looking around. “Oh, you mean that brunette at the bar? Not even. She’s too young for me.”
“I didn’t think you had an age limit.”
“Funny, Tru. Of course I do. I would never do anything illegal …well, at least when it comes to age,” he added with a grin.
“Is Maggie meeting us?” I asked, knowing the answer in advance.
“Nope, just us,” he smiled and looked me up and down.
I twirled a little. I was wearing a simple black tank dress with black pumps. I had my long black hair pulled back into an unfussy ponytail at the nape of my neck. I was aware that I looked good in this dress. It wasn’t often that I bothered too much with my appearance so it was nice to have a little appreciation. I rarely went to Café Meridian because of its prices. My apartment in the Central West End was expensive enough but worth the extra cost to live there. Besides, I might meet a new guy with Jerry’s assistance. Sometimes we would go out on the town and help each other pick up dates. It had been a while since the last time that happened. Jerry usually didn’t need help and the last couple of times he tried to get me to go out for that reason I quickly blew him off. It was easier to live alone. But I was tired of being alone and, quite frankly, Jerry’s kiss rekindled an idea and of a hope.
He had clearly arranged for this earlier in the day. How he knew I might bite, I didn’t know but here we were. Our table was in the front at the window and we had a wonderful view of the book shop across the street as well as a couple of bars and a great coffeehouse. People were milling about not realizing that they were being watched and judged by complete strangers.
“So, why tonight?” I asked as our dinners were placed in front of us. We had done the usual chit chat over one bottle of merlot and were well on our way through the second. It was going to my head and I didn’t really care.
“I don’t know. I just thought it would be nice. We haven’t gone out like this in a while,” he responded keeping his head down and into his sirloin.
“No, really. Why tonight? Why not tomorrow?” My curiosity had been peeked and instinct told me something was up.
Before he could say another word, I had my answer. Lyla walked in front of the window with the same arm candy we had seen her with the night before. Jerry hadn’t seen her yet but I instantly knew why I was there. He heard she was going to have dinner here and he wanted her to see him happy.
“Are you still in love with her?” I asked, maybe a bit more pointedly than I intended.