“Hi! Welcome to J. Alexander, will it be just you dining tonight?”
“Good evening, I am meeting someone, he sho-“ I abruptly stopped talking
I see him stand up and wave.
“Thank you, I see who I am meeting”
“Ok Ma’am, enjoy your meal”
“Thank you” I smiled.
I walk across the restaurant and up the stairs to the table. I pass a hand over my stomach and straighten up my dress a bit.
As I approach the table, he stands up.
“So glad you agreed to meet me.” He says as he kisses me on the cheek
I stiffen up a bit as he nears me and replied, “Sure.”
I sat down in the booth and looked at him. All these thoughts are going through my mind. I haven’t seen him in a year. Out of the blue he called me and asked to meet up to talk. I was a bit apprehensive, but knowing how things ended, it was a good idea to finally get closure once and for all. I have yet to date anyone because of him.
“You seem deep in thought,” he says bringing me back to where I drifted off.
“Yes, I am so sorry, how rude. I was just thinking how long it’s been since we saw each other. Bittersweet.” I say and then look up to meet his gaze.
We sat there for about one minute looking at each other.
“Good evening, I am Shirley, I will be your server this evening” breaking our gaze. “Can I start you off with something to drink?” she addressed me.
“Umm, let me get a…” I grab the menu and quickly browse over the drinks menu.
“I will have a glass of Resiling, thank you.” I tell Shirley. She writes it down and walks away.
“So…” I say to him.
“Look, I know this seems odd for us to be here knowing on things left off but I truly want to clear the air with you. I had a lot of time to think about what happened and I see that we both could have worked harder at making it work.” He tells me.
I took a deep breath.
“We could have. But you just took it too far Daniel. Way too far. I realized in the final moments of our relationship that most days I felt more alone with you than actually being alone. I felt like you weren’t a true friend to me and I couldn’t talk to you about anything.”
I continued, “What is the reason to work for a relationship you treated as something to do on your off time? There were days, you treated me as if I were disposable. I hated feeling like you could do without me and you will be alright.”
“I know. There were a lot of things I needed to work out for myself. And of course tonight I can’t go into it all, but I did treat you that way and I wasn’t at my best.”
The server comes and asks us if we are ready to order.
We both skimmed at the menu and ordered.
“Would you like another Reisling?” She asked.
“Umm, I need something stronger, can I have a vodka and tonic with extra lime?”
“Sure, and you sir?” She asked.
“I will take a whisky on the rocks”
“Is Jack Daniels ok sir?”
“Yes that will do, thank you.”
She turns and attends to another table.
Daniel and I sat there in an uncomfortable silence. Neither of us looking to pick the conversation back up.
“How is Nina?” I asked about his daughter.
“She is good. Spending my money but good. Thanks for asking. She always asks about you.”
“I miss her. Tell her I said hello.”
“I hope one day you will tell her yourself”
We just sat there and looked at each other. I broke the gaze and looked away. This is getting to intense. I don’t know how to feel. I remember how I felt in the relationship with him, but I also remember the good times we had too. I did love him. But most importantly, I never got over how he made me feel. It still troubles me to this day.
“I felt like I was never good enough, that no matter what I did to please you, it wasn’t good enough to make you love me the way I loved you.” I told him.
He sat there and looked at me and reached his hand over the table to touch mine. I pulled my hand back and placed it on my lap.
He sighed and retracted his hands.
“I am sorry. I truly am. You were …sorry. You are a good woman. I didn’t know how to appreciate you.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Do you think we…” He asks.
“Don’t ask me that. Please don’t. I haven’t seen or heard from you in over a year. You don’t have the right to ask me anything with ‘we’”. I said sternly but in a hushed tone.
“I know, I know.” He said looking down.
At just that moment, our food came and we ate silently and commented on the food.
I asked Shirley for yet another vodka and tonic and he declined another drink.
“You are driving home right?”
“I don’t want you to be under the influence.”
“Well we don’t always get what we want, right?”
He looked frustrated at me and we just sat there in silence.
I looked at my phone under the table and see texts from my friend
“Omg, the suspense is killing me”
“Be kind girl, he is trying I’m sure. Stay open minded.”
Another friend texts “Tell him where he can go and stay. Loser.”
I sighed and put the phone away.
I honestly don’t know how to feel. I hope he doesn’t think we are going to just magically pick up where we left off.
“This is a lot.” He says.
“Do you think that we can talk again, maybe go for a walk? Have a drink at a bar?”
I didn’t say a word.
He continues after a few minutes “It would be selfish of me to think that things will be better instantly. It will take time, but if I can have you as just a friend to start, I’ll take it. I just want to show you how I value you.”
I look at him and remain silent.
The check came and he paid. I thanked him for the meal.
He offers to walk me to my car as we walk out the restaurant.
I remained silent and began walking and he followed me. We got to my car and I held the handle to unlock my door and placed my handbag on the drivers seat and closed the door and faced him. He looked at me with melancholy. I looked down. He took my hand and held it and said “Can I at least call you tomorrow?”
I replied, “ok.”
“I didn’t say I was going to answer.”
He stopped smiling and then I smirked.
“Drive safe and I will text you to make sure you are home safe and I will call you tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Daniel and thank you for dinner.”
“No, thank you for accompanying me.”
I smiled and got into my car and I watched him walk away in my rearview mirror.
He turned around and our eyes met. I thought to myself. If he calls, I’ll answer.