I looked around the dimly lighted restaurant. Taking the time to admire the young couples on their dates. I smiled and asked myself “how many of them are truly happy? How many of them have been honest in their relationships?” You may think that I’m judging but trust me when I say that I know this all too well.
I looked at my watch and noticed that the appropriate time of waiting for someone has passed. I grabbed my things and was about to head for the door. Until a man sporting a black hood covering most of his face sat down across from me. I sat there in silence and slowly put my things back down.
I knew for sure that the man sitting in front of me was my friend Wade. He hasn’t aged a bit, where I aged at least five years, since the last time I saw him.
“You’re leaving already?” asked Wade.
“I thought you wouldn’t come,” I replied.
“Well, I’m here. You wanted to talk, and I decided to hear you out,” said Wade.
“That’s a relief,” I snapped.
Even though it has been ten years since I talked to him. Wade wasn’t a man who wanted to talk things out when we had our problems. It was always the same shit with him. Just forget about it and move on was his motto.
“I could just leave and pretend this never happened. You know something that you’re obliviously good at,” stated Wade.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean—”
“Please, cut the bullshit. I heard this story before,” said Wade interrupting me.
I stood quietly for a second fighting back tears. As Wade gently tapped his fingers on the brown table. I looked around to see if anyone else was paying attention to our conversation. Thankfully, everyone one was too busy entertaining each other.
“I should’ve known this was a waste of time,” whispered Wade.
“You’re going to run away from me again? like you did with all your problems? No wonder you never stayed in a relationship,” I said.
“You know damn well why they didn’t work out,” said Wade.
“Then tell me, sit back down and explain to me what happened to you?” I pleaded.
Wade sat back down and removed his hoodie, rubbing his hand across his clean-shaved head. He took a glance at me and looked back down. He stopped rubbing his head and looked back at, “I see you still have that shirt.”
I looked down at the emerald cold shoulder blouse that Wade got me for mine twentieth birthday. “It’s called a blouse, and I thought it would help remind you of our friendship,” I said.
“Ten years and that shirt still looks new,” said Wade.
“How do you know that I didn’t take care of this one?” I asked
He stared right into my eyes like he wanted to rip my soul out of my body. But I sat there and stayed calm. Not wanting him to get the upper hand on what he thought he knew. Truth be told, that was the first time I wore the shirt. I kept it hidden from my ex-husband after he got upset about the last gift that Wade gave me.
“You were never good at lying,” said Wade.
“I know that’s why I just tell the truth. So, believe me when I say I took care of this shirt,” I lied.
“Like I said, never that good,” said Wade.
There was a moment of silence between us until a beautiful young waitress approached our table. “Hi, I’m Melissa and I’ll be your waitress this evening, so what will it be for tonight?”
“Oh, we’re just having drinks, so I will have a simple margarita,” I said
“And I will have a Whiskey Sour thank you,” said Wade.
“Okay, I’ll need to see Id’s first,” said Melissa.
We pulled out our Id’s and handed them to her. She looked at them for a few seconds and turned her attention towards Wade, “You look a little young to be thirty.”
“I get that a lot, but I’m positive that’s my real age. Thank you for the compliment though,” said Wade.
The fact that Wade was flirting with her annoyed me. He would always keep his attention on me when it was only just the two of us. I loved that about him. He always made me feel important in his life. Like I was the only thing that mattered.
“Okay, here you go, and I’ll be back with your drinks,” said Melissa.
She walked away from our table and I turned my attention back towards Wade. He sat there waiting for me to say something. But I wanted to be careful about what I was going to say next. I knew I only had this one chance, and I didn’t want to mess it up.
“Can we at least act civilize?” I asked
“You mean before or after your wedding day,” replied Wade.
“Okay that’s fair, can we just start over?” I asked.
He looked at the table for a second as the waitress came back with our drinks. “Here you go, if you need anything just give me a shout and I’ll be here in a jiffy.”
“Thanks,” said Wade.
“Thank You,” I followed.
We both took a sip of our drinks and put the glasses back on the table. I squeezed my face tightly and stuck my tongue out. Wade laughed a little as I withdrew my tongue.
“Hey, I remember that famous smile,” I said.
“Yeah, it’s been a while since I smiled. Or even laughed at the petty things,” said Wade.
“What happened to you?” I asked.
He stood quietly for a second and looked at the glass at the table. He stared at it for a few seconds and looked back at me with sorrow in his eyes. “It hasn’t been the easiest ten years for me. I did things that I’m not proud of, and I even pushed people away from me. And the sad part is I don’t blame anybody but myself. Not you, just me,” He explained.
“Wade, what happened to you?” I questioned.
“You tell me, everything was good between us for a while, and then poof you were gone. And I was on my own. I felt betrayed by you, especially everything that I did for you growing up,” explained Wade.
A tear escaped my face and I caught it with my index finger. I wipe it away and laid both of my hands on the table. I go to reach for Wade’s hand, but he quickly withdrew them from me. I brought my hands back to my stomach, but not removing them from the table.
“I don’t know where to start, “I stuttered.
“Start from the beginning. Where none of us knew it was going to be the beginning of the end,” said Wade.
“Okay, let’s start with Mike.”