Continues from here.
With Sonya pretty much taking over my role of preparation and kitchen work while I was gone, thus leaving Francis and Jean to the front of house, I probably should have worked on my mood before I walked in the back door if I didn’t want Sonya to pick up on it. But I guess I didn’t and I must have walked in somewhat snooty because as soon as I stepped through the door Sonya looked at me and asked what was wrong.
“I just had Simon escort me most of the way back here.” I said trying not to sound too disappointed but obviously not able to hide it from Sonya.
“Ahhh young love!” She said with a smirk, “You know I remember, and it wasn’t that long ago, when that sort of comment would be said with a smile.”
I knew she was only joking so I didn’t tell her off for her comment but I also knew she was being honest no matter how much or how little humor she said it with. I decided I needed a coffee before I could be trusted with breakable cups and plates, and especially knives so I went out to the serving area, waited for Francis to step away from the coffee machine and made myself a drink. I guess I really did want to talk about it because when I sat down on the stool in the kitchen to drink my coffee I started to tell Sonya all about the conversation I had with Simon.
“So from what you’re saying he still hasn’t given any thought to what you want and how you feel.” Sonya said when I had finished my story.
“Well that’s not what he claims.”
“Yeah but going by what you said he’s still being lead around by the short and curlies by his ex and if he wants to be with you that’s your job not hers!”
Francis walked into the kitchen with an order just in time to hear Sonya’s comment and laughed. I however wasn’t laughing but I really didn’t have the energy to tell Sonya off.
“Look here’s how I see it hon,” Sonya started, “You might still have really strong feelings for Simon but the guy appears to be doing nothing to satisfy your issues with his home life. Obviously without being in his situation I can only speculate but the way I see it is that if he’s not willing to at least meet some of your needs then he has no right to expect a relationship. But I’ve told you this before.”
“I know, and really I don’t need to hear it again. What I need is answers.”
“To be honest Kat I think you have your answer. If he really does care about you enough he will prove it by putting your needs before hers. If he’s not willing to do that now, he never will and you will never be happy.”
”So what is the answer?” I asked hoping for some magical answer to pop out of her mouth.
Instead of Sonya answering Jean pushed through the swinging doors and said directly to me. “There is a man at the counter who wants to talk to you, says his name is Tom.”
Before I even had a chance to answer Sonya said, “Send him in!” She then turned to me and said, “And like a sign from above, here is your answer, he tall, cute, great body and his name is Tom!”
Again my love life, if that’s what it was called, was taking up too much work time but of course Sonya insisted that I talk to Tom instead of starting work, I’m not sure how Francis felt about that but I think Jean was happy for a bit more work.
Tom and I spoke outside for about thirty minutes, he started out by apologizing for coming during working hours, I told him there was no need to apologize, he could drop around any time, although for his sake using the back door would be easier. He then told me how much he enjoyed our evening together to which I agreed then made my apology for not offering him breakfast at home or at the cafe, like a gentleman he said my apology wasn’t needed either.
“So what brings you here at this time of day Tom?” I asked feeling popular hoping not to appear too rude by changing topic.
“I came to see you!” he replied. It was kind of an obvious answer but I understood where it was coming from, he was nervous and we were both still feeling out the water so to speak.
“Well here I am.”
“You are!” his reply was still somewhat nervous. “Look I’m not going to beat around the bush Kat, I’ve really enjoyed our time together and I want to spend more time with you.”
“What about the game Trace and Sonya set up?” I asked before realizing it was a silly question even if it did buy me time.
“I think I was silly to agree to playing games, if I had known how great a woman you are I’d have never agreed to the game, instead I’d have asked you out myself. Actually that’s a lie, I’d have been too shy for that. Maybe I needed the game to put you in front of me but I don’t need the game to keep telling me that I want to be with you, my heart is telling me that all by itself.”
While his execution may not have been perfect he was beginning to push the right buttons and the truth was, over the last few days and especially with the way Simon had been I too had been wondering if there was more to Tom and I than just the game Sonya and Tracey had set up.
“Are you suggesting we stop playing games?” I asked.
“Well some of them,” he said with a huge, and cute, grin on his face. “Look Kat, I really don’t have any idea where you are with Simon. Trace has told me some of it and I decided I wouldn’t pry into the situation with you, out of respect. But from what Trace has told me he’s mucking you around and that’s why the game was started. I understand and respect your decision if you say no to going out with me but I can promise you I wont dick you around.”
I nearly laughed at the term ‘dick you around’, it was something I didn’t often hear and I think was a bit of a slip of his tongue but I held back the laughter and thought about what to say. Even in my mind I knew Simon was dicking me around, to coin a phrase, but I did still care for him and given the feelings I had while walking next to him I was still attracted to him. But almost exactly the same feelings were swirling through me as I sat opposite Tom. Was I kidding myself because of Simon? Was what I was feeling true feelings? Was I doing myself any favors by knocking Tom back? Obviously I didn’t have those answers but I also didn’t want to leave Tom hanging for an answer.
“Look I understand this is an awkward situation and you probably need time to time so I’ll leave you to it.” He stood up from his seat. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said anything.”
Seeing him get up and knowing he was about to leave I somehow managed to muster up some courage and said. “Tom, I really am going to have to kick you out so I can get to work but,” I saw his eyes light up, “I don’t need time. I want to keep seeing you. I can’t promise too much but I will promise not to ‘dick you around’. How about that?”
I didn’t even have time to get nervous about his answer, he replied so quickly it was like he’d already heard the conversation.
“Sounds fine by me, but it does leave one question.”
“And what is that?” I asked hoping it wasn’t a hard question.
“Can I cook you dinner tonight?”