I am not the one to make an entrance, so when i walk into donut world the only head that tilts is that of my best friend, Lia. She used to be my sister in law before she divorced Mason’s elder brother, Tyler.
Her big eyes widen as she eyes me. Her attention split into two, focusing on me and also her son who is playing at the playing area.
“Wow!” She unconsciously says as i sit beside her. “I knew you would rock it.” She smiles at my outfit.
I have owned the dress for years, anticipating to wear it, if Mason and i would go for a date like we used to. Spoiler alert never happened.
“Have you been waiting for too long?” I ask.
She shakes her head, her attention back to her son, Jax. He sees me and slides down running to where we are seated.
He stops few meters from me, unsure of his next move. I am used to that. I extend my arms and pull him.
“Mama.” He smiles shyly. He calls everyone that. He few months to his third birthday with speech delay. He calmly settles on my thighs.
“How is his speech therapy.” I ask.
He only knows the words Mama and Cartoon though he can follow the nursery rhymes from his favorite Cocomelon channel.
“Great actually, his vocabulary has grown to five words. Turns out he has a heavy tongue.” She says.
I remove something from my bag, “I brought you something.” I reveal M&M and skittles. His favorite.
He is ecstatic. “Thank you.” He grins, as his pronunciation comes out as turtle. Either way i am impressed. He runs back to play with the other kids.
The waiter comes and i make my order for Shawarma. Lia, is already having her usual custard donut with masala tea. I don’t take tea, coffee, or juice. I have tamed my need for sugar, though i can’t help with wheat products.
“So...” She cautiously pry's.
“You know me...nothing news worthy.” I say.
“How was you first night with Rome.” She teases.
“Discovered he is a narcissist with a delusion of grandeur disorder.” I squawk, recalling when he came back to show me where to sleep yesterday night.
“What?” I barked after i heard him sigh loudly when I removed the existing sheets on the bed and replaced them with my own.
“Those are new sheets.” He said.
“I prefer mine.” I answered refusing to meet his stare. I was never good with eye contact.
“You always think you are better than everyone don’t you?”
“How long have you always wanted to say that?” I asked even though, i always thought the same thing about him.
“Since i met you.” He said.
He is insufferable.
"When i was a teen, I had a huge crush on him. I always thought he had good genes." Lia comments.
She has been a friends with Mason, Tyler and Rome throughout their childhood. Her family and Mason's had close relation until the end of her marriage.
The waiter brings my Shawarma. "I have never noticed." I answer looking down on my order feigning exaggerated interest on it. I try not to think of another man as i would with my husband.
"He is undeniably good looking." She says.
I shrug my shoulders, "I am married." I say.
"And that makes one blind?" She shakes her head, vehemently before carrying forth,"... that has been your excuse not enjoy life." She says.
I take a bite of of my Shawarma which comes with fries, garlic and chili sauce.
"I enjoy life...a lot." It comes out as a self conviction than an answer.
"You buy this many clothes for events you expect to share with Mason, you stay in door cause you can't enjoy a simple walk without Mason, literally you can't enjoy anything if Mason is not part of it."
"Is that not what marriage and loving someone means?" I ask with a soft tone.
"Miss me with that Bs." She dismisses me which i don't take it personally.
"There was a time that was you and Tyler." I remind her.
"And thank God i saw the light." She says, smiling.
I smile a long with her. I loved her company. Just unbelievable when we met, we hated each other.
She proceeds to add, "Those brothers can make your life a total drag with their Peter pan effect. Sit and relax as see if Esme will survive a day in that house. You may not see it now but that affair and the swap nonsense might have saved you. " She grunts.
"Funny cause Rome said that same thing." I say, thoughtfully.
She tips her nose severally with her index finger and points at me as she has food in her mouth.
"You have a new found freedom, and space from Mason may give a different perspective." She says when she swallows.
The only up side of all of this is i no longer i had to do all the house chores while my in laws just sat in my home, do nothing and watch Tv. If i complained to Mason about having our house to ourselves. He said he had an obligation to help his siblings, His brother, Tyler was in and out of jobs and his sister, Casey, who had an on and off relationship with her husband. They all camped at our house with no help on my part.
"Is there anything i can do to help at this time?" Her tone turns serious.
I don't realize that the expression on my face has turn sour. The thought of his family and their disrespect was less painful compared to how he always chose their side.
Her concern for me warms my heart, "Thanks, you have already done so much but for now my only desire is to get past this betrayal with Mason and build our relationship again." I say ignoring the present hurt.
She gave me a look that indicate that she endless advice that can help but also understand that i am at my low and probably wont listen.
We change the topic as she tells me about a cold war going on at her workplace. She has told so much about the people she works with. It is like i already know them in real life even though i have never met them.
"How long are you going to wait until you shoot your shot with Noah?" I chide.
"I may be a modern woman but not a classless act." She grimace.
I find myself turning to look at the door when i see several heads swivel. It is Esme that has captivated most of the peoples attention. Now that is an entrance.
"Well, i should leave you guys." Lia announces as she gestures Jax to come over. "Hold you head high, you are better than her." She adds.
Lia and Esme pass each other without a word between them. Lia has always expressed her indifference with Esme. I don't know Esme well to know how she feels about Lia.
"I had to deliver to one of my clients." She speaks as she occupies where Lia sat.
I don't respond. Nothing appropriate and nice come to mind.
It is awkward, having brunch with the mistress of your husband discussing him and handing him over to her in a silver platter.
"How is Mason?" I find myself asking.
Through the night i did struggle with self discipline not to call him. The thought of him sharing our bed with her was too much to bear. I tossed and tossed almost running out of my mind.
She takes in a sharp breath, "He is fine." She answers expecting to be relieved with that. But, it stings to know that he is fine without me.
"Why him?" I find myself asking. "You knew he was married." I add.
"Blaming the woman? For a man's choices? Typical." She speaks with her shoulders squared, unapologetic to her actions.
Feeling already full with my half eaten food. I push it aside as the waiter takes it after Esme makes her order.
"Typical?" I shoot her stern look.
"You are a typical pick me girl, still defends a man like he is a child when he makes a mistake and worships him like a god despite his mistakes." She answers completely unfazed.
"Don't you have any remorse for even hurting your husband?" I turn the table, maybe that will get her to understand that her action hurts others regardless of the gender.
"Sweet! you think Rome is innocent." She mocks and I am left wondering what she means with that.
She places a piece of plain paper written on it in front of me, "I will send you a soft copy to your email with Rome's allergies and other conditions ." I says.
I pick it up and read, there are only three rules.
1. No sex with each other's spouse
2. Never enter our bedroom.
3. No falling in love.
I had no intention of having sex with Rome but the last rule seemed ridiculous.
"Why number 3 though?" I ask.
She smiled again, "I told you Rome wasn't innocent." She says.
And her response agitates more. I mask it as i also produce my rules. It is only one.
1. Take care of my Aloe Vera plant.
She looks up at me confused.
"That's all, a plant?" Her tone is judgmental.
I nod, "That's all."
"You are a weird one." She says.
"That all." I repeat again getting ready to leave.
I am still not confident on what i am about to do. I stand and take long steps and sigh once out. I have left her with my bill and Lia. It was Lia's idea though she did give me some money incase it backfired. It is a long one as Lia ordered to go pastries for Jax.
I glance through the glass as Esme speaks to the Waiter, she looks nervous and i feel victorious. Payback is a bitch.