It was Monday morning and Lillian was still feeling tired from a very busy weekend. Before going to the office, she stopped at Tim Horton’s for a coffee. She grabbed one for Kabir as well. He was on a conference call so she quietly popped into his office, set the coffee down on his desk and left.
As usual, he looked really good in his suit. Easy girl. He’s your boss, remember? That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what a fine looking man he is.
She sat down at her desk, switched on her laptop and took a couple of sips of the hot coffee. It hit the right spot. She logged on to and began to check her emails. Just then her cell rang. She quickly answered it. It was Neil.
“So you make it into work okay.”
“Yes. I was dozing on the train, though and almost missed my stop. How about you?”
“I’m off this week.”
“Say, if you’re not doing anything later, maybe we can hook up and take in a movie or something.”
“Sorry, Neil but I’m not in the mood to go anywhere. It’s going to be an early night for me.”
“Some other time then.”
I doubt it. You’re a nice guy but I’m just not into you. “Gotta go, Neil. Have good day.”
“Thanks. You too, Lil.”
She ended the call just as Kabir stepped out of his office. He stood by her desk, coffee in hand, watching her. “Sorry, I’ll turn it off,” she said.
He waved her apology aside. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Thanks for the coffee.”
She smiled. “You’re welcome.”
“Did you have a good weekend?”
She nodded. “I did but it was a crazy busy one. I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. This coffee is a lifesaver. How about you?”
“Well, my weekend wasn’t as exciting as yours. My parents are visiting from Florida. They’re staying with my sister and her family.”
“Oh yes, you mentioned on Friday that they were coming. When did they arrive?”
“On Friday evening.”
“How long are they going to be here for?”
“Is this their first visit to Toronto?”
“No, they’ve been here before. Although they like Toronto, they prefer Miami where it’s always warm.”
“I know the winters here could be brutal sometimes.”
“Are you busy tomorrow evening?” he asked suddenly, startling her.
She shook her head. “No.” Did he want her to work late?
“I’m taking my parents out for dinner and was wondering if you would like to join us?”
It took a moment before she said, “Sure.”
He smiled. “Good. Well, I’d better get back to work. Thanks again for the coffee.”
After he walked away, she sat there, daydreaming. He had asked her to have dinner with him–well, with his parents and him but that was still something, wasn’t it?
Dinner turned out to be a very enjoyable affair. She liked his parents, especially his father who made her laugh so much that tears were coming out of her eyes. His mother was more serious and very direct. Several times Lillian caught her looking at her as if trying to size her up. It was clear that Kabir was the apple of her eye and like most mothers with their sons, she was protective. Any woman who wanted to be with him had to win her approval. Was it obvious to her that Lillian was in love with her son? It seemed like women picked up on these things easily.
“So, Kabir mentioned that you’ve been working with him for five years. Is he a good boss?”
Lillian nodded. “Yes, he is.”
“He isn’t working you too hard, is he?”
Lillian shook her head. “No. He’s a very fair boss. I enjoy working with him.”
“Good. And what about your family? Are they here in Toronto?”
“My parents live in Kingston, Jamaica while my brother lives in Vancouver with his family.”
“Are you close to your family?”
“Yes, we’re very close. We keep in touch every day and see each other in the summer and for Christmas.”
“Good. Family is very important. We’re a close family too.”
Just then Kabir’s Dad needed to go to the washroom and Kabir went with him. Alone with his mother, Lillian felt a bit nervous, wondering what else she was going to ask her. “Kabir mentioned that you’ve been to Toronto once before.”
“Yes. We visited six years ago. It’s a very nice city but the winters are too cold. That’s why everyone comes to Miami for Christmas. The cold is bad for the husband’s knees, you know.”
“It’s the same with my mother. That’s why she doesn’t want to live here.”
“Kabir has told us so much about you.”
Lillian looked at her in surprise. “He has?”
“Yes. Every time we talk to him, he mentions you. He wanted us to meet you the next time we came to Toronto. Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Good, because Kabir doesn’t have a girlfriend. He probably won’t appreciate me telling you this but he likes you. What about you, do you like him?”
“Yes, I like him too.”
“Then, I think it’s time that the two of you started dating.”
Before Lillian could answer, the men were back. Kabir looked at his mother first and then at her. And the way he looked at her made her pulse quicken. For the remainder of the evening they stole glances at each other and after he dropped his parents off, he asked her as they were driving to her place, “Did my mother say something to you?”
“Well, she said that you like me.”
“She’s right, Lillian. I do. I like you very much.”
“And I–I like you very much too.”
He looked at her as they waited at a traffic light. “So, you wouldn’t have a problem going out with me, then?”
She shook her head. “No.”
He smiled. “Good.”
For their first date, they did something unconventional but fun–they played board games at board games at Snakes and Lattes. For the second date they enjoyed a twilight picnic at Casa Loma. The next time Lillian saw Kabir’s parents it was in December when they flew to Miami for the Christmas holidays. They were engaged.