Derrick and Amelie were waiting to be seated at the Savoy Grill. It was the first time in a long time that they were eating out and they were looking forward to it. Last night, Derrick moved back into the master bedroom. He had been sleeping in the spare bedroom since February. And for the first time in a long time, they made love. It was explosive. It had taken a while for them to get to this point but they had gotten there, thanks to intense marriage counseling.
For eight months, they had been attending Christian couples’ therapy and although emotions had been raw in some of the sessions, they were encouraged when the therapist told them that “An affair doesn’t necessarily signal the end of a marriage but it could be the turning point to help you move from where you are to where you want to be. With time, you can move past the pain and dysfunction to healing and success.”
They were shown to their table. “This is very nice,” Amelie said, after they sat down. “Very swanky.”
“I wanted to bring you to one of the best restaurants in London.”
“It looks like the sort of place that would be perfect for weddings.”
“Yes, it is. A friend of mine had his wedding reception here.”
“Gordon Ramsey owns this restaurant, doesn’t he?”
“I used to enjoy watching his show, MasterChef. Before you and I met, I thought of being one of the competitors but I changed my mind. I didn’t want to be embarrassed on television.”
“I think you would have blown the competition out of the water because you are such an amazing cook.”
She smiled. “Thank you. I love to cook.”
“You’re better than Gladys.”
“Speaking of Gladys, how are things between her and Edward Hardwicke?”
“Still hot and heavy.”
Do you think there will be wedding bells?”
“I don’t know. Do you feel up to having dinner with them next week Saturday?”
“Sure. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“No reason.” The starters arrived.
“It really doesn’t matter to me that he’s Cate’s brother.” Saying her name wasn’t as difficult as it used to be. Cate didn’t bother her anymore. She was confident that whatever she used to mean to Derrick, that was all over now. Cate wasn’t a threat to her anymore.
“Good. It doesn’t matter to me either.”
“I hope things work out for Gladys and him. She deserves to be happy.”
Derrick raised his glass. “To Gladys’ happiness.”
They toasted and talked about other things as they enjoyed their dinner.
An hour and a half later, they were standing in the reception area of the restaurant when Cate walked in. She froze when she saw Derrick. It took a few moments for her to collect herself before she smiled and said, “Hello, Derrick.”
“It has been a while. How are you?” Seeing him was a bittersweet torment. Her heart ached for him but her mind reminded her that it was over between them. He looked so handsome.
“I’m well, thanks. How about you?”
“I’m fine,” she lied, smiling to hide the pain. “I’m having dinner with my father. He should be here shortly.” Her eyes shifted to Amelie who was watching her.
“Cate, this is my wife, Amelie,” Derrick said, putting his arm around Amelie’s shoulders.
“Hello, Cate,” Amelie said. Cate was even more stunning in person but the jealousy and insecurity she might have felt before weren’t present at all.
“Hello,” Cate replied. Amelie was beautiful. She felt plain in comparison.
They didn’t shake hands but exchanged perfunctory smiles. “Well, Cate, it was good to see you. Enjoy your dinner.”
“Goodbye,” he said and taking Amelie’s hand, they turned and walked away, leaving Cate standing there, staring after them, feeling bereft. It was painfully obvious to her that Derrick loved his wife and that the love he had once felt for her was gone.