Falling in love was too risky. She wasn’t brave enough to go out there and find love as so many of her friends did. She didn’t want to get hurt. She had seen too many people close to her go through terrible break-ups, embittering them. Being single and relatively happy was better than being married and miserable. The single life worked for her and she wasn’t about to change anything. Then, one fateful day, he walked into her life and changed everything.
Sighing heavily, she thrust aside the magazine she had been trying to read and got up from the sofa. She walked over to the windows and stood looking out at the street below, though her mind was miles away. She was thinking of the first time she met him.
It was several weeks ago and she was on the rooftop of the office building, just getting a breath of fresh air when she heard footsteps behind her. She turned to see Megan coming toward her and she wasn’t alone. A tall and very attractive man was with her. He was dressed in a light pinstriped suit, white shirt and blue tie. When he got closer, she noticed that he had the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen—they were tawny colored almost like a lion’s. His thick brown hair moved slightly in the light summer breeze.
“One of your co-workers told me I would find you up here,” Megan said. “Rebecca, you finally get to meet Lex. Lex, this is my best friend, Rebecca.”
Rebecca smiled and held out her hand. “Lex, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you.”
He smiled and grasped her hand in a firm handshake, his eyes meeting hers. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too.” When he released her hand, Megan moved closer to him and slipped her arm through his.
“Lex and I were on our way to have lunch when I thought it would be a great idea to stop by your office first.”
Rebecca folded her arms and tried not to stare at him. She wished she had worn her light blue skirt suit instead of the black pants suit and had done something with her hair which was not having a good day. “Well, enjoy your lunch and thanks for stopping by.”
“I’ll call you later,” Megan promised. She looked great in her hot pink skirt suit, and white strappy sandals. And her chestnut hair fell in thick waves about her shoulders. As usual, Rebecca felt awkward around her.
Lex said goodbye to Rebecca before he turned and walked away with Megan clinging to his arm.
After they left, Rebecca turned back to face the view she had been admiring before but she didn’t see it. All she saw was Lex. For the rest of that afternoon, she thought about him and wondered when she would see him again. She chided herself for having such thoughts but she couldn’t help it. That night when she was lying in bed, he filled her mind and when she eventually drifted off to sleep she dreamt about him.
The ringing of the telephone jolted her back to the present and she walked over to see who was calling. Megan’s number showed up on the display. She was tempted to let the machine pick up because she felt so guilty but she decided to pick up. “Hello, Megan.”
“Rebecca, please tell me that you don’t have any plans for Saturday night.”
“Great! The four of us are going for dinner and dancing.”
“The four of us?”
“Yes. Lex, me, Paul and you.”
“He’s Lex’s friend. I think he’s from Haiti or Kenya. I can’t remember which. He’s a really nice fellow. I’m sure you’d like him. Wear something sexy or stunning to impress him. Lex and I will pick you up at seven-thirty and we’ll meet him at the restaurant.”
“Megan, I really don’t want—“
“Sure you do. It will be fun. See you on Saturday. ‘Bye.” She hung up before Rebecca could say anything else.
Signing, Rebecca placed the phone back in its cradle and went over to the sofa where she stretched out, her hand to her head which was throbbing now. Well, you wanted to see Lex again, a traitorous voice reminded her. You can dress sexy for him to get him to notice you.
Flustered, she sat up and turned on the television to tune out the unwelcomed thoughts. She made a mental note of all the dresses she had in her closet and decided that none of them would do. She had to get a new one which meant she had to get a new pair of shoes and she had to make an appointment to get her hair done. It needed relaxing.
Friday came and went quickly and then it was Saturday morning. She woke up early and did her housekeeping. She went for groceries and then for her hair appointment. She grabbed lunch at a bistro before heading to the stores to buy her new outfit.
As seven-thirty approached, the excitement and apprehension she was feeling increased. She was excited about seeing Lex again but she was not looking forward to meeting her date. At six-fifteen, she took one last look at herself in the full-length mirror in the hall. The black, sleeveless cocktail dress with the scoop neck flattered her figure. Her hair fell in thick waves about her face. And the peep toe shoes completed the outfit very nicely.
Satisfied with how she looked, she took up her clutch bag from the bed and left the room. She got a few looks as she stepped on and out of the lift. She said hello to the guard at the concierge watching her as she walked past and she could feel his eyes still on her as she went through the doors leading out to the courtyard.
At precisely seven-thirty, a sleek black Rolls Royce drove up and Lex got out. He walked to the passenger behind the driver’s seat and held it open for her. As she walked toward the car, her heart was pounding and her legs felt wobbly. She plastered a smile on her face, hoping that she looked like she had it all together. Her eyes travelled over his tall frame, thinking how gorgeous he looked in the charcoal grey suit, black dress shirt and black tie. He smiled at her now. “Good evening.”
“Good evening,” she replied. Before she climbed into the car, she caught a whiff of his cologne.
“You look great, Rebecca,” Megan said when she got into the car. “I’m sure Paul will be very impressed.”
“Thank you.” Rebecca hoped that her friend didn’t think she had dressed like this for Paul.
“We’re going to The Fresh Vine,” Megan told her. “I booked a table in the VIP section in the nightclub. So, while we are eating, we can enjoy the music and then dance afterwards. Lex doesn’t like to dance but I manage to get him up on his feet at least for a couple of dances.”
Lex was quiet on the drive over. Megan did most of the talking. Rebecca was relieved when they finally got to the restaurant. Rebecca watched as Megan came out of the car. She looked stunning in an off the shoulder, cherry shaded dress with a flare skirt and her hair was in an updo with a few tendrils framing her face.
As planned Paul was waiting at the entrance for them. He waved when he saw them. Rebecca looked him over as they approached him. He was medium height. He was dressed in a black suit and a grey tie. He shook Lex’s hand and hugged Megan who then introduced him to Rebecca.
His smile broadened when he saw Rebecca and he shook her hand rather enthusiastically. “It is a pleasure to meet you,” he said with an unmistakable Kenyan accent.
Rebecca smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you too,” she said while thinking that he was holding her hand a little long. He walked alongside her as they made their way into the restaurant and downstairs to the nightclub. It was a really nice place—warm, modern, friendly ambience. Paul sat down next to her while Lex and Megan sat across from them. Rebecca was thankful that she wasn’t sitting directly opposite Lex. She would feel nervous eating in front of him. A couple of times when she looked across at him, she found that he was already looking at her. Perhaps he was checking to see how she and his friend were getting along, she thought.
Dinner was very tasty. She thoroughly enjoyed it. She treated had the same dessert as Megan while the men opted passed on it. Then, Paul asked her for a dance and she stood up, feeling Lex’s eyes on her but she didn’t turn to look at him. She thought it best not to. It felt good stretching her legs after sitting for so long. Paul was a very good dance and they danced a few dances and then they returned to the table.
Megan and Lex were heading to the dance floor. “The two of you looked great out there on the dance floor,” Megan commented as she passed them.
Rebecca sat down, glad to be off her feet and watched them. She tried to pay attention to what Paul was saying. For someone who didn’t like dancing, Lex was excellent at it. His movements were fluid and she found herself wishing that it was her he was dancing with instead of Megan. What would it be like to feel his hand pressing into the small of her back holding her against his firm body as they moved to the music? She shook her head and quickly turned away. Paul asked her if she wanted another drink and she said yes. It would be good to be alone for a few minutes, she thought. It was hard trying to be attentive to one man when you wanted to be with another.
While he was gone, Lex returned alone to the table. “Megan went to freshen up,” he explained as he sat down. “Where’s Paul?”
“He went to get me another drink.”
“So, what do you think of him?”
“He seems like a really nice man,” she said. But, he’s not the man for me.
“Are you going to see him again?”
“I don’t know.” Now, why did she say that? She wasn’t planning on going out with Paul again.
Lex’s expression changed. “What if I told you that I don’t want you to go out with him?” he asked quietly and she looked at him in surprise.
She opened her mouth to ask him why when Paul returned to the table. Paul handed Rebecca her drink and sat down beside her. She sipped her drink while the two men talked and then Megan joined them. It was after midnight when they left the place. Paul took her home this time and when he offered to see her to her door, she politely turned him down. She thanked him for a pleasant evening and bade him goodnight.
The next morning Megan called her to find out what she thought of Paul. “He’s a nice man but I’m not attracted to him. “Sorry, Megan.” They spoke for a while then they rang off. Rebecca got busy fixing dinner and getting ready for work the next day. She tried to busy so that she wouldn’t think about Lex. It didn’t work. That night, she laid awake, thinking about him and wondering if he was with Megan at that very moment. Jealousy tore at her and she groaned, burying her face in the pillow.
On Monday around noon, she was standing at her usual spot looking out at the landscape and surrounding buildings when she heard footsteps behind her. Her heart lurched and then began to beat fast when she turned and saw Lex striding towards her. Her eyes eagerly drank in every detail of his appearance. Dressed in a navy blue striped suit, matching tie and light blue shirt, he looked very corporate and very attractive. She wondered if he had any idea of the effect he had on her. “What a pleasant surprise,” she said when he reached her. She was smiling but the smile faded when she saw his face. He looked very serious.
“I had to see you,” he said. “I spoke to Paul last night. He called me and told me that you made it clear that you weren’t interested in him. He said that you were very diplomatic about it and it was obvious to him that there was someone else in the picture although you didn’t come right out and say so. It was a strong feeling he had. Is he right? Is there someone else?”
Instead of answering his questions, she said, “I thought you would be pleased. That night at the restaurant you said you didn’t want me to go out with him, don’t you remember?”
“Yes, I remember,” he muttered tightly. “I also remember how beautiful you looked and how hard it was for me to keep my eyes off you. It drove me insane thinking that you were dressed like that for Paul.”
Her mouth dropped open. “What?”
“It was torture watching you with him,” he continued, his eyes darkening at the memories. “I wanted to be the one sitting next to you, dancing with you and buying you a drink. I wanted to be in his place.”
She stared at him, hardly believing what she was hearing. Was this another one of her crazy dreams? “I can’t believe this,” she said more to herself than to him.
“It’s all true. I have feelings for you, Rebecca, and I’ve had them since we first met. I never intended for that to happen because of my relationship with Megan. I don’t know how to be around her now without feeling guilty. Is there another man in your life?”
She shook her head. “No, there isn’t.”
“So, Paul was mistaken, then?” He looked hopeful.
You might as well fess up. She sighed. “No, he was right. I love a man I have no business loving.”
Her words devastated him. He stood there staring at her, his face pale now and his eyes dark with pain. When he finally spoke, his voice sounded strained. “Whoever he is, I envy him.”
She stepped closer to him. “It’s you, Lex,” she told him. “You’re the man.”
“Me?” He gazed at her, his expression incredulous. “You love me?”
She nodded, the feelings churning inside her were now written all over her face. “I love you, Lex.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.
Lex’s eyes darkened in desire, “I love you too,” he moaned. His hands left her shoulders and cupped her face. She closed her eyes, groaning when she felt his mouth moving hungrily on hers. She wrapped her arms around his waist, pressing into him, loving the feel of his strong body against hers. They stood there for a long time, kissing each other with total abandon as their feelings for each other poured out like water breaking free from a dam.
Then an image of Megan’s face swam into focus, a stinging reminder of her treachery and with a cry of self-recrimination, Rebecca pulled forcibly away from him. “We can’t do this,” she gasped, fighting for air. “As long as you and Megan are together, you and I can’t see each other.”
He nodded, his face flushed and his breathing labored. “You’re right,” he agreed. “I have to end my relationship with her.”
“Are you sure?”
He reached out and touched her cheek. “Yes,” he murmured. “I can’t continue seeing Megan when I feel this way about you. It wouldn’t fair to her. She deserves better.”
Rebecca felt tears prick her eyes as she concluded, “She’s going to hate me.”
“And me. You and I never meant for this to happen. It just did.”
“After you tell her could we wait for a while before we start seeing each other?” she asked.
He nodded. “Okay. Call me when you’re ready,” he said. He pulled her against him and kissed her hard and long on the mouth before he turned and walked away.
A month later, she called him and they began to see each other. Megan confronted her the day after Lex broke up with her. It was an ugly scene. Megan was extremely hurt and angry. She said hurtful things and then stormed out of Rebecca’s flat and out of her life. Their friendship was over. After Megan left, Rebecca broke down and cried bitterly.
Two years later Lex and Rebecca got married. As they stood in the cathedral exchanging their vows, Rebecca knew in her heart that she was marrying the love of her life. Her only regret was that it cost her a friendship.
Source: Fantasy Name Generators;