It had been two long and tortuous weeks since Mom’s surgery. Since my talk with Melissa, I hadn’t talked to her much. She had come over to see Michael once in the morning, when I was at the hospital, but that was it. As far as I knew, she was living it up with Mason in his high rise apartment, acting like things were perfect, acting like the perfect girlfriend like I had at one point.
But I would continue to ask Michael about her every now and then. I didn’t want her to end up like I did. When I saw the signs, I’d make sure she knew them too, no matter how much she didn’t want me to butt into her amazing relationship. I would because I cared about her, even though I shouldn’t.
I sat across from Michael at a restaurant, feeling like a fraud. I hadn’t been out to dinner in weeks and sitting here in a pretty black dress with my make-up done and my hair curled made me feel… weird to say the least. Michael liked it--that much I could tell.
He sat across from me in a black suit, his hair wet and parted to the side, blue eyes on me. Just by the way he looked at me and only me, the way he gave me his full attention, instead of ogling at some other girls, it made me feel good on the inside. It was a feeling I hoped would never go away.
“Hi, I’m Alilia and I’ll be taking care of you tonight,” a young woman said, smiling between us. She went over some specials--half of what she said I couldn’t even pronounce--but I didn’t mind.
I gave her my order and sipped on my white wine. There was so much I wanted to talk about tonight, but I didn’t even know where to start. I decided to keep my mouth shut though. Tonight was supposed to be a happy, feel-good kind of night and I didn’t want to ruin it with my problems.
Michael would say that it wasn’t ruining it, but for me it was. This night was about us.
So, we had dinner and dessert, finished an entire bottle of wine, and talked all night long. About anything and everything, and I learned things that I didn’t even know about him before. It was cliche but it was so real and so raw for once.
I scraped some frosting off my plate with my fork and stuffed it into my mouth. Michael talked about his work, smiling at me with so much pride, that it made my heart warm. A candle flickered between us, illuminating his perfect face.
Before I could stop myself, I leaned over the table and placed a kiss right on his mouth. This man… God, I loved this man with all my heart and this feeling wasn’t just going away. He had been there for me since Mom had her second aneurysm, had stayed with me night after night, had given me a place to stay and security without making me feel bad about it. He was everything I could ever ask for in a man and so much more.
He kissed me back softly, his fingers brushing against mine on the table. When I pulled away, I gathered all the courage I had inside of me. “I love you, Michael.”
A/N If you want to read the rest of this trilogy right now, you can find it on Patreon (Click “Support Me” in my bio!)