A New Relationship
Angie and Bill left the restaurant after leaving Dede a generous tip. They decided to walk back to the station. The temperatures had cooled somewhat and Bill wanted to talk. He enjoyed spending time with her, but maybe she felt he’s moving too fast. Last night had been great; they kissed and she hadn’t slapped his face, so that was progress.
“You’re being quiet. Is anything wrong”?” He asked.
“No, nothing is wrong, but my sister is definitely growing up.”
“Oh, I see, so you’ve been thinking about my advice?”
“Yes, I have and thank you for giving me such good advice. I just hope I can be there for her in case she needs me.”
“Is she in some kind of trouble?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Then she decided to tell him what she had overheard.
“Oh, from her private conversation, you think your sister is gay?”
“Yes, I do. I just wish that she could talk to me about these things.”
“It’s pretty private, but I think she will when she’s ready.” He stopped walking and so did she. “I’m going to stick my nose in again.”
“Please don’t pressure her to confide in you. As I said, it’s a private matter and she will talk to you about her feelings in due time.”
She stiffened. “Bill, look, you don’t know my family. Okay? I think I know my sister better than you, and I don’t appreciate your interference.” She raised her voice.
He held up his hands. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to overstep.”
She felt bad again. “I’m sorry I raised my voice.” She started walking again. He followed her. A few minutes later, they stood in front of the police station.
“Apology accepted. Do you have a few minutes? I may have a few updates on Bobby’s case?” He asked, hoping to spend more time with her.
“Sure, I have a few minutes.”
Once inside, he led her to a chair. She sat down, but then David walked up and stood there waiting. Bill sighed, then decided to introduce them. Maybe he remembers her, he thought.
“David Waters, let me introduce you to Angela Bennett; she’s an attorney.”
“Nice to meet you,” Angie said and held out her hand. He shook it.
“Angela Bennett?” David asked and ran that name around in his mind. “I’ve seen you here at the station, but have we met before?”
Angie stared at him; he did look familiar. “Aren’t you married to Ashley Adams? I attended your wedding? I’m sorry, but my memories are terrible.”
He chuckled. “Yes, mine are too sometimes. Ashley isn’t here right now, but I’m sure she would love to catch up. I know what; why don’t we double date?”
Silence followed that question. Bill didn’t know what to say. His story about them meeting had been made up; they hadn’t met, but he saw her. Angie had the exact same reaction. So, it’s true, they both attended their wedding, but she certainly hadn’t met Bill; she’s sure of it.
At their silence, David retracted the invite. “We’ll work something out.” He turned to go, but Bill stopped him. “We’ll talk later, after I finish up with Ms. Bennett?”
“Sure, no problem.” He left them alone.
Deep in thought, Bill took a seat. “Okay, then, let’s see what’s going on with the case. Bobby’s family is still withholding information about his twin; his name is Jimmy, by the way.”
“Oh, I’m sorry; what did you say?” Angie asked still distracted.
“Nothing.” He stood up. “Why don’t I escort you back to your office?”
She stood up as well. “That’s not necessary. Call me when you have any news.” She turned to go.
“Angie, wait.” He took her arm and led her to a private office and shut the door.
They stared at each other. “I have to tell you the truth. That story about you, me, Ashley and David and the both of us attending their wedding, well, I made it up.”
“You made it up; but why would you lie to me about that?” She asked, becoming emotional.
“I think you know why. Do I have to say it?” She didn’t respond. “Alright, I will.”
“Please don’t say another word,” she turned and ran from the room. He didn’t stop her.
Tears blinded her, but she didn’t know why she was so upset. Bill and I are the same. Are his dreams the same as mine? The thought terrified her, but what if they were? She wondered. Her mind couldn’t fathom it.
Bill stood still and watched the closed door, but she didn’t come back. He sat down and rubbed his tired eyes. The urge to tell her everything was so strong, he didn’t think he could hold it back, not anymore. He stood up and looked out the window, then he remembered his dream:
A few weeks ago:
He stood in the middle of the room staring at her. The wedding was beautiful, reminding him yet again that the moment he found her, he would go to her and tell her the truth, but now there she was and he couldn’t move. She didn’t see him, but he saw her. Stunned to think that he had found her after all these years, he couldn’t move; couldn’t speak; he just stood there staring at her.
Back to the present:
Brought out of his thoughts by the door opening, he turned but it wasn’t her. It was David.
“I thought we were going to talk about the case.” Bill turned back to the window. “Is everything Okay? I got a feeling that things aren’t going too smoothly between you and Ms. Bennett?”
“You could say that,” he replied, not wanting to elaborate.
“Bill, we’re friends and I care about you. If she said something to upset you, I’ll take care of her.” Joking to lift his spirits, he smiled when he turned to him.
He chuckled. “I’ll remember that. Thanks, David.” He sighed. “It’s not her; it’s me. I guess I’m moving a little too fast for her tastes.”
“Oh, really? Look, I can see the attraction between you two and if she’s being standoffish; it’s probably because she’s scared and unsure about starting a relationship, so step back and give her some space.”
“You’re right, of course. I’ll give her time, but,” he hesitated.
“I can’t seem to stay away from her. She’s beautiful, smart, funny, everything I’ve wanted and I find myself thinking about her all the time.” He glanced at his friend’s face. “I’m a goner; I know that.”
David walked and stroked his chin. “The double date may just be a fix, at least for the time being. She’ll feel a bit more comfortable being with you with a crowd.”
“You may be right. I’ll call her and she can check her schedule. Thanks David.”
“No problem, now, let’s get back to work.”
Outside, Angie hailed a taxi, jumped inside, pulled a tissue from her purse and dabbed at her eyes. Her tears had stopped, but now she was angry; angry at herself. Why didn’t I let him speak? He wanted to tell you, but I’m not ready, she thought. But he’s perfect for me. He’s moral, he’s been through a lot, just like me. We’re compatible, at least I think so. He’s the most attractive man I’ve ever met, not just on the outside, but the inside as well. Just give him a chance and maybe we could build something strong and lasting. Her thoughts rambled a bit.
Seconds later, her cell phone beeped. It’s a text from Bill. ‘Hi, Angie. I’m sorry I upset you. I hope I haven’t scared you off. David keeps bugging me about the double date. Are you free tomorrow night?’
She closed her eyes for a moment, then she replied, ‘Yes, I’ll be ready at 7?’
Bill texted back. ‘Seven it is. I can’t wait to see you.’
Angie texted back, ‘Me too.’
Back at her desk at work, her boss and senior partner, Alfred Jones, seemed anxious about something, walked into her office. “Got a minute, we need to talk.”
Angie sat up straighter. “Of course,” she replied.
He walked over to the window and looked at the view, then he turns to her. “You’re one of our most promising attorneys here at the firm.”
“Thank you, Sir,” she replied.
“But your billing hours are down and we can fix that.”
“It’s the pro-bono cases and I do enjoy them, but I truly want to contribute to the firm and I’ll understand if you want me to leave.”
“No, that’s not it. Pro-bono is something all our attorneys need to do, and you’re good at it, but I want you more involved with cases that will put you out in front.” He paused and came closer. “I believe in you Angela and your future here at the firm is important to all of us.”
Relieved, she relaxed. “I want that more than anything.”
“Good, well, I’ll speak to my partners and we’ll assign you a few new cases. I hope your evenings are free for the next few months. That’s not going to be a problem; is it?”
She thought of Bill. “No; no problem at all.”
“Excellent; well, I’ll be in touch.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
She watched him leave with a heavy heart, then pulled out her cell phone and sent Bill a text. ‘Bill, I’m sorry, but I can’t make dinner tomorrow night. I’ll call you later tonight to explain.’
Bill read the text then he frowned. I can’t believe this. Have I lost her already? He wondered heartbroken.