To read this story from the beginning, please go HERE
This is a work of fiction based on a true story....
We’re meeting in two days.
I’m looking forward to catching up, Sweetheart.
The Schmuck’s most recent text loomed over me. I didn’t know whether I should still be going to meet him, but I didn’t text otherwise.
Maybe I would just be alone forever, reconciled to having my coffee alone, snuggling—not into a man's arms—but into a pillow at night, and having a cold, romantically-lonely life as an old maid!
If I didn't meet someone who was bad for me, I met guys I couldn’t have a future with, like Mark. My thoughts turned to Mark. I couldn’t tell exactly how he made me feel, but when I started thinking about him, I missed the strangest things: Like feeling his hands gently holding my waist as he kissed me. The warmth of his bare shoulder against my cheek as we held each other close and watched the stars. Hearing his laugh, and seeing the shocked look he always gave me when I said something completely ridiculous..
I shook myself. I hadn’t talked to Mark much, and I would meet The Schmuck in two days. It was time to rid myself of these issues. But somehow the thought of meeting The Schmuck made me feel sicker and sicker—as if meeting him would seal everything with Mark and he’d never want to see me again. Plus, I hadn't even told Mark that I was meeting The Schmuck on Monday.
My ex-husband had decided to keep our kids at his place two additional nights because of a family reunion. I unhappily agreed to let them stay. Then, after hanging up my phone, I pulled my bed's comforter over my face and groaned. The house was so quiet. Nothing could make the day better except for my children, and they were having the time of their lives without me.
I had the world's biggest pity party—I was the only one invited—and that’s when one of my dearest friends called.
I didn't want to answer the phone. It rang and rang. She called a second and third time until I finally picked up.
"Hello," I droned.
“Gina! How are you doing?”
“Honestly?” I asked her.
“Of course! Honestly.”
“I’m doing terrible. Lying in bed, not wanting to get up. Depressed.”
“You’re going out with me. Right now.”
“What? Do I sound like I want to go out? I'M staying home,” I said. What gave her the right to call me and make demands first thing in the morning.
“I said, you’re going out with me. Get out of bed.”
"No. I'm too busy being depressed. I appreciate your concern, but I'm fine." Then I hung up, shut off my phone, and closed my eyes.
It wasn’t long before I heard her pounding on my front door. Then she actually opened my door and traipsed right into my bedroom. “YOU look like hell. What happened—were you hit by a semi?” she blurted.
I jumped, holding the comforter over myself and letting her words register. Had she just said I looked like I was hit by a semi?
“Thanks. That’s what I needed to hear. Didn’t I tell you I’m already depressed?”
So she proceeded to open my closet and pull out a bunch of outfits, pairing strange things together, until she found something for me to wear.
“Okay,” I finally said. She stared at me encouragingly, wide-eyed and way too excited. “IF I go out with you, where are we going?”
“To a bar and grill on Main. A band is playing tonight. You’ll love it. And we’ll both look awesome!”
“You'll look awesome. I'll look like road-kill. Remember?” I couldn’t help but smile at her as she balked. “Fine. We can go out. But give me some time to get out of bed?”
She crossed her arms. “Great! We’ll go a breakfast first. Then we can come back here and I'll do your hair and makeup.”
She went down the stairs leading to my kitchen and whistled the whole while. “Ge-et dressed,” she sang. “It’s a beautiful daa—ayy!”
I begrudgingly donned the clothes she’d picked out for me. We went to breakfast and honestly didn’t say much until my phone broke the silence.
I miss you....
“Was that Mark?” my friend asked.
“Yeah. How did you know?”
“You get this certain look when you talk about him. You had that same look when you read the text. What's going on with you two, anyway?”
“We’re pretty much broken up,” I said. “He wants biological kids. I’m done having children. End. Of. Story.”
“And you told him all of this?”
“Well, not exactly. I just told him we wouldn’t work out.”
“Gina! I thought I taught you better than that?”
“Taught me?! You're only two years older than me. Quite acting like you're my great-grandmother.”
“But we've talked about this same thing dozens of times. If you want a relationship to work, you have to sort through problems. You should tell him why you don’t think you’ll work out, not just dump him without giving a good reason. Maybe he wants to be with you regardless. He might realize you’re worth it.”
I blushed. “Thanks.”
Before I could stop her, she grabbed my phone, typed something then went back to the home-screen.
“What was that?” I asked, straining to get my cell back.
“That's messed up. What did you do?”
“You trust me?” she asked.
“Yeah, but you don’t just grab other people’s phones—”
“Unless you’re their best friend and you have their best interest at heart. You do trust me, right?” she asked and I reluctantly nodded. “Then trust me now.”
"We went back to the house and she applied my makeup like I'd never done it before. My eyes were dramatic and extremely dark. I had bright red lipstick that made my skin look even whiter than before. My eyes shone, enormous, and barrel curls framed my face. I hardly recognized the girl looking back at me from the mirror.
Before long, my friend did her own makeup quite differently from mine, and straightened her hair. She looked absolutely stunning.
I starred at our reflections. "It's weird how life can turn out so polar opposite from what you might expect," I said.
"Yep. But, that's what makes it exciting." She capped her lipstick and patted me on the shoulder.
We went to the bar shortly after, and laughed over the menu. They had cordon bleu that they'd named "bleu balls".
Find the recipe HERE.
"I'd like an order of Bleu Balls," I yelled to the bartender after drinking a bit too much.
"Bleu Balls?" a deep voice said behind me. "Why am I not surprised?"
My friend quickly stood and walked a few steps away, as if completely engrossed in a picture of a Harley on the wall. I took a swig of my yellowed drink and swirled the inch of liquid in my glass.
"I said," the man with the deep voice cleared his throat, "bleu balls?"
I turned, to see Mark, looking utterly flawless, and strong and completely...vulnerable, behind me. As I studied his features, I realized how tired he looked. And that he was wearing, the strangest outfit. "You're still in your work clothes?" I asked.
"I heard you'd be here," he glanced at my friend, "so I rushed over on my break."
"You're working tonight?"
He nodded. "Yeah, but I came here anyway. I needed to see you. I'm not sure if we're broken up, or about to break up. I'm not sure why you don't think we're good together.... Gina, will you spend tomorrow with me? Let's talk about things? Sort through what's going on." He grabbed my hands. "I don't want to lose you."
"Okay," I agreed. "But we really aren't good together. You'll understand everything when we talk about it."
"I'll pick you up early, okay? I want to take you someplace special. Call me when you wake up?"
"All right, Mark. I'll see you tomorrow."
"See you then." He began to walk away, then turned before leaving the bar and yelled, "Enjoy those bleu balls."
"Enjoy the rest of your shift," I hollered as he disappeared through the doorway.
My friend rejoined me and grinned. "You're welcome," she said. "The two of you are meant to be together--you just don't know it yet."
"You told him we'd be here!"
She just looked away and took a sip of her drink.