Continues from here.
Copycat Cafe P2.
I didn’t see Simon the following Saturday. I must say I was hardly surprised but I was still bitterly disappointed. Although I barely knew the guy and really only knew his side of his relationship story I still felt sorry for him. I suppose it had something to do with the limited interactions I’d had with his wife where she’d done nothing to make me seem like she was a nice person, but I knew I still shouldn’t have been pining for a married man, much less having sex with him out the back of my own cafe.
By Wednesday of the following week I decided I needed a few hours to myself, so I got Sonya to pick the staff members she wanted to work with and left the cafe in her capable hands. I hadn’t worked out any definite plans but I thought a bit of retail therapy and a wander through the park might just clear my head.
I’m not big on listening to music, I’d rather a quiet room than a noisy room, but Sonya had been slowly convincing me over the past months that I needed to play more music around the cafe to attract customers. I wasn’t convinced but I was always prepared to look into things that could increase business. At some point during our discussions Sonya had given me a list of bands and music I should purchase. I did a bit of a search on the internet and the music she’d chosen seemed to have a theme, youngish men with pretty faces, many using make-up, swinging guitars and keyboards around like they were god’s gift to women. They all seemed to play a similar music, loud, plenty of guitars and drums and lyrics about relationship break ups or being angry. Talking to my 25 year old daughter, Tanya, she told me these were the kind of bands listened to by young girls and desperate housewives. I wasn’t overly impressed by the music and definitely didn’t want to turn the Copycat Cafe into some rock and roll coffee shop but I had to admit desperate housewives were a large part of my clientele.
Walking past the Music Barn I decided it was time I did something about Sonya’s requests. Walking in the door I immediately noticed racks of CD’s and DVD’s everywhere, I’d been led to believe that music shops were a dying business thanks to computers but that didn’t seem to be the case in the Music Barn. Although the music wasn’t overly loud it was loud enough that I wouldn’t have wanted to be having a conversation in the shop, I had no idea what was playing through. Minding my own business and looking at the shelves I was in my own world when a voice broke me from my trance.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been back since…”
I turned around and sure enough standing behind me was Simon, he had a shy and saddened look on his face.
“Umm. You’ve got nothing to apologize for, honestly it’s me that should be apologizing for taking advantage of you like that.”
“You didn’t take advantage of me, I wanted that to happen as much as you did by the sound of it.” Simon replied, “Can we talk? Grab coffee maybe?”
“Yeah…that would be good, I was actually headed down for a walk through the park, if you want you can come along.” I replied thinking that walking and talking was a better idea that sitting at a table staring into the piercing green eyes.
“Sure, let me just tell Melissa I’m going out for coffee.”
“What? You work here?”
“I’m the owner, I’ll be back in a minute.”
Ten minutes later we were walking down through Sanders Park, a large park with a massive pond in the center, tree lined paths meandered around the place and there play equipment in several areas for the kids. It was a nice,, sunny day with temps in the 80’s and there wasn’t a breath of wind making the day comfortable for walking. Although there was people around, mothers with prams, a few joggers and cyclists and a few lone people in suits probably on their lunch breaks it was fairly quiet for a weekday.
From the moment we left the Music Barn I was nervous and on edge. I’d spent a number of nights laying in bed thinking about Simon, the sex we’d had and the sex I wanted to have again. I obviously wanted to talk to him about what happened at the cafe but at the same time I wanted to avoid it like a plague. Initially I started taking about Sonya’s music ideas for the cafe, it was an idea that Simon agreed with, but he ran a music shop so of course he would. We discussed Sonya’s band choices and his response was along the lines of “in our day they’d have been called dick chicks, but these days they tone down the make-up, grow beards and run with the term metorsexual.” I laughed. When I told him Tanya’s description about it being bored housewife music his only response was to laugh.
When we got to the pond he motioned me to a park bench and said, “Let’s talk here.”
I knew there was no further way to avoid things and sat down tentatively. He sat next to me, close enough to touch but with enough space between us to know this talk wasn’t going to go in a direction I wanted.
He started out with an apology, I told him it was not needed and that I should be offering it. He disagreed and we agreed to drop that part of the conversation. He went on to give me the full low down on his home life. While he’d been working flat out keeping his business alive his wife (I refuse to acknowledge the woman with a name) sat at home either on the computer or watching tv. She spent her time yelling at the kids, ignoring Simon and doing nothing but online shopping.
Several times I innocently said sorry, not knowing what else to say but feeling I needed to say something. He continued telling me how pleased she was when she found out she could get the groceries delivered to the door, it meant she didn’t even go shopping any more. Saturday morning coffee was usually out of spite to make sure Simon didn’t get too much alone time with the kids, she expected him to take the kids to their sports but hated the fact they went out for drinks afterwards without her. Her car mostly sat in the garage and drove nowhere. She did none of the house work and the kids schooling as well as meals had become his responsibility. He’d had to hire Melissa to work at the Music Barn purely because SHE expected him to do so much other family stuff that he couldn’t be there the whole time the shop needed to be open.
He went on to admit how naive he’d been, even with all the problems he could see arising around the house he never saw the word divorce coming. He actually thought by leaving her alone, letting her live the life she wanted to he was keeping his family together. But SHE had other ideas claiming, when the divorce statement was finally made, that it was because they didn’t talk and because he controlled her life, that she was unhappy. Simon admitted that pointing out to her that her life was of her own making and that he let her do anything she wanted, supported her stay at home lifestyle and let her spend as much money as she wanted without question was probably one of the silliest things he’d ever said but that didn’t change the fact that he felt that way.
Unfortunately for me I was falling for Simon, sadly I can’t deny that part of the reason was because of how sorry I felt for him, although those piercing green eyes were another reason. As he told me about how SHE refused to move out, wanted the kids (like they were a possession), wanted the house and even wanted a wage I nearly reached out and gave him a huge hug, but I managed to resist.
When Simon finally finished his story there was a tear in his eye, I still wanted to cuddle the guy but I held back. I didn’t want to be the ‘other woman’, I didn’t want to be the woman who broke up a family and no matter how he painted the picture I couldn’t get past feeling that. But my god I wanted him.
“I really like you,” he said after several minutes silence.
“Simon. I can’t be the other woman, my husband did that to me and I know how it feels.”
“I thought he was dead.”
“He is now, died 3 years after he cheated on me. I used to call that karma but I’m not that bitter any more.”
“Alright, but you wouldn’t be the other woman, you’d be the only woman.” He said it without a hint of denial, “I’ve effectively been divorced for months I just cant get rid of her without leaving the kids.”
“In my mind I’d still be the…”
That was as far as I got before he leaned in and kissed me. Hot. Passionate. Deep. Wet. I hadn’t kissed a guy with that much passion in public since my husband and I wasn’t backing away. The heat from our kiss was unbelievable I could feel every muscle in my body twitching. I wanted Simon, I wanted every inch of him and I wanted him right there on that park bench.
Then he placed his hand on my thigh and the entire world slammed me in the back of the head as it caught up. My brain kicked in telling me I was kissing a married man in a park being watched by god knows who and it couldn’t handle it. So I did what every woman who’s in the middle of kissing the guy they want so badly it hurts does, I broke the kiss, stood up and ran away.
As I ran I could hear Simon’s voice behind me telling me to wait, to come back and that he was sorry. I have no idea if anyone heard it or what they thought of a guy yelling such things in a park but I also wasn’t hanging around to find out. I ran and ran and ran, out of the park and into the streets hoping Simon hadn’t followed me. When I finally got back to the cafe I organised Sonya to close up for the day, telling her I had a headache, and went straight home.
The following morning when I turned up to work at 6am to prepare for the day I let myself in and made my way through to the kitchen, that’s when I saw it. A parcel was sitting on the bench, neatly wrapped in brown paper and with my name on it, it had been hand delivered. Hesitantly I began to peel the paper back to reveal 5 CD’s with names on them I hadn’t heard of and a folded note. My brain was telling me not to open the note and read it but every sense, every nerve, ever muscle was driving me to do the opposite.
Holding the paper in my hand I ran my fingers down the edges, tempted to open it but holding back. I then pushed one finger between the two layers. It seemed my senses were trying their hardest to override my brain. Could I not read the note?