Leaning against the hotel sink to touch up her makeup, she remembered her own sharp inhalation at the sound of his voice when he’d answered her call. Thank god he couldn’t hear her inwardly curse at her heart for daring to do a slow flip flop after all this time. After all the work she’d put into getting over him. And now just a few hours after making contact again she had a belly of butterflies wondering how this dinner with him would go.
He picked her up from the hotel, surprising her with his new car but not with his choice of cologne. He wordlessly strode around the car’s rear and grabbed her into a bone-crushing hug. As his scent invaded her thoughts, her legs went a little wobbly. The flood of olfactory memories bowled her over for a brief moment.
Steady…steady, now. God, he smells good. But still. Just keep your shit together, girl.
She recovered from the sensory jolt on the ride to dinner and was relaxed again by the time they’d settled into their wine. It was easy, actually. They’d always been friends as equally as lovers. She told him all that she’d overcome since leaving the North a year and a half ago. All that she’d achieved and accomplished – physically, mentally and emotionally. Sincere pride shone in his eyes as he congratulated her. She returned the same pride as he shared his own growth and experiences.
Wow, I’m impressed. He’s changed so much.
They caught up on each others’ families and the gossip in their old circle of friends as babies, weddings and all the expected drama were laughed over.
“Love the hair, by the way.”
She looked down at the bold strands draping over her shoulder and smiled. “Really, you do?”
“Yes, I really do. For years you’ve said you wanted to go red. I’m glad you finally did it. It suits you and GOD that dimple still kills me when you smile… but I didn’t just say that… Um. What else? Tell me more.”
She delighted in the flattery, but decided to address the first of the elephants in the room.
“So, were you surprised to hear from me?”
“Stunned, actually. Why now? It’s been over a year.”
“I honestly don’t know. I’d told myself all week leading up to this trip that I wouldn’t reach out to you. But the moment the plane touched down, something told me that I had to. It was such a strong feeling… I can’t really explain it.”
Looking at her intently he said, “Well, I’m glad you listened to that feeling. I’ve missed you.”
Their server arrived to refill their wine glasses then, which gave her a moment to ponder over that single statement.
He had missed her.
Once the Pinot was poured she held her glass up to his and toasted. “To reunions.” They clinked and sipped, gazes locked on one another.
Lowering the glass she asked directly, “If you missed me, then why didn’t you reach out to me at all since our last text? Not a single word. Nothing.”
He cast his eyes downward and said softly, “I thought I’d scared you off. I thought I’d hurt you, so I decided to give you space. To be. To let you heal.” Looking up, he locked eyes with her. “I figured when you were ready, you’d let me know.”
The old her would’ve accepted that without pause. The new her could not.
She leaned forward and blurted the raw feelings. “Didn’t you stop to think that maybe your silence would have made me feel like you didn’t care? That you were done with me, got what you wanted from me, and tossed me aside?”
His voice heated with passion as he fired back, “I would never. You know how I feel about you. How I’ve always felt about you. That never changed. It still hasn’t.”
Shocked into silence, she sat there feeling the sharp-edged emotions crackling in the space between them.
So many fucking feelings. Shit.
She didn’t have a choice. She needed to tell him the truth.
This piece is being submitted to the amazing Yeah Write Weekly Challenge grid. If you don’t know Yeah Write, you should. The crew at YW are not only amazingly talented bloggers who write and writers who blog, they’ve become my friends. Not friends with benefits, you perv. Just friends.