It was around six-fifteen when Amelie and Derrick walked down the flight of stairs from their flat to drive over to the Italian restaurant in Piccadilly square. They were meeting his sister, Gladys for dinner. Her treat.
They got there ten minutes before seven and as they waited, Amelie looked at her husband, her expression sad. They had been happily married for ten years or so, she thought. It was the worst moment in her life when she realized that he was cheating on her.
It was quite by accident that she had discovered the slip of paper with another woman’s name and number. She had copied the information down and put the paper back into his jacket pocket. Heart racing, she called the number, making sure to block her own and when she heard the bright voice, her hand trembled. She managed to mumble, “Sorry, wrong number,” before hanging up.
She sank to the floor and burst into tears. That evening, she confronted Derrick but he acted like he had no idea what she was talking about. That hurt but she let it drop. then, she discovered that he had made a call at 1:30 one morning. Jealousy and pain ripped through her. Distraught, Amelie called her sister-in-law, Gladys and told her about Derrick’s affair.
Now as they waited for Gladys, she wondered if Derrick was thinking about Cate and wishing that he was with her instead of being here with her. She blinked back the tears. How deeply and desperately she loved him. How she wished that Cate hadn’t come into their lives, ruining her marriage. How she wished she could give him an ultimatum but she was afraid that if she did, she would lose him. Divorce was out of the question because she was of the Catholic faith. And even if she wasn’t, she didn’t think she could bring herself to end their marriage even she had good reason to.
Derrick glanced at her and caught her watching him. He smiled though he was wondering why she always seemed to be watching him. It was since she confronted him about the piece of paper with Cate’s name and number. It was as if she suspected something but wasn’t sure. He thought he had brushed that off but now, he wasn’t sure. He had to be very careful moving forward. No more mistakes or slip-ups. He locked his phone whenever he wasn’t using it. The last thing he wanted was for Amelie to see the racy photos Cate had recently sent him.
Gladys arrived a few minutes later and after she greeted them with hugs and kisses, they were escorted to their table which was beside the window. “It’s great to see you two,” she remarked. “It has been a while since we’ve spent any time together.”
Amelie smiled. “It’s really good to see you too. Thanks for treating us to dinner,” she said.
“It’s my pleasure. Very nice restaurant, isn’t it? I came here once with a colleague and I always promised myself that I would come again.”
Derrick nodded. “Yes, it’s nice.” It was the same restaurant he had planned to bring Cate to one evening. Perhaps it was just as well that he hadn’t.
After they ordered their drinks and meal, Gladys asked, “So, how are you two doing?”
Amelie and Derrick exchanged glances. “We’re fine,” Amelie said. “What about you?”
Gladys acted like she didn’t notice the glance they had exchanged. “I’m fine, thanks. I got a new job and…” She talked about her new job and about other things. Soon, they all seemed to relax and dinner was going well. Then, while they were having their desserts, she noticed that her brother seemed a bit distracted.
“Excuse me,” he said, after a few minutes and got up from the table. He quickly walked away.
Gladys watched him go, her mouth tightening. The nerve, she fumed. He was sneaking off to call that woman. “I’ll be right back,” she said to Amelie after ten minutes had passed and he hadn’t returned.
Amelie nodded, her face pale. Her hand trembled slightly as she picked up her glass of wine. “Please let him not be calling her,” she murmured.
Gladys accosted him as soon as he came out of the men’s washroom. He looked startled to see her and guilty too. She grabbed his arm and marched him off to a more secluded place where they could talk. “You low down, good for nothing, poor excuse for a man,” she muttered. How she longed to slap him hard across the face. “Your wife’s out there and you were in the men’s washroom calling your mistress. Where’s your pride, your sense of decency?”
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Don’t you play innocent with me, Derrick Moore. I know that you’re cheating on Amelie with Cate Hardwicke.”
He blinked. “How do you know that?”
“Amelie told me.”
“Yes! She found Cate’s name and cell number in your jacket pocket. She called the number. And she also found out that you made a phone call to Cate at 1:30 in the morning. How could you do it, Derrick? Amelie is a good woman and she loves you. How could you do this to her?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“I don’t want to hear that. What I want to hear is that you’re going to end your affair with this Cate woman. And I mean end it now.”
Derrick sighed. “All right. I will meet Cate and tell her that it’s over between us.”
“You better make sure you do that or else…”
“I’ll do it.”
“All right. Now, let’s get back to the table. Amelie is probably wondering what’s keeping us.”