“Candace,” David said, “I would like to introduce you to my wife, Jillian. Jillian this is Candace.”
Candace stopped talking at that point, as both Stacks and Gloria took loud intakes of breath.
“That sorry no good bas-,” Stacks was cut off by Gloria.
“Oh Candace honey, I am so sorry. I feel so bad for you. What did you do once he told you,” Gloria asked as she wiped a tear off her check.
Candace looked at her new friend’s faces and felt a warm glow fill her heart. Here were two people who until a few hours ago she had never met. Yet they sat here, Gloria looking sad and Stacks looking as if he could bite the head off of a rattlesnake, what an amazing evening this was turning out to be.
“In the telling of their story, it seems that they had met and married in less than a month. Jillian seemed truly nice and I had to think that somehow David had neglected to tell Jillian about our relationship. Since I was becoming angrier by the moment, I decided I should leave and leave quickly. I congratulated them on their marriage and even managed to say I was happy for them.
Then I stood up and told them I needed to be going and started to leave.”
“That’s when David did the wrong thing. He grabbed my arm and called me childish.”
“You have to be kidding,” Gloria said, with a wide-eyed exclamation of horror.”No one can be that stupid, it just blows the mind!”
“At this moment, I wish he would walk in to my bar. The way I feel, right now, he would soon be in the hospital. What a jerk,” Stacks hissed between clenched teeth.
“I felt the same way, so I ordered him to let go of my arm and sit back down. I told them both that I hoped they would be happy, however, I did feel sorry for her and what she had truly gotten into, when she had married David. David then made a remark, that I was a sore loose. Naturally, after Monday’s disaster I was not in the mood to deal with him, nor was I going to tolerate another minute of David’s snide remarks.”
“I picked up his plate of Lasagna and politely smashed it into his face. The plate of dipping oil, for the bread, was right there near my hand and before I even thought about what I was doing, I picked it up and poured it over his head.”
“When he said I should not have done that, and called me a few choice names, I followed up by dumping my Chicken Milano on his Armani suit and stood there smashing it into the fabric, as I told him exactly what I thought of him.”
“Jillian stood there spitting and sputtering, until I informed her that David had failed to break up with me, before or after their marriage.”
“I turned to leave and from my peripheral vision, I saw Jillian shove her plate of food into David’s face also.”
Once again, Candace had to stop talking as Gloria and Stacks burst out laughing. Stacks had a robust laughter, which was so infectious, that the people closest to their table turned to look and were laughing, even though they did not know what the laughing was about.”
When Stacks could speak without laughing, he asked apologized for interrupting her, again and asked Candace to continue with the story.
“After I had taken about five steps away I heard the waiter ask David if he was enjoying his dinner and did they need anything else.”
“I started laughing thinking that most waiters would be upset over something like this happening at one of their tables. This waiter was acting as if everything was normal and he was simply doing a follow-up with his customers. I was laughing so hard as I walked out the door, and that was when I realized, that I was better off knowing what kind of man he really was. It was nice to find out how little other people meant to him; and I was grateful to Jillian for having put an end to my ever having married David. I realized somewhere inside, I had always known that David was only cared for in himself and he had always been that way. ”
“I then took a taxi home and simply went to bed. The next morning I was standing looking out the living room window, and thinking about Tuesday night’s dinner disaster, when
the strangest thing happen, I started feeling a total sense of relief, and happiness flow through me.”
“I told myself that this was insane, but I knew I was right. David and I had never loved each other; we were just long time school friends.”
“Somehow, we had let our families and friends push us into believing that we were in love. We had just resigned ourselves to the fate of being a couple. We had overlooked the main ingredient in a relationship, which is true love.”
“The sad thing is that I was willing to let others live my life for me, and like a Lemming, I was just following the crowd. I realized that all we ever had between us was friendship, and most of the time, we were barely even friends.”
“Are you sure Candace,” Stacks asked her.
“Yes I am, absolutely positive we never really loved each other. I had been more worried about my car than about David. Looking back, I could see that we never were anything more than merely friends.”
“I was still angry that he had me come all the way to the restaurant, in a taxi no less and then tell me about his marriage, only after I am face to face with her. I could not believe even David would be that low. Although thinking about it now, I always knew he was a self-centered brat, even in elementary school. Somewhere along the way, I had started overlooking his faults.”
Candace had stopped talking to sip her coffee, when she noticed that Gloria and Stacks were both smiling.”Did I say something funny?”
“No honey, not funny, it’s just that with the crazy week you were having, it is nice to know that you were not devastated with the loss of David. It also means that you are free to pursue a happy life for yourself and maybe find someone who would truly care for you. Perhaps now you will be able to fall in lo-”
Stacks coughed and abruptly stood up. “I need to get back to work. Candace I would love to talk with you later. Will you be here at closing time?”
“If Gloria is going to be able to stay till then, I will also,” Candace said with a grin on her face.
Laughing Stacks said, “She will be here alright, you do not really think she would leave early now do you? I can tell by the look in her eyes, she is here for the duration of the evening.”
Turning to Gloria Stacks said, “You can stop those wheels from turning in that mischievous little mind of yours, Mom. I am way ahead of you and I do not need any of your pushing or cajoling.”
As Stacks walked off Candace raised one eyebrow, looked at Gloria and said, “Mom. Did Stacks just call you Mom?”
“Isn’t that what children usually call their mother,” Gloria replied, trying to choke back another round of laughter.
Candace was so surprised. Not once during the night had Gloria ever mention that little fact. Trying to recall exactly what she had said earlier, when they were discussing Stacks, she found that she could not remember to save her life. Giving up on recollection, she said.
“Gloria, am I correct in my assumption, that from the moment you started talking to me you have tried to get Stacks and me together?”
“You could say that, I guess. On the other hand, you could say that I just think you two would be a cute couple. Then of course, you could always say that you are just imagining things. Would any mother really try matching her son with a woman whom she thought was perfect for him?”
Candace looked incredulous. Then she said, “Yes, she would try match-making, especially if she were you.”
At that moment, both women burst out into laughter, laughter so full of fun and hilarity that Candace knew, in her heart, they would be friends for the rest of their lives.
In the background over the loud music, voices lifted in conversations, and the sounds of ice tinkling in glasses, they heard Sheila yell out,
“You better remember what you were laughing about, Gloria; I will be asking you tomorrow.”
Stacks turned, facing in their direction and lifting his voice over the din of people, called out, “Mom, do not be talking about or making plans for me, I can handle everything for myself.”
To be continued…