It was a Sunday afternoon and Kira had stopped by to see Melania on her way to the grocery store. Joel was downstairs waiting in the car for her. She had called first to make sure that her niece was going to be home.
As usual, Melania was happy to hear from her and when she opened the door, there was a big smile on her face. It quickly faded though when she saw her aunt’s face. She hugged her anyway and then stepped aside for her to go inside.
They went into the living-room and when they stood facing each other, she asked, “What’s up, Aunt Kira? You said you had something to give me.”
“Yes, here’s your cell phone,” Kira held it out to her.
Melania stared at it. “But, how–?” she exclaimed. “Matt said he couldn’t find it.”
“Matt didn’t find it. Gina did and she brought it over when she came to speak to me.”
“Where did she find it?”
“In Matt’s car on the floor just under the front seat on the passenger-side.”
“What was she doing looking for it when Matt said that he would look for it?”
“I don’t know, Mel. It doesn’t matter. She found it and brought it to me so that I could give it to you.”
Melania took the cell from her. “You didn’t drop by just to give me my cell, did you?”
“No. I wanted to talk to you. Mel, Gina told me that you called Matt on his cell last night.”
“Yes, to ask him about my cell.”
“Couldn’t you have waited to call him in the morning?”
“I guess I could have.”
“Gina was very upset when we spoke. She said that you were very rude to her.”
“I didn’t expect her to answer his cell and I wasn’t rude to her. She was rude to me.”
“She said that she’s tired of you running after Matt.”
“I’m not running after Matt.”
“She said that you admitted that you wanted him.”
“Well, what I said was that any woman in her right mind would want a man like Matt.”
“She wants you to stay away from him, Mel.”
“What about what Matt wants?”
“Mel, don’t concern yourself with what Matt wants. That’s between Gina and him. She is his wife and she wants you to stay out of their marriage.
“Their marriage is in trouble.”
“Yes, it is but there’s still a chance that they can save it. They need to be left alone in order to do that. Now, I want you to promise me that you will stay out of Matt’s life.”
“You mean I can’t call or see him anymore?”
“No. Not unless it’s at a family get-together. You’re not to call him or spend anytime alone with him. Do you understand me?”
“Yes! I understand.” She felt close to tears but she refused to cry in front of her aunt.
“You need to date guys your own age.”
Melania didn’t answer.
“I know this can’t be easy for you, Mel but it’s for the best. You’ll see that and in time you will get over your infatuation for Matt–“
“Stop saying that I’m infatuated with him, Aunt Kira,” she cried.
Kira stared at her in astonishment. “Aren’t you?”
“No! I’m not infatuated with him. I’m in love with him.” And that was when she burst into tears.
Kira’s heart broke. “Oh, Honey,” she said and put her arms around her.
What a mess this had all turned into. Matt’s and Gina’s marriage was in trouble and to complicate matters Mel had fallen in love with him. She thought back to when they were at Eaton Center and when they were in the food court, eating and having a merry time. She could sense the chemistry between Matt and Mel but she had dismissed it as simple camaraderie between them, nothing more but it was obvious now that there was something infinitely more to their friendship and Gina sensed it too.
Oh, Gina, why did it have to take Mel’s interest in Matt to make you realize that it is him you really love and not Joel? I hope for your sake that it’s not too late to save your marriage.
She released Melania and gave her a tissue to dry her eyes. “Are you going to be all right?” she asked. “Would you like me to stay with you?”
Melania shook her head. “No, I’ll be all right.”
“Okay. Call me if you need to talk.”
She nodded and followed her aunt into the foyer. “Thanks for stopping by,” she said. “Please say hello to Uncle Joel for me.”
“I will.” They hugged. “I’ll call you later.”
“‘Bye, Aunt Kira.” She waved and then closed the door. After locking it, she leaned against it and closed her eyes as fresh tears fell.