Proposal of a Lifetime 02
By Monique Jetton
The weekend flew by and she kept herself busy around the house and then worked on picking out the perfect outfit to wear. Everything in her closet would not work so she decided to go shopping and as luck would have it she found nothing or everything just not in her price range. Defeated, she went home and rummaged through her closet again, she finally settled on a light cream cotton dress with flowers and green leaves. "Now what am I going to do for the next two days?"
The days went by slowly. Monday came and she was ready, put on her outfit and rushed out the door for work.
The day seemed to drag and she thought 5:00 p.m would never get here. He arrived about five minutes til and waited patiently while she locked up the office. Both seemed nervous as they walked out to the car but the conversation seemed to comfort both of them. They talked about work, life, anything and everything. They finally arrived at the local movie theatre and watched a comedy that kept both of them laughing so hard it hurt. The conversation resumed about the movie, previous movies they had seen, music, and everything else. He took her to his favorite restaurant, which happened to be one he owned, but this was different than the one she had gone to before. They seated themselves in a back corner away from the rest of the guests. He ordered again and as the conversation sparked up again he reached over and touched her hand. It felt so good. "But its not right you should not be feeling like this, he's married," she scolded herself.
"I hope you don't mind me tell you this, but you look good this evening. I just need to get out of the house. Amy and the restaurant demand so much of my time, I just need a break," he stated shyly.
"Oh, not at all. It's good to get out and have fun once in while. Everyone needs to run from their problems. I can't tell you how many times I get surrounded by work and responsibilities. I just want to be left alone or run away, but it never works out."
Their dinner came and this time he had ordered steaks with angel hair pasta and a light cream sauce. The steak melted in your mouth and the pasta was excellent. She did not know how long they sat there just talking. She found out that he had four restaurants, which were all different but all served pasta. He learned to cook from his father, who moved here from Italy. His parents met in New York at a small restaurant where his father worked. The conversation turned to his wife and how the doctor was now saying that she would not last that much longer and her condition was getting worse. He never talked about what her condition was, so she just listened. He talked about Amy, and as he did his eyes lit up. As the evening came to a close, he dropped her off at work. As she was getting into her car, he paused. "I would like to see you again. How about Friday for lunch? You can meet Amy," he asked hopefully.
"Sure, I'll met you at the restaurant about 11:45 a.m. or so."
"All right see you then." He was smiling. On the way home, Madison got a strange feeling and kept telling herself she needed to cancel -- it was not right to go out with a married man. It did not matter that his wife was sick and dying. He should be by her and he had a daughter he should think about. But she could not keep herself from seeing him.
Friday rolled around and she left for the lunch knowing this had to be the last time she saw him until she received word about the proposal. As she arrived at the restaurant and walked inside, there seemed to be no one there. She heard laughter and giggling which seemed to be coming from the table in the corner. As she headed toward the sound, she saw Greg kneeling down playing with Amy. "Hi, is there room for one more?"
"Hi, we were just playing catch."
Amy got up and toddled over to Madison, reaching up to her. She knelt down and picked her up. Amy seemed content, looking at her with big blue eyes and putting out her hand to touch Madison's face. Right then Madison knew that if she did not end it now then she would be caught forever because this was what she longed for.
They sat down, Amy in a highchair the middle of the table, and lunch was served. They took turns feeding Amy, who just loved all the attention. Before she new it Madison looked down at her watched and it was one p.m. She needed to head back to work. "Thank you so much for lunch. I hate to eat and run, but I have to get back to work."
"Not, a problem thank you for coming, we enjoyed having you." He effortlessly picked Amy up and cleaned her up and walked to the door. Before Madison could leave, Amy reached out to her again; Madison gave her a kiss on the check. As she looked up, she glanced at Greg who was watching them. Their eyes met. "Well, I'll call you later. Have a good day at work." Madison smiled and walked out the door.
The following week passed without a phone call. Maybe he realized what was happening and knew it was wrong, too. She received a call from the funder stating the proposal had gone through the process. Because of the circumstances they would be funding the proposal and a check would be sent in a week. Madison was excited not only to have her first proposal funded but also to see Greg again. She gave him a call and he said he was busy but would like to meet her after the restaurant closed at 11:30 p.m., if that was not too late. She agreed.
That night she had to let out some steam and went to the gym. Before she knew it eleven p.m. rolled by and she dashed out the door. She decided to go the long way but that did not work -- she still arrived fifteen minutes early. The last customers were leaving as she got out of her car. She walked up to the door as an employee walked out.
"Oh, I have an appointment with Greg."
The employee gave her a knowing look as he escorted her inside where Greg was. "Your appointment's here."
Greg looked up from cleaning. "Hi, I'm just finishing up here. Thanks Dom."
Madison looked around she had never been in the kitchen before then she noticed a bottle of wine chilling and another pot on the stove. "So, have you had dinner yet?"
"Yes, but I could eat another bite or two."
"Good, I'm starved. So, what was so important you had to come down here this late for?"
"Well, I got a call from the funder, who stated that you will be receiving a check in a week for the program. I explained to the funder about your wife and her circumstances, so they processed the request rather quickly. My contact also stated that it was the best written proposal they had received, so that helped, I think." She kept talking and did not notice that he dropped the pan he was cleaning and walked over to her.
Grasping her hand in his, he looked into her eyes, "Without you this would never have been possible. Thanks just does not seem enough." She knew she should step back, but he caught her in an embrace and kissed her. Totally caught off guard, Madison found herself kissing back, until there was nothing around them and they seemed to be floating. The kiss ended quickly and they stood there looking into each other's eyes, not wanting to end what just happened. In the distance the phone rang, not wanting to let go of her hand until he had to, he ran and grabbed the phone.
After an intense conversation, Greg came back looking concerned, "Thank you for the news and bring it by personally but I need to go something has happened with my wife." He looked up at her, "The weird thing is that even though she is dying and she has not met you, she encouraged me to spend more time with you. It's like she knew, we are meant to be."
Not sure of what to say, she settled for a quick, "Well, I should be going and I'll talk to you later." With that Madison walked out the kitchen door with out looking back. How could he say something like that and why would his wife be thinking about that? It was just too weird for her to comprehend. A few weeks later he called but she pretended not to be at work. What was she supposed to say? He needed to be spending time with his wife not thinking about her and their next date or wanting to see her again.
It seemed like a life time ago, when a co-worker brought the obituaries to her. "Isn't that they wife of the guy you wrote the proposal for. What ever happened to him? He seemed like a nice guy."
Trying not to show any emotion she nodded and took the article back to her desk. Sure enough there it was in black and white but that did not help. She still felt bad and it was still weird after all this time. The services were being held at the local church but she could not bring herself to go and see him again. She knew it would be selfish but she just wanted him to hold her and kiss her again.
Time passed and Madison could not believe a year had gone by. As she was cleaning out her old files she came across the proposal she wrote for Greg. She did not have to work, so she decided to visit the restaurant for lunch -- and this time she would be paying.
As she entered the restaurant the Maitre d' greeted her, "Well, Mademoiselle, how nice to see you again, I have the perfect table for you."
She smiled and nodded as he led her to a table in the back corner. As if it was fate there he was sitting with Amy sharing lunch. Amy looked up and saw Madison reached up with her arms, "Mommy" she squealed. Greg looked up as their eyes met she knew that enough time had passed. They talked over lunch about the project and how it was coming along. The high chair could no longer contain Amy so they decided to walk to the park and let her play for a while. The walk to the park was quiet but not uncomfortable, it was peaceful as if we had a lifetime to tell each other everything. Once they reached the park Amy was in control after about an hour of slides, swings, bouncy bridges, and rocking animals; she was worn out.
"You know I wanted to call you so many times but couldnt. I figured that I had scared you away after that night at the restaurant. I kept replaying that moment over and over in my mind, hoping that one day you would walk into the restaurant again. Today was that day." She could not help but smile, "I just needed time to think it was happening to fast and then your were married. I just did not know what to think or do. The night at the restaurant was magical until the phone call then it got weird." He leaned over and kissed her, soft and passionate, Amy soon interrupted by sticking her head in too.
Life seemed so perfect, and it was perfect Madison thought to her self. Greg came in and hugged his wife. "So, how are we doing this evening?"
"Great, Amy and I had a wonderful day, we just finished her homework. Now she is waiting on you to read her a story before bedtime." Their love had grown and now they were adding twins to the family.
"Daddy, where are you?" Amy shouted.
"I guess I better get in there," he stated as he leaned in to give her a kiss and put a loving hand on her now round belly. With that he was out the door, talking to Amy about the book and her day. Madison lay on the bed, content with her life and listening to Greg and Amy as he read her the story. When Greg came in he noticed she was sleeping and could not believe how blessed he was and snuggled up beside her.