Today, crisp cool air mingles with a blazing sun as I leave my minuscule apartment on Lexington Ave. The weather has been dreary. This morning is glorious.
Around noon, I stop for lunch at a typical outdoor New York café; the tables are round and small; the metal chairs look uncomfortable, but are not when I sit.
A waiter fills my water glass, and announces he will be my server. The menu choices are unexpectedly appealing; fennel quiche, gazpacho soup, and more.
I take time ordering.
The man on my left, glances my way. His thick blond hair is sun streaked and he looks familiar, a little like my friend, Sam.
Groomed brows frame his eyes. Carefully pressed gray slacks, and a wrinkle-free dress shirt complete his polished look.
I sit back to wait for my meal and people watch; New Yorker’s enjoying the sun, walking and talking loud. A biker babe dressed in leather, pushes a doggie stroller. The dog wears goggles and rests his paws on the bar celebrity style. I laugh aloud.
My order comes, and the man who looks like Sam stares in my direction, again. His eyes searching, and as the tables fill up, the man gives a knowing nod my way, and conceals a smile.
He faces me, but, I can’t tell if he is looking at me, or not.
Behind me a couple seat themselves, and I refrain from turning around. They create a stir dragging empty chairs across the concrete and arranging shopping bags, and I realize the man who looks like Sam is studying them.
When the waiter takes my empty plate, I order a Cappuccino and the ‘Chocolate – Chocolate’ cake, and listen to the couple’s banter, intrigued.
The woman protests, “I didn’t make you come here, you said it was your favorite restaurant.”
The man responds, “Eve, you’re the one who claimed the food was something else.”
“You loved the zucchini mushroom quiche, and what about the gazpacho soup? You raved!”
“No, you never listen; I said the quiche was good if you like quiche. And the soup ‘the best’ Gestapo!” His words are slow and deliberate. He gets up. “I’m going to the men’s room.”
His voice sounds like Victor’s, and I look.
Sam rushes to fill his empty seat, firing off questions, “What’s going on? You said you would be at here 12 o’clock, alone.”
Coyly, Eve removes her Hollywood style sunglasses, checks her diamond wristwatch, leans forward, and whispers, “Oh, my, it is past noon, isn’t it.” Playing with her neckline she continues. “Victor’s golf was cancelled. When he learned I was coming to the city, he said he was coming.” She shakes her head and says misty eyed. “He’s my husband. I couldn’t persuade him otherwise. We’ll do it next time.”
Sam laughs, “You think me a fool, Eve; there are other restaurants in town! Why lunch here? There won’t be a next time.”
“Next time . . . answer your cell, damn it!” She shouts after him.
The husband returns. A tan complements his brown eyes, perfect Roman nose, and romantic lips. Approaching the table, his aloof expression becomes surprise, as our eyes meet.
He is my Victor, and my heart pounds.
Sitting across from his wife, he tucks in a cloth napkin. “Who was that? You seem upset. Is everything alright?”
Eve clears her throat, forces a smile, and explains, “Someone who goes to my gym. It’s nothing. I’m tired, and sorry. Sorry we had words.” She reaches across the table to take her husband’s hand, “Can we forget it?”
Eve appears confident and why not? I’m the other woman.
I play with the raspberry sauce on and mush the the ‘Chocolate-Chocolate’ cake.
I stop at the couple’s table when leaving and smile, “Victor, What a surprise to see you and your wife.”
As I walk away, Eve asks, “Who’s is that? You seem upset. Is everything alright?”
. . . . just saying
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