Barely distinguishable gray clouds sauntered overhead. A light mist hurried to coat anything that was passed over by the early morning fog. And, it was cold, the kind of cold that even a sweater and jacket couldn’t dispel. Most Londoners would describe the day as “typical.” Within hours there would be sunshine and warmth, at least that’s what the weather forecasters were promising. It was neither the kind of weather nor the time of day one might associate with Cupid.
Audrey looked out the window and shivered partly from the sense of cold and partly from the sense that Andrew was not as much in love with her as she wanted him to be.
It had all begun so promisingly with a blind date that ended with breakfast at his place the next morning. Less than a month later she moved in with him. That was six months ago and even though they slept in the same bed, there were no feeling of love. There was convenience. There was intimacy. There was even some sex. Something was missing. Their friends seemed to recognize that Audrey and Andrew were a couple, reserved for each other, but that next step was nowhere in sight. Audrey was beginning to feel like a kept woman. She often dreamt that she was scaling a wall in the dark and reaching out with her foot, but instead dangling because there was no place for another toe-hold.
She stared across the table at Andrew who was also staring, not at her, but at something or someone outside. Audrey was trying to distinguish the Images reflected off Andrew’s glasses, trying to discover what or who it was he was watching. She didn’t dare turn or look over her shoulder because that would merely bring him back in here, back to his biscotti and large cappuccino, but probably not to her.
She wanted to be able to say, “What color is her hair?” or “What size engine do you think it has?” or “Is it what the child is doing or just the look on the kid’s face that you find so fascinating?” She couldn’t do any of that if she looked over her shoulder. So, she had to find it on his glasses. She had to assemble the swimming shapes and lines into a distinguishable image. Then she could feel safe or ignored. Then she could either start a conversation or make plans to walk out of here and walk out of his life.
Almost without warning Andrew turned back and looked deep into her eyes. “You’ve probably been wondering what I’ve been staring at?” he asked.
“Yes,” she said with an obvious look of complete surprise on her face.
“My boyfriend. He’s finally back from a sabbatical in Spain. I’ve been debating whether I’d rather be with you, with him or just have another cappuccino and biscotti and let things play out. Can’t do that, though, the biscotti’s here aren’t really that good. It’s been just ducky, so I’ll pack and send your thing today.”
“Bastard,” was all she could think to say. “Well, that answers that,” she mumbled to herself as she walked out of the coffee shop. Then she smiled and giggled. I’m supposed to be angry.
Stepping out into the drizzle, she skipped a couple steps and twirled, doing her own rendition of Gene Kelly’s dance in Singing in the rain. She noticed a nice looking guy with a big grin on his face coming toward her. She stepped in front of him and said, “My plans have changed. I’m not doing anything tonight.”