Continues from here.
When I woke up the following morning I remembered I had to reply to Simon’s message. I hadn’t given much thought to the reply I wanted to give him but I knew I owed him something. I looked at the clock, 5:53am, too early to send a message, even if he was awake I wouldn’t appreciate a my phone calling for my attention that early and as the saying goes, ‘do unto others’. So instead I went and had myself a shower and got on with my usual morning routine.
By the time I sat down for breakfast I still hadn’t thought much about what I wanted to say to Simon because each time I did start to compose the message in my mind I thought of Sonya and how she was getting on. After my first sip of coffee I decided I would just fly by the seat of my pants so to speak and type a message while I ate. I reached for my cell which I had left sitting next to my hand bag on the table and hit the button to bring the thing to life, it was then I saw I’d received another two messages. I must have been well and truly asleep when the messages came through because I hadn’t heard the thing beep. I looked at the text on the screen and was not surprised to see the unread message was from Simon. I could see the first few words on the lock screen and keyed in my code with some hesitation. Both messages were Simon and joined to form one, he’d obviously gone over the character limit.
“Katrina, please don’t ignore my messages.
I miss you, I understand your situation
I promise you you are not the other woman
There will be no more interference
I’ve thought about everything and I want you
I’ve worked out how I can stay here and be with you
Please call me. Love Simon.”
I dropped the phone on the table. I wasn’t annoyed with Simon but I was frustrated. Sure he’d said he’d thought about things and it wasn’t that I disbelieved him, but considering his first message had come through only hours after he left the cafe I wasn’t convinced he’d given up much time to think. Was I being unfair to him? Maybe a little bit but that was just the way I felt and Simon wasn’t going to change that after five minutes of reflection.
I’d given up my idea of responding to Simon’s first message, his second messaged changed what I had to say, and while I readied myself for work I thought about his words. The fact that he had claimed to have figured out a way to say in the house and be with me at the same time didn’t sit entirely well with me. Sure I might have owed him the chance to voice his solution but to me the statement indicated, maybe unfairly, that he had no intention of changing his home situation he’d just figured a way to blend me into it and I wasn’t entirely happy with that way of thinking.
As I walked to work I typed a reply to Simon telling him the I didn’t have time for him, work and Sonya needed my undivided attention and I needed time to myself to think about his words. It was a little fib but it was all I was prepared to offer him, I just hoped he accepted it. There was a little bit of hate for myself in what I did given that one of the reason my marriage failed was because I felt my husband wouldn’t talk to me, wouldn’t tell me his feelings, then after an extended period of him doing that to me I started doing that to him. We set ourselves of a collision course of stupidity purely because we forgot to talk to one another and I was doing a very similar thing to Simon. Of course I could justify it a little easier by the fact that Simon and I weren’t married, weren’t even officially in a relationship. But justifying it was also made easier by my mind telling me I’d talked to Simon, I’d told him my concerns and he’d seemingly ignored them. My mind didn’t question whether he understood everything I’d said, didn’t question whether he’d heard everything I said and didn’t question the fact that our discussions may have made mention of the issues but never really discussed them. No in my mind everything I was doing was justified.
I missed Sonya at work, not just because she is my star employee but because she also makes the day flow easier. Her crazy comments, her laughter, her zest and even the way she pushes me to do things I may not want to do were all part of the package that I enjoyed seeing every day. My other staff are all great and I do consider them friends I’m just not as close to them as I am Sonya. Even the fact that Sonya would be dragging information about Simon out of me all day, even the fact that she’d be telling me to just use him for sex, even the fact that she’d laugh at me for being so old fashioned, I still wished she was at work.
When my cell phone rang at 11:30am and I saw Simon’s number on the display I let the phone ring out, I was too busy to answer it anyway. There was no second beep indicating a left message so when the cafe landline rang less than a minute later I ignored that too. Given that the landline only rang in the kitchen none of the staff picked it up either and again no message was left, I didn’t need to check the caller ID to know who’d rung the landline and I wasn’t going to call back.
Just after the lunch rush Mary came into the kitchen and told me I had a visitor, I asked who it was and when she told me it was Simon I asked her to fib for me and tell him that I’d gone out to pay bills and do some shopping for the cafe, although she did it I could tell she wasn’t happy being brought into a lie. I did miss Sonya. Again I wasn’t entirely sure I was being fair to Simon, but I was at work and I just didn’t want to deal with his issues while customers were waiting, even if their numbers had dropped off.
Since Mary had started earlier than Francis when it came to doing the close I sent her home, cleaning up was only a two person job and sharing the hours was good for both of them. I’d just returned from locking the front door when I heard a knock at the rear door of the kitchen, both Francis and I looked at each other.
“Do you want me to get that?” Francis asked knowing, like everyone else, about my situation with Simon.
Finding some courage and hoping I could keep it long enough to tell Simon to leave before he upset me I shook my head and headed towards the door. In the few short seconds it took me to get to the door I thought of a few words to say, but not many and my hand hesitated on the door handle slightly. I looked around the kitchen almost as if I was looking for support, but of course Sonya wasn’t there, neither was Francis, she’s obviously gone into the main area to give me space.
I unlocked the door and pulled the door open and breathed a massive sigh of relief, it was Sonya.
“Took ya time woman!” she said as she walked in looking chirpier than I would ever have expected and wearing a fragrance I didn’t often smell on her.
“Why didn’t you use your own key, that’s why you have one!” I responded jokingly.
“I figured you’d have slacked off all day without me here and opening the door would give you something to do.” Then almost as if flicking a switch that took her from joking mode to serious mode she said. “I actually forgot my key. I knew you’d cleaning up out here so rather than knock on the front door I just came around the back. So how did you manage without me? Obviously you struggled.”
I laughed at her ability to switch from jokes to serious conversation and back again, she was good at it but I did wonder if she was hiding something and just as I was about to ask Francis walked back in.
“Oh it’s you!” Francis said obviously expecting to see Simon.
“Well I tried to be you but I couldn’t get the lobotomy!”
Both girls laughed and had a short conversation before Francis returned to her cleaning duties. When Sonya asked me if I wanted a hand I reminded her she was on a day off and that she wasn’t even suppose to be in the cafe, let alone working. Sonya told me she was happy to help even if she wasn’t working and that part of the reason she had dropped in was to ask for another day off work.
It was at that point I put my foot down and took charge of Sonya. “You can have the day off on one condition.”
“No Kat, I’m not sleeping with you just for a day off work!”
Sonya started laughing almost immediately and I followed suit. She’d never thrown such a line at me before and to hear it the first time was so unexpected it was side splitting.
“Well if you’re going to break a girl’s heart…” I said without finishing the sentence.
“I didn’t break that heart, but we all know who did!”
“Ok cut the smart replies. If you want the day off you are going to sit down with me once this place is cleaned up and tell me all about you and Tracy.”
“Even the dirty little bedroom bits?” Sonya replied with a smirk on her face.
“I don’t care what you talk about, I’m just repaying you for all the times you’ve made me drag my sorry ass out into the open and talk about things.”
“But I am ok, I don’t need help.” Sonya smiled, I was unsure whether it was to convince me or herself.
“Then convince me of that.” I said.
“Wow, were did this demanding Kat come from?” Sonya asked before agreeing to my terms.