Written By: Tammy Ferebee
My palms are sweaty. My heart racing. My eyes move down to my watch again and then back to the door.
“Can I get you anything while you wait, sir?”
I turn to the waitress and order a black velvet.
She smiles widely. “I’ll be back in a moment.”
As she walks away to fulfill my order, I consider dropping a twenty on the table and escaping before having to explain that I’ve been stood up. But I wait. I tell myself, if she doesn’t show before I sip the last of my drink, then I’m out of here.
The waitress places my drink on the table. “Here you are, sir.”
“Thanks a lot.”
“And your dinner guest is here.”
As my waitress walks off, Delilah approaches my table.
“I thought we were meeting for a drink.”
“We are,” I explain.
“Usually when people say they want to meet for a drink, they sit at the bar. I’ve been waiting over there for over forty minutes.”
“Sorry about that. I thought it’d be best to grab a table just in case you were hungry.”
She takes a seat. Her face as flawless as I last remember it. Her body like I haven’t seen in years.
“You look good, Del.”
“Thanks. So do you.”
“You want a drink?”
“I’ll have a water.”
I slide my untouched glass of water over to her side of the table.
“So Kenneth, what’s up? I was surprised to hear from you.”
“We haven’t talked in a while. I just wanted to see you. Catch up, you know? But I can see you’re doing well. You look amazing.”
I can’t force my eyes to look in any other direction. She looks finer than she did the day I first laid eyes on her. I called her here so that I could apologize. She deserves an apology for the way things went down between us. But I don’t want to leave here and walk separate ways. I’ve missed her. And seeing her like this makes me want to beg for a second chance.
“So Kenneth, how’s work?”
“Pretty good. I can’t complain. How about you?”
“I actually work for a software company now. I’m a project manager. So I’m doing well.”
She sits silently. Her expression clearly revealing that she’s waiting for an explanation.
“I contacted you because there’s something I’ve wanted to say for a while now. I didn’t want to do it online. I thought you deserved to hear it in person.” I pause. “I’m sorry, Delilah. I had a lot of growing up to do. I was immature back then and I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was a shallow asshole and I didn’t deserve you.”
She looks down at her glass and then back at me. “I appreciate that.”
“You appreciate it, but do you forgive me?”
“Of course I do. You know what kind of person I am.”
I smile. My eyes still admiring her beauty.
“So how much weight did you lose?”
“About 40 pounds.”
“I can’t take my eyes off you. You look gorgeous. I’m sure you’re dating.”
She raises her eyebrows and sips from her glass of water.
“What does that mean?”
“Doesn’t mean anything. Are you dating?”
I shake my head. “Why no answer to my question?”
“Because you didn’t ask me anything.”
“Well let me rephrase then. Are you dating?”
She chuckles. “Men haven’t changed.”
“So there’s no special guy?”
“Nope. No special guy.”
I try not to smile too big. I’m more than pleased to know that she’s still single. I’m fighting with myself. I’m dying to go into player mode and put the moves on her, but I know the only way to reel her in, is to do so slowly.
“So no special girl?”
“Naw. Just me and Rocco.”
“Ugh, don’t tell me you still have that mutt.”
“Mutt? If I remember correctly, you used to love my dog.”
“Yeah, that was until he chewed up my Gucci.”
“I missed this.”
She smiles and nods. She doesn’t express to me that she’s missed me. Maybe she hasn’t. Or maybe she has but she’s keeping a wall up so I can’t weasel my way back in and break her heart again.
“Kenneth I appreciate you getting back in touch with me and saying something I’ve been waiting over a year to hear, but I have to push off. I’m supposed to be meeting someone for dinner.”
I try not to let the disappointment show in my face. “So soon?”
“Well I waited for over forty minutes. I’m sorry. I can tell this isn’t what you had in mind.”
“No need to apologize. If you gotta go, you gotta go.”
As she touches up her lipstick, I reach into my wallet and pull out a twenty.
“Let me walk you to your car?”
“No. Stay and finish your drink.”
“No. I didn’t want it anyway. I only ordered it so I wouldn’t look stood up.”
As I walk her to her Hyundai, I hold my hands behind my back. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to touch a woman so badly. With every breeze, I get a whiff of the Dior she’s wearing. Every step she takes, I feel teased.
She opens her arms to me. “Thanks for the apology. It’s good to see you again, Kenneth.”
“You too. And you’re very welcome.”
We separate from our hug. My eyes go to her lips. Lips I haven’t kissed in over a year.
“Maybe we can do this again sometime. The right way, though. We meet up, you stay for a drink, we eat, we laugh. The right way.”
“Sounds like a plan. We’ll have to do that. As friends though, Kenneth.”
“I didn’t suggest anything more.”
She turns to get into her car and I can’t stop myself from being nosy.
“Who are you running off to go meet?”
“I have a date.”
“Oh really? I see you haven’t totally given up on men.”
“Oh yes I have. You asked about a special guy. You never asked about a special girl.”
She gets into her car and pulls off. As I walk to my Yukon, I erase her number from my phone. I have to respect that she’s no longer interested, but I can’t torture myself by trying to be just friends. I can’t be around her without wanting to touch her, to kiss her, to have her. So the best thing to do, the only thing to do, is to let her go her way, and I go mine.