Tanner Bumps into Melania

Tanner was at Yorkdale Shopping Mall when he spotted Melania and Matt together. They had just come down the escalator from the food court. They were talking and laughing. They didn’t see him. He watched them as they stood there. They seem pretty friendly, he thought to himself.

Was there something going on between them? Was Melania the reason for the divorce? He saw them hug and then, Matt left. Melania stood there for a few moments texting on her cell. Then, she started to walk away.

Tanner got up and followed her. They walked for a bit until she stopped and sat down in front of Saint Laurent. She set her jacket down beside her and made a call on her cell. It lasted for about ten minutes and then, she slipped it into her bag. He hurried over to her in case, she decided to leave.

She glanced up and seemed surprised to see him. “Hello, Lana,” he said with a smile. He was the only one who called her Lana.

“Hello, Tanner.”

He sat down next to her. “It has been a while since we last saw each other. You look great.”

“Thanks. So do you. Are you visiting from New York?”

“No, I live in Toronto. I moved here from New York four years ago. I stayed with my cousin, Graham until I was able to find my own place.”

“How do you like living in Toronto?”

“I like it a lot.”

“So, what are you doing here at Yorkdale?”

“I had lunch with a friend at The Cheesecake Factory. Speaking of lunch, I saw you and Matt coming down the escalator from the food court.”

“Yes. We had lunch.”

“I heard about his divorce.”

“How did you find out about it?”

“Natalie told me.”

“Natalie?”

“Gina’s cousin. She recently got married and I was at the wedding.”

“How was it?”

“Very nice. Gina and her parents were there but Matt wasn’t.”

“I guess he wasn’t invited.”

“I’m not surprised. It would have been awkward.”

“Yes, it would have been.”

“So, how are you, Lana?”

“I’m great. What about you?”

“I’m good. Came back from Rome a couple of weeks ago.”

“How did you like it?”

“It was great.”

“I’ve always wanted to visit there. My Aunt Kira and Uncle Joel went there for Christmas a couple of years ago.”

“How are they doing?”

“They’re expecting their first child.”

“Good for them. Tell me, Lana, are you and Matt in a relationship? Is that the reason for the divorce?”

“No. Problems in the marriage are the reason for the divorce.” She left it at that. There was no need for him to know more than that.

“You and he looked pretty chummy when I saw you together a while ago. Are you sure there’s nothing between you?”

“I’ll admit that we have feelings for each other but we haven’t acted on them. We wanted to wait until he was divorced.”

“Does Gina know that you have feelings for each other?”

“Yes. She has accused Matt of cheating on her with me but her accusations are false, of course. Matt would never commit adultery and I would never have relations with a married man, even if he’s separated.”

“Well, I can’t say that I’m sorry about the divorce. Gina will be a free woman.”

Melania stared at him. “You’re thinking of putting the moves on her?”

“Why not? She is a beautiful woman.”

“I thought you had better taste than that.”

“You don’t like her, do you?”

“We don’t like each other.”

“Because of Matt?”

“Yes. She thinks I’m a hussy out to steal her husband.”

“What do you see in Matt?”

“He’s a wonderful man.”

“Did you think I was a wonderful man too?”

“Of course, I did. You were exciting to be with.”

“Until you and I met, you’d never been with a man. You were interested in adolescent boys.”

“I didn’t think that an older and experienced man like you would be interested in a high-school junior.”

“I never intended on dating a girl half my age but I wanted you.”

“For two years you and I were sneaking around. No one had any idea that we were involved. My parents would have had a fit if they’d found out. You were my guilty pleasure.”

“And you were my grand passion.”

“Was I really?”

“Yes, you were.”

“You were my first lover and my first love.”

“Have you had other lovers since me?”

“No.”

“Why did it have to end between us, Lana?”

“Do you remember the pregnancy scare?”

“Yes, I remember. I would have married you, you know.”

“Yes, I know but I didn’t want you to marry me because of an unplanned pregnancy.”

“So, you broke up with me instead.”

“I thought it was the best thing to do.”

“I was crazy about you, Lana.”

“And I was crazy about you but after it turned out that I wasn’t pregnant, I saw it as a sign that I should put my education first.”

“And now, you’re in your twenties, educated, living on your own and about become Matt’s love interest. Lucky him.”

“And you’re thinking of becoming Gina’s new man. Good luck.”

“I guess I’ll need it. And, Lana, I wish you all the best with Matt. He’s a great guy.”

“Yes, he is and so are you, Tanner.”

“If things don’t work out with you and him and with Gina and me, maybe you and I can pick up where we left off.” He covered her hand which was lying on the seat between them with his.

Melania glanced down at their hands. “I’m going to make sure that things work out between Matt and me.”

Tanner removed his hand and a guarded expression came over his face. “I guess I will do the same with Gina.”

“I still can’t believe that you want to be in a relationship with her. I’m sure there are lots of other women out there who would jump at the chance to go out with you.”

Tanner shrugged. “Gina’s not as bad as everyone thinks she is.”

“Aunt Kira and Uncle Joel are the only ones who have anything good to say about her.”

“That could change.”

“Are you going to make her into a new woman?”

Tanner smiled. “Something like that.”

“Good luck. You’re going to need it.”

“Right now, she doesn’t like me but that can change.”

“I think it can too because no woman could resist you–not for long, anyway.”

“And no man could resist you.” He glanced at his watch. “I’m afraid, I have to go now. Do you need a ride? I’d more than happy to take you where you need to go.”

She shook her head. “No, thanks. I’m meeting my friend, Monika. She should be here in about fifteen minutes. We’re going to the movies.”

“What are you going to see?”

Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez.”

“Oh. Well, I hope you enjoy the movie.”

“Me too.”

“Lana, could we keep in touch? I’d really like that.”

“Sure.”

They exchanged phone numbers and then, Tanner left.

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