Not all long lasting marriages are happy. But what do you do if divorce is not an option?
University friends, Stephanie and Nick, meet again after twenty years. But life has not been easy or simple for either of them. Will this friendship affair stand a chance against reality?
“What happened?” Stephanie asked after they sat and ordered coffee. The region was gripped in a heat wave, but the coffee shop was blessedly cool, so coffee seemed okay.
Nick pulled a face and waited until the waiter had left. He glanced around, but the shop was not busy. Probably too early yet for the lunch crowd.
“Didn't come,” he replied quietly just in case. “She was pissed.”
She frowned. “You or her? Not coming, I mean.”
He shrugged. “Me. She did.”
Her frown deepened. “Why would that bother her?”
He snorted. “You have to ask?”
“Okay. The 'I am not sexy enough anymore' speech. Bitch.” Despite her words, her tone was just as quiet.
He nodded and for the first time looked at her. “You okay?”
It was her turn to avoid his gaze. “You're not the only one having a hard time.”
He took her hand. “That must have dented his ego.”
The electric heat from his hand surprised her. It took a moment to get her voice back. “Big time. I got fed up and left.”
She pulled her hand away. “What you are going to do?”
“Don't know. Break it off, I guess. You?”
She played with the empty sweetener packets. “Been thinking about it for weeks.”
“Same here. What an odd pair we are.”
Her lips twitched into some semblance of a smile.
“You guys want something else?”
They looked up at the waiter.
“Do you have time for a bite?”
Stephanie woke up her tablet and consulted her calendar. “Looks like I do.”
After ordering the quiche of the day for both of them, and more coffee, silence descended once more. It wasn't uncomfortable, so neither tried to fill it.
The coffee shop became noisier as they finished their meal.
When she tried to pay, he stayed her hand. “My turn.”
He waved it away. “See you next week?”
~Chapter 4: Next week