Category: Literary Fiction

THURSDAY: There Were Mistakes

BY ROSANNE TROST

Copyright is held by the author.

ANNIE RELUCTANTLY agreed to attend the wedding. Her good friend had been so excited. “Annie, I’ve wangled an invitation for you to my cousin’s wedding. All of his hot fraternity brothers will be there. Please tell me you will go. You’ve moped around far too long.”

The moping had occurred after an emotion-ridden breakup. She took part of the blame. Why had I been so naive? Her friend was right. She needed to dust herself off and move on.

She arrived late to the ceremony and sat in the back of the church. Took her time driving to the fancy reception. She waved to her friend, who mouthed, “You look fabulous.”She sipped a glass of champagne and looked around the room. Lots of frat boys. One looked vaguely familiar.

She noticed an older man, quite attractive, dancing with a girl, young enough to be his daughter.

She was a bit surprised when he asked her to dance. More so, when he said, “I’m here with my daughter.” After the music ended, he thanked her and walked away.

The familiar-looking frat boy, Justin, asked her to dance. He reminded her they had been in college French together. “You were the smart, pretty one who spoke French like you had grown up in Paris.” They laughed, danced and drank champagne together. 

The older man, reappeared, and with a sense of flair, introduced himself to Justin. “I’m Tom.” Then whisked her onto the dance floor. She realized, I’m not moping. She liked him. He was witty and charming.

As the bride and groom cut the cake, Justin walked up to Annie with two glasses of champagne. He handed her a glass and asked for her phone number. “That is if you want to see me, again. I still don’t speak French, but I do know of a good French restaurant. I’m leaving town on business for ten days, but would you like to go there when I return?” She smiled and said, “Oui.”

Annie looked around for Tom after the reception, but did not see him. She felt a twinge of disappointment. She told herself that he was too old, but she knew he wasn’t.

The next morning, the phone rang very early. “Hi, it’s Tom. Remember me from last night? I found your phone number. Would you like to drive to the country today? Some friends are hosting a wine tasting.”  Of course, she went and had a glorious day. His friends were as charming as he was.

Several days later, Tom invited her to dinner. “Can you be ready in an hour, or is that rushing you?” Another time, he suggested a well-known jazz club. “Do you like jazz? If not, I’ll teach you to love it.”  An invitation to lunch was followed by days of no contact. Then a call to attend a private art exhibit. 

The invitations were last minute. Always, she said, “Yes,” but wondered if that was a mistake. Am I making my myself too available?

Then, he did not call. She moped. Watched old movies. Drank wine. Cried.

A sweet “Hello” text arrived from Justin letting her know when he would be back in town.

He invited her to have dinner the following Saturday. She looked forward to seeing him.

When Tom finally did call, there was no explanation for his lack of communication. He picked up where they had left off three weeks ago. As she was agreeing to see him the next evening, she knew it was a big mistake. Why didn’t I tell him I had plans for Saturday?

Her text to Justin was so lame. He replied that he understood and would be back in touch. Annie felt disgust with herself. At the same time, she was looking forward to seeing Tom.

Being with him on Saturday was very nice, but she was uneasy. Guilt, maybe.

Sunday morning, she sent a text to Justin. He did not respond. She sent another text later in the day. Had he spotted her with Tom? Of course not. Yet she wondered.

Weeks later, at dinner with girlfriends, Tom walked into the restaurant with a stunning woman.

He saw Annie and nodded to her.