“You’re the one that left me, remember?”
Mel stared defiantly, willing him to challenge her. The lunch date had momentarily gone pear-shaped.
“I left because I couldn’t deal with the idea that you were about to get married to someone else,” he countered.
“Well, you had your chance, didn’t you?” she persisted, fingers furiously drumming on the table.
Jeff heaved a great sigh. “Yes, I did, and I messed up. I know, you don’t have to remind me.”
They eyed each other across the table during the uncomfortable silence that ensued and silently called for a truce.
Mel averted her gaze down to the half-eaten slice of key-lime cheesecake still tempting her on the plate. She had lost her appetite for her favorite dessert and played around with the fork in the frosting longer than necessary.
Perhaps she did sound a little bitter, she reasoned, but she didn’t intend to. This was not the direction she wanted to take the conversation. Not after having not seen her ex-lover for the past twelve years.
Jeff had contacted her out of the blue, after finding her profile on Facebook, and sent her a message through the same medium.
At first, she had ignored his messages, unwilling to revisit the past. But after scanning his own Facebook profile, nostalgia and curiosity got the better of her and she decided it would be harmless to respond. Besides, he was now living in Chicago and she was a thousand miles away on the East Coast. Harmless.
After catching up during several phone conversations over successive weeks, Jeff decided to take a trip to visit her. She agreed, but let him know that he’d have to find his own accommodations. She didn’t want to appear too friendly.
They met up for lunch at the restaurant in his hotel. After 12 years apart she was unprepared for her own reaction at seeing him. He was still as gorgeous as ever, with an easy smile, soulful eyes, and dark features reminiscent of a middle-aged Adonis.
It was Jeff who finally waved the proverbial white flag.
“I’m sorry,” he conceded. “I was jealous and immature. I didn’t want to settle down and then I got my ego bruised when you decided to move on. It was selfish of me to expect you to hang on after five years with no commitment.”
“Yes it was and yes you were,” Mel persisted, unwilling to let up on the argument just yet.
She bit into a forkful of dessert. Key-lime cheesecake really is the ambrosia of the gods, she thought. Overhead, the disembodied voice of Adele singing “Chasing Pavements” came through the speakers.
He flashed her his winning smile and seeing it, her defenses collapsed. She softened and returned his smile. She was never able to stay angry with him for more than 5 minutes.
He reached out and held her hand, which was still on the table.
Smiling, he proposed, “Let’s begin again, shall we?”
Mel relented and relaxed some more. “OK, let’s,” she sighed and happily polished off the remainder of the cheesecake. Yes, definitely the food of the gods.