“Sofia, can you come in here please,” Candice paged from her office. Her heart was racing as she paced back-and-forth. Sofia down the hall from her reception desk and knocked on Candice’s door. Candice quickly open the door, looked to see if anybody was in the hallway and let her in quietly.
“I’m freaking out!” said Candice voice quivering. Sofia, on the other hand, was over the moon about all of this. She knew how much Candice and Kris had loved each other ten years ago and how devastated both of them were when she ended the relationship. In New York, it’s hard for a woman to have a busy, successful career and thriving personal life. One always gets pushed to the wayside. Candice knew that and decided to end things with Kris before it ever came to that. Nothing could stand in the way of her dream of becoming a highly successful lawyer. Not even love.
Sofia knew Candice and Kris both together and separately. She had kept in touch with Kris over the years because she really liked him as a friend. He did meet someone a couple years after him and Candice broke up. They ended up getting married shortly after. Sofia had met his wife, Michelle, at a Christmas party five years earlier. She watched Michelle belittle him and treat him terribly in front of everyone the entire night. She couldn’t believe it! He was such an amazing guy, how could anyone treat him that way?
Sofia kept in contact with him over text and email, and he seemed happy. But following that party, she confronted him about the way his wife treated him, and he broke down. Even so, Kris spent years after that, trying to make Michelle happy and give her a baby. But when they realized he wouldn’t be able to give her a child, she left him for someone else.
Sofia never told Candice any of it this. Their divorce had been final for a year now and Sofia was secretly hoping that Kris would contact Candice again. He needed time to work through some issues, but when he was ready she was sure he would be in touch.
Two weeks prior, Sofia put a bug in Kris’ ear letting him know that Candice still wasn’t dating anybody, and if he was ready she could help him set something up. The day before, he decided he was ready, and now here she was consoling Candice, trying to convince her to meet him for dinner.
It’s not that Candice didn’t want to meet him for dinner, it was just that she was afraid. She had heard that he was married, so why was he contacting her?
“Why don’t you just meet with him and ask?” Sofia prodded.
“I don’t know,” Candice stuttered, “All these feelings I’ve been supressing for years have suddenly come back like a flood, and I don’t know what to do with them!”
Sofia walked over to Candice and put her hand on her shoulder. Looking her straight in the eye she said, “you need to calm down and take a deep breath. You loved this man so much a long time ago, so the least you could do is meet him for dinner and hear him out. Who knows, maybe things have changed in his life. Maybe this is the start of something wonderful. But if you don’t meet up with him you’ll never know.”
Candice let out a long sigh, “I guess you’re right.” She sat down at her desk chair. “I don’t know how I’m going to get any work done this afternoon. I’m way too distracted.
Sofia smiled, “why don’t you go the long way home, clear you head with a walk. Then start to get ready for your date. Take a long, hot bath, pick out a dress and some shoes, do your hair and make-up. Work will always be here. It never seems to end!”
Candice spent most of the afternoon looking for the perfect dress to wear and the right shoes to go with it. She kept thinking about the dress she wore on their last anniversary date. She knew it was Kris’ favourite dress, and even though she had bought many other dresses since, her eyes kept going back to that one. It wasn’t fancy or anything but it was cut in a way that was very flattering. And its navy blue colour brought out her blue eyes.
Candice and Kris’ favourite restaurant, Javuea, was 12 blocks away from her apartment, and she wasn’t about to walk in her heels all the way there, so she got an Uber. She arrived precisely at 7 o’clock, just like Kris knew she would. He had been there for 10 minutes already trying to prepare himself for the night ahead. Their favourite table was in the back corner; it was so private and peaceful.
Kris watched as Candice walked in and talked to the maître d’. Wow, he thought, she’s just as stunning as ever. And she’s wearing my favourite dress. He realized he was holding his breath. Exhale, calm down! You got this! The maître d’ brought her to the table. Kris stood up when she arrived and gave her a little peck on the cheek. He was relieved his weak knees held him up even for just a minute. Strong feelings instantly came over both of them, like a dam that just broke open. Their hearts were racing.
Candice forced herself to speak first. “Hello,” she calmly said, with a beautiful, but nervous smile. Her eyes met his. He had a more mature, weathered look on his face but he was still just as handsome as ever. So handsome it was dangerous.
“Hi,” he replied, voice clearly shaking. “I think we need to talk…”