“Drew just went. It’s your turn,” my younger sister Kate addresses me as she sits at the dining room table in the new house. We are playing Monopoly and drinking some beers with Drew’s best friend Damian and his wife, Lisa, which seems to be the norm now on Friday nights. My roommate Drew and I moved into the new house 3 months ago. Previously we lived in my old house that I owned with my ex-husband, Donnie. Our divorce was finalized just before Drew and I moved.
“I know,” I say picking up my silver shoe and moving 6 spaces on the board. “Dammit I landed in jail.”
“Know any good lawyers who can get you out?” Kate asks jokingly, but she knows she has gone too far. I give her a dirty nasty look. She had to go there. I’m not ready to talk about him…my divorce lawyer, Marco Piccoli. The one who I fell for and let go. I have tried to forget him and his whole existence, but it’s hard. I work at the diner as a waitress still and I am enrolled in the local university to obtain my nursing degree. It is extremely difficult, so I have been mostly focusing on that. I keep myself busy so I don’t have time to think about him. We do not speak about him in our house. My sister knows not to bring up the “M” word. He wrote me a letter confessing his feelings for me that he sent along with my divorce papers when they were finalized. I replay the words in my head. I know that everyone knows I have feelings for Marco, including Drew. I choose not to discuss anything.
“You had to fucking go there,” I snap.
“What’s with you?”
“Really? You have to ask.”
“Alright ladies back to your corners,” Drew says diffusing the situation. “It’s my turn again.”
“You can’t even joke with her anymore.” Kate says to Drew.
“Yeah because why do you have to joke about him, and I am in the room you know.
“How’s school?” Lisa asks breaking the tension and changing the subject.
“It’s great. I only have a few months left. I actually didn’t have too much time left to make up. It’s a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.”
“Oh, definitely. You will be great. I have no doubt.”
“Thanks Lisa.” I smile.
“She’s been studying so hard,” Drew chimes in. “I barely see her. Our movie theatre is being wasted. I have no one to watch movies with.”
“Hopefully once I pass my test, I will get a job and my life will be stable. Right now I’m all over the place.”
I’m so thankful for Drew. He has been a godsend in my life. He has helped me through so much. I contribute to the bills with what I make at the diner. He doesn’t ask me for much. He is also still letting me drive the SUV back and forth to work and school. I told him I would give him more. He told me just to put my alimony payments and the 401 k payment I received from my ex into the bank. I don’t know how I could ever repay him. He told me that he doesn’t want anything back from me. Drew is just an all-around nice guy. It’s a shame that I don’t have romantic feelings for him because the woman that he ends up with will be one lucky chick. Before we moved, Drew and I sat down and had a talk. I explained to him that everything happened to me at one time: my divorce, everything with Marco and him moving in. Everything was happening so fast all around me. I mistook my feelings for him as something more and they weren’t. I let him know that I actually considered him one of my best friends. We agreed to continue our friendship and move forward with our living arrangements.
I also thank God every day for my therapist who has helped me get through the difficult time in my life. I have been seeing her for the past 3 months and she actually didn’t agree with me taking medication that my sister suggested so we skipped that process all together. She also doesn’t agree with me blocking Marco out of my life like he’s not there. She thinks I need to talk about it. I refuse to bring him up in our sessions. She said when I’m ready she’ll be here to listen.
“I think I’m gonna call it a night and head up to bed. I have a long day at work tomorrow,” I say getting up from my chair.
“We’re out of here too. We have to get home to the babysitter,” Damian says.
“Well I guess that leaves me and Drew.” Kate says. “Want to hit the theater? I’m in the mood to watch a comedy. “She asks Drew.
“Yeah, I’ll make some popcorn.” He replies as he gathers the game together and puts it back in the box.
“Have fun kids. I’ll be in my millionth dream since I have to be up at 5 a.m.” I yawn as I head to the stairs.
One day I’ll live my life again, until then I have to deal with my daily dose of insanity.
“Oh here she comes the big bad nurse.” My coworker and friend, Gina, yells out in the diner. Everyone turns around to look at me. All the regulars who come in every day start clapping and cheering. Gina runs up to me and hugs me. “I’m so proud of you. You graduated nursing school…finally.” She says with tears in her eyes. “You have come a long way since last January when you started working here. I can’t believe it’s been a year already and tomorrow’s your last day here.”
“Don’t go getting all emotional on me. We still have 2 days of work left to complete.”
“Fine. You have your regulars, John and Stella, coming in at 4 for dinner. They said they want to see you before you leave.”
“Awe, I’m going to miss them. See here you go making me all soft.” She stares at me for a few seconds.
“What?” I ask.
“When you get settled I have to tell you something.”
“More gossip,” I say joking. I’ve grown accustomed to the whole diner gossip.
“Not exactly. You may be mad.”
“What are you talking about?” I say going to the back of the diner where the lockers are. I grab my apron and book for taking orders. Tying my apron, I come back out to the front. I grab a package of coffee and empty it into the basket on top of the coffee urn. Gina returns from bringing a soda to her table.
“What did you want to tell me? Come on the suspense is killing me!” I roll my eyes at her.
She looks hesitant. “Someone came in for dinner last night.”
I bust out laughing. “It’s a diner. Someone comes in for dinner every night.
She puts her hands on her hips. “Let me finish.”
“Go ahead.” I wipe the counter down.
“It was Marco.” I think my face turned completely pale. I actually felt the color drain from it.
“Sit,” she says. “You look like you’re gonna be sick. He came in with a woman in her late 20’s. Tiny waited on them. He kept looking around checking to see if you were here. He eventually came up to me. I was serving at the counter last night.”
“What the hell did he want? How dare he bring a woman in here?” I yell low enough for the whole diner not to hear me. I am angry.
“I said the same thing. I was pissed. He asked me if you were here. I said no that you would be back today. Brace yourself for what I said next. I told him Saturday is your last day because you’re getting married.” Gina actually had a smirk on her face.
“You told him that? What did he say?”
“He got a really sad look on his face. He said well tell her I wish her all the best. I said why don’t you tell her yourself. He said he didn’t think that would be right and you’re happy with Drew and he doesn’t want to get in the middle of that.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. He thinks I’m marrying Drew. He has nerve even if I was; he comes in here with a woman and then questions what I’m doing.
“I told him you would be here at 3. He thanked me and wished me a good evening.”
“He wouldn’t have the balls to show up here especially if he thinks I’m getting married. Right? You don’t think he would? Why does he even care? It’s been 9 months since we were together.” I question, but I know Marco and I know that he will be here.
“Apparently that doesn’t stop you from wanting him,” Gina blurts out.
“I don’t want him. You’re crazy.”
“Who you fooling? I can tell when you’re lying…You can’t look at me and you clean.”
I start wiping the dessert case.
“You can’t run from this. He exists, Molly. I think he’s gonna come in here. What are you going to do… ignore him, fight with him? You love him. It’s obvious,” she continues.
“It’s different now. Too much time has passed, plus he has a girlfriend. This conversation is over. I have a table.
I walk over and greet the family of 5. The conversation is still fresh in my mind. I guess in my mind I thought he would wait forever for me. I’m a dumb fool. The poor woman he was with has no idea why he came into the diner. She thinks they are enjoying a meal, he has other intentions. It’s probably best he thinks I’m getting married. If he shows up, I don’t know if I’ll tell him otherwise. We can all go on with our lives.
“I’ll be right back with your drinks.” I say with my big fake smile because my insides want to cry out. I head to the soda machine and every time the door chimes my stomach drops. It is going to be a long day.