“It’s amazing to reconnect like this after all these years.”
The four of us are sitting in a corner booth of a popular bistrot in New York City on New Year’s Eve. Only someone like I could bypass this trendy bistrot’s long waiting list with a simple phone call for a last-minute reservation.
The place is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and the sounds of sweet holiday season jazz music fill the air. The din of forks against expensive dinner plates keep time with the clinking of champagne flutes and the laughter of patrons.
Mariah extends her hand across the dinner table and places it on mine. She still has those perfect dimples that all the boys used to adore.
I return her smile, lean in and place my other hand on top of hers.
“Yes, it is.”
Maybe for you.
Mariah turns to her fiancé.
“Rob, you know that we were best friends all throughout high school, right? We were like sisters.”
I feel Robert’s eyes roam from my face down to my cleavage in my low cut dress. His eyes linger a little too long on my breasts and then his eyes lock into mine.
“How did the two of you lose touch?” My Mr. Right Now asks through a mouthful of gnocchi so cheesy that he’s got some on his chin. I’m a little disgusted but not enough to tell him.
Before I can think about answering, Mariah interrupts with slightly alarmed eyes.
“Oh, you know. Life gets busy and time flies.” Mariah says and gives me a pleading look that reeks of “please-don’t-explain”.
And so I don’t.
As I look at her, all I can think of are the months I spent depressed after she had taken him. A depression that almost made me flunk my first semester at college, something Mariah knew nothing about. She had left to study in Paris after using him as a summer distraction. Mariah could have had any boy back then but she had wanted mine .
Because she could.
And for that, I would pretend to forget but I would never forgive.
You are the one who called me out of the blue for coffee, wanting to resuscitate what was long dead and buried.
I know exactly why you suddenly want me back in your life.
“When is the big day?” I ask.
Mariah bats her long lashes at Robert and squeezes his hand. I see him wince imperceptibly.
“We’re thinking about next fall, right honey?”
Robert nods. I watch as his eyes skim down over my breasts again. He licks his dry lips before grabbing for his glass of champagne.
I kick off my right Louboutin and extend my leg under the table to locate Robert’s ankle. He jumps slightly in his seat and I see the shock register on his face.
Before staring at me, Rob first glances at Mr. Right Now whose only interest lies in the contents of his plate and then to Mariah, who is now cluelessly scoping out the celebrities in the crowd.
“Fall is a lovely time of year for a wedding,” I say and look Rob directly in the eye.
I slowly glide my naked foot along the length of Robert’s left leg and slowly repeat the languid movement.
Then, I rest my foot in his lap.
Robert shifts uncomfortably in his seat. I’m not sure if he is trying to avoid my foot or get closer to it.
But I quickly get my answer.
“Yes but sometimes it can be an unpredictable season,” Rob says as he places his champagne glass back on the table.
I watch as that same hand disappears underneath the tablecloth.
I feel the heat of that same hand massaging my toes through my stockings.
“You should come…to the wedding, I mean.”
I know exactly what you mean.
Rob kneads my foot a little harder and I smile.
I have your man at my feet.
And I could make this New Year’s Eve in New York as interesting as I want…
Because I can.
©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.
Originally posted on December 31, 2015
Michael Bublé – I’ve Got The World On A String at Madison Square Garden [Live]