I'm incredibly embarrassed about this. How can I ever look John in the eye again after this? After calling him a cheat and a liar? I've really messed up big time. The is a new all time low. To make matters worse I replied to his text and I'm supposed to be meeting him tomorrow for coffee. Now, I'm not so sure. I just feel so embarrassed.
He's better off without me. He's probably come to that conclusion after the last few weeks, a few weeks of peace without me nagging him. He must be enjoying the freedom to do whatever he wants without me hassling him.
What do you think?
Jill sent the email and feeling exhausted, flicked off the light and slept.
* * *
Late morning, Jill's phone buzzed. I was Sue texting her: "OMG do meet him".
It was too late, Jill had already sent a text canceling the meet up with John.
She had other plans for tonight. She was going on a hot date. She'll be fine without John, time to move on. Even though she was wrong to dump him, maybe in a funny way it was for the best. She needed a change, it was doing her good, and John was probably much happier too. All's well that ends well as they say.
By 11 that night Jill was back home, trembling a little and feeling quite shaken after a date from hell. Sue knew exactly what she meant when she phoned her with a report.
"That guy Brad turned out to be a complete jerk. We hadn't even finished the starter and he was making provocative comments. And that was just the beginning of it. Then, he couldn't keep his hands to himself. It was terrible. By the main course I was ready to throw the wine over him to cool him down. The guy's an animal. How could I get it so wrong? When I met him last week at the bar he was the perfect gentleman."
Sue groaned. "That's guys for you. They just can't help themselves. You're hot stuff, not everyone can handle it."
"Very funny, Sue, it has unsettled me though. I've decided to take a break from this dating frenzy I've been on. I need a good long man break. They're really not worth all the aggravation. Why do we put up with their silliness? It's really not worth it."
"They're not all bad, Jill. Still, it is a good idea for you to take a time out. You've been burning the candle at both ends. Get some rest, take care of your yard, that'll cheer you up. And, visit me more often. We love having you over."
"You're right Sue. And thank you. I would like to visit. We spend too much time on the phone. It's just not the same. How about Saturday? We haven't gone shopping together in ages?"
"Sounds like a plan. I can't wait. And we can discuss what to do about John. See you then, Jill."
Jill felt relieved. No more dating sounded like a great idea. She'd neglected her girlfriends, the yard and the house. There was lots to be done. She made a list and put it on the fridge door.
Her phone buzzed. Another text, not from Sue as she had expected, it was from John: "all I want is a chance to explain".
He was persistent. Before she knew what she was doing she had replied: "tomorrow evening 6 p.m. at the cafe".
* * *
Jill's heart beat faster when she looked up and saw John. He looked fabulous as he strolled into the cafe. He looked different. His shiny thick black hair was shorter, he was more toned and tanned, from cycling in the sun she guessed, and he even looked a little taller. He looked much younger than a typical 39 year old. Jill quickly flicked her hair back, before he spotted her, and sat up straight.
With coffee as a distraction they sat and talked. And this time Jill listened to John'side of the story. As the facts became clear she felt more and more embarrassed. She felt like walking away to hide how awkward she felt. And it was made worse by how calm and understanding John was. He held no grudge against her, he had no ill feelings about what she had done. He just wanted to clear the air.
John looked into Jill's eyes and lowered his voice. "Jill, I still adore you. I know you lose your cool sometimes. I don't hold that against you. I understand, I really do. We hadn't seen much of each other before this misunderstanding, I admit I got carried away with working out and cycling when the summer arrived. I should have given you more attention and I didn't. I'm sorry. And I can understand why you jumped to the wrong conclusion when you saw me leaving Sally's house."
Jill bowed her head before looking up at John. She spoke slowly. "You have nothing to apologize for. Like you said at the time, I took 2 plus 2 and got 5. It's my fault. I'm the only one who should have to apologize. I should have listened to you at the time but I was so furious I was convinced I was right. Sally showed me the photos of you and the kids with the bikes. I felt terrible when I saw I had falsely accused you but I was too embarrassed to talk to you about it. You don't deserve this."
John reached forward and held Jill's hand. "I forgive you, Jill. Look, we're only human, there's no need to be so hard on yourself." John looked into her eyes, "I've missed you."
Jill sipped her coffee before continuing. "I've missed you too John. It's not been the same without you. And I'd like to stay in touch even though I'll understand if you want to stay clear of me and my psychotic tendencies. Maybe we can meet again in a few days and talk some more. I'd like that, I really would."
"Sure, of course. I'd love to talk some more another day, I miss our chats, Jill. Tell you what, I'll call you in a few days."
* * *
Jill sat in her kitchen eating a salad with the speakerphone on. "Sue, so now that I've filled you in. Do you think I'm crazy to get back together with John?"
Sue sighed, "Jill, did he say he wants you back after how you've treated him?"
"Not exactly but he said he misses me. He said he wants to be friends. I think he's just playing it cool. I can see it in his eyes, he still looks at me like he used to after a major argument, that let's fix this and get on with it look."