Lacey stood just outside of the restaurant, watching the young couple order their meals. He looked dashing with a tailored suit to fit his athletic height, and she wore an elegant little black dress accentuated with a red silk scarf. She smiled at how comfortable they looked together. The tip she got on her cell phone was definitely worth it. Lacey turned from the couple to look back at the messages. She had no idea where they came from, appreciating them nevertheless.
The telephone buzzed in her hand. “Hello,” Lacey answered, slightly exasperated.
“Are you there? Did you find them? How do they look?” The questions came without pause.
Lacey turned back to the window, peering at the couple as they laughed. “Yes, I found them. I will call you later. Stop bugging me.” She ended the call without waiting for a response.
She pushed number 2 and waited for an answer. “Hey, babe. I just got here … No, the flight was great. I even slept for a couple of hours.” Lacey let the lies fall out of her mouth with ease. “Oh, sweetheart, I have to tell you something crazy that happened.”
“Uh, right now? Can I call you back?”
Lacey smiled into the phone as she looked at her target enjoying a glass of wine. “Yes, call me back in five minutes.”
“Yes, please. This is so funny and I haven’t seen you since last night. I miss you. I just have to do this one thing really quick, and then we can talk all night. Please, call me back in about five minutes.”
Hesitantly, he responded. “Okay, five minutes.”
She dropped the phone into her shoulder bag and waited as another couple walked pass her and into the restaurant. She followed them and slipped right by the host.
Lacey walked languidly to her destination. The young woman was now alone. Lacey sat down. “Oh my goodness, that is a beautiful dress. I swear I have one just like it. Where did you get yours?”
The woman smiled hesitantly and looked around before answering. “Um, by boyfriend gave it to me. What are you doing?”
Lacey smiled. “Oh don’t worry, this will only take a few minutes. I am Lacey, by the way. What’s your name?” She held out her hand cheerfully as she waited for the woman to respond.
“Sasha? Um, can I help you?”
“No. You can’t. But I am here to help you.” Just then, Lacey felt her cell phone buzz. She reached in her bag and answered. “Deron, baby, you are such a sweet heart for calling me back.”
Sasha’s eyes grew wide and suspicious as she scanned the restaurant before looking back at Lacey, who made a show of putting the call on speakerphone.
“Baby, speak up because the place I just walked into is too loud and I can hardly hear you.”
Deron cleared his throat. “I said what was it that you had to tell me?”
“I love you,” Lacey said as she stared at a shocked Sasha.
“I love you too,” Deron replied.
Sasha leaned in closer as Lacey asked, “Where are you baby? It is so quite.”
“I told you that I was going to be chillin’ at home tonight. Where are you?”
Lacey paused as if she was coming up with an answer. Finally she said, “Why don’t you just finish your dinner,” and hung up on him.
Sasha sat back in her seat as if the whole episode was too much for her. Tears formed in her eyes just as Deron appeared.
He looked from Sasha’s crumbled body back to Lacey. “What are you doing here?”
Lacey reached over and carefully wrapped her fingers around the stem of his wine glass, taking a sip before she answered. “I could ask you the same.”
“I … I can explain. This isn’t what you think—”
Lacey stood up, as did Sasha, who was now crying in earnest. “Come on, you could be a little more creative. Don’t even worry about it. Three years and this is what I get. We’re through.” She pulled off her engagement ring and handed it to Sasha before making her way towards the exit.
Lacey felt Deron reach out to her but pulled her arm away from his touch. As she left she could hear footsteps closely following her. Not wanting to cause an even bigger scene, Lacey waited until she was out of the restaurant before turning to confront him.
Instead, she was faced with Sasha.
“Yea, I just wanted to thank you. All these months and …”
Lacey reached out to her. “I’m sorry. I mean sometimes we just never know—”
Sasha shrugged her off. “Listen, erase my number from your phone okay?”
It was Lacey’s turn to be puzzled. “I don’t have your number?”
Sasha rolled her eyes. “Seriously, who do you think sent you the tip and the pictures? I guess, I’m the officially girl now.”
Lacey looked on incredulously as she watached Sasha stroll, triumphantly back to the table where Deron sat with his head down. Before walking away, Lacey shook her head and laughed to herself; she still felt sorry for the both of them.