He had hoped that she would once again accept his offer to join him for coffee. Christmas was fast approaching and finding free time with her job commitments, a growing, maturing child, friends and family could be a scheduling nightmare. Nonetheless.
“Coffee. Pre or post Xmas” he texted. Texting could be so much more thought out than an awkward phonecall. Spur of the moment was never his forte. Texting also offered an invisible cloak of comfort against the possibility of disappointment. It was easier to shrug off a “No” in text rather than speech. The voice can be so betraying. Their initial coffee meet-up had proved to be less intimidating than expected and her offhanded comment of “Doing this again.” was much appreciated. Friends are often much harder to cultivate than lovers as the lifespan of one can far exceed the other.
He had liked her from their first meeting. She had reminded him, of course, of another woman from the distant past. Who knows just why we make these connections, sometimes we just do. She had always seemed to be friendly and outgoing to most of the people she encountered and over the years this had never seemed to change. It was hard to imagine that she might have a darker side but then just being on the periphery, the outside looking in as it were, it was next to impossible to know enough to learn either way. Why spoil the illusion with the truth, if there was indeed one to be told.
Her return text, “Pre. 9am. Where? Have meetings in am prior to leaving for Christmas with family.” Subsequent texts arranged an agreed upon location.
Being the person that I am, it would occur to me to be somewhat late just to see what would happen but also being the person that I am that kind of subterfuge would never take place. If anything I would be early and would be comfortable waiting.
She would be the one to be late. Her life always seemed more hectic than my own as I am wont to simplify my life in order to avoid most complications. As always, once settled, she would be her personable self, far from hard on the eyes and a comforting influence. Conversation, also not one of my fortes, was easy, the coffee hot and the breakfast rolls both warm and extra sweet enough to make the teeth sing.
I had brought with me a gift, appropriate for the holidays, expecting nothing in return except perhaps a wonderful smile. A small silver colored carved box, long ago purchased from some now forgotten flea market, wrapped with a decorative red ribbon from a previous West Coast chocolate purchase, housing the gift. A gift once purchased with other intentions in mind at the time. Perhaps now it would find a rightful home.

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