Laird Lunches With Emma

Laird was leaving the coffee shop when he spotted Emma, his colleague Bradley’s wife. Tucking the newspaper under the arm carrying the coffee, he used his free hand to open the door. She was just passing by when he called out to her.

She turned and her face broke into a big smile. “Hello, Laird.”

“Hello.”

After they hugged, she asked, “How have you been?”

“Busy.”

“You and Brad are always busy.”

“It goes with the job, I’m afraid.”

“Yes, it does. I can’t wait for Bradley to retire.”

“That wouldn’t be for quite a long time.”

“Unfortunately, you’re right. Are you in hurry to get somewhere now?”

“Surprisingly, no.”

“Why don’t we go back in there and have a nice, long chat?”

“Sure.” They went back inside the cafe.

“I think I’ll have something to eat. What about you?”

“Sure. Let’s take a look at the menu and see what’s there.”

“I think I’ll have the Crispy and crunchy chicken burger with French fries and a shake.”

“I’ll have the veggie burger with the sweet potato fries.”

Emma glanced at him. “I didn’t know you were a vegetarian.”

“I’m not. I just prefer veggie burgers.”

They ordered their meals and found a table in the corner. The place was not that crowded. It had a nice, warm and friendly ambience.

“You’re looking very well,” Emma told him. “And I suspect it has to do with a woman.”

He smiled. “Yes–Martina.”

“I suspected as much. She’s mad about you, you know.”

“And I’m mad about her.”

“Good. So, what’s the situation now with you and her?”

“If you must know, I’m going to ask her to marry me.”

“That’s fantastic!” Emma was almost beside herself with delight. “I wish I could be there to see her face.”

“I’m sure that you’ll call her if she doesn’t call you and you’ll ask her to give you every detail such as what I said, how I said it, how I looked, how she felt and so forth.”

Emma laughed. “Oh, don’t be ridiculous.”

“Isn’t that the sort of thing you women do?”

“Maybe. Shall I tell Brad or shall you?”

“I’ll leave that to you.”

“I’m so very pleased, Laird. Martina is a wonderful woman and I’m not saying that because she’s my friend.”

“I know. She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

“Yes, she is and that’s why I was upset with you for keeping your relationship a secret as if you were ashamed or embarrassed.”

“I didn’t keep our relationship under the quiet because I was ashamed or embarrassed. I’m Catholic and most of my constituents are Catholics and they don’t approve of sex outside of marriage. I must answer to them because they voted for me. Life as an MP can be diligent and disastrous.”

“As a wife of an MP, I know that to be true but, I once told Martina that I don’t think anyone should throw away their chance for love and happiness because of their career.”

“I agree. My career is very important to me but Martina means the world to me. It had to take the fear of losing her for me to come to my senses and ask her to marry me.”

“Losing her?”

“Yes. Didn’t she tell you that she came into the restaurant where my colleagues and I were having lunch to have a drink with another man?”

“Yes, she did and I told her that maybe it was what you needed to knock some sense into you and maybe it would get you to do the sensible thing and ask her to marry you. And it seemed to have worked although, she didn’t do it intentionally.”

“Yes, it worked. I was out of my mind with jealousy, so damned hurt and angry that I stayed away from her for a while to punish her. I took Greta out for dinner and then to the theater.”

“You did what?” Emma exclaimed. “Are you out of your mind? You know that Greta’s besotted with you. Poor woman and you used her to spite Martina. How could you, Laird?”

“I know,” he said, his face flushing red. “I felt like a complete heel doing it but I was livid. I wanted to punish Martina for being with another man and flaunting it in my face.”

“Does she know that you and Greta went out on a date?”

“Yes, I told her and she was mad as hell.”

“I’m sure she was.”

“Anyway, we kissed and made up. And now, I’m going to ask her to marry me.”

“Have you bought the ring as yet?”

“Yes.”

“Is it beautiful?”

“It’s exquisitely so.”

“I wish I could see it.”

“You will see it soon enough.”

She smiled. “I can’t wait. Are you nervous?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I suppose it’s natural that you’d be.”

“Yes, I suppose so.”

“Have you thought of where you’d like to spend your honeymoon?” she asked.

“I have a couple of ideas but I want us to decide together where we want to go.”

“Good. I hope you pick one of those places where they have golden and glistening beaches. Brad and I honeymooned on a lovely island where the sand looked golden as it glistened and glowed in the sun.”

“I think Martina would like that.”

“I’m sure she will.” Taking up her milkshake she raised it. “To love and happiness.”

He raised his coffee cup. “To love and happiness.”

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