She walks briskly along the parking lot, her chest heavy and thumping violently as she imagines what awaits her. In her head she’s rehearsing her speech. I cannot go back to you anymore. I need you to let me go.
How will this conversation end? Surely he won’t dare touch her or yell at her in public. Will he allow her to keep the minute sense of dignity that she has left? Will he let her go without hurting and humiliating her even more?
Her heel gets caught in a dent in the ground and she’s on all fours.
She gets up as abruptly as she can, brushing her knees and hands while frantically looking around to check if anybody saw her. Ten feet away a couple of men attempt to appear engrossed in their conversation, but she can swear there’s a half smirk on each of their faces.
This would be quite funny if I were a freaking sitcom character. Classic me.
She has not had a superstitious thought in at least a decade, but as she resumes walking she can’t help feeling a sense of foreboding. She commands herself not to over-think—she’s simply being the clutz that she has always been; her little parking lot episode is not an omen that something will go wrong today. Get a grip!
She pauses upon reaching the front of the building and takes a deep breath.
You know what you want. You can’t keep being afraid of him. This ends here.
Then, she pushes the door in.
Blinking fast, her eyes dart across the room. The instant she sees him, sitting at the far end of the restaurant, drops of sweat form on her upper lip, and her throat dries up.
Before she can take in his expression her eyes wander to the big red blob on the table in front of him. She approaches him slowly, with measured steps. The blob distracts her and she strains to compose herself; she struggles in vain to search her brain for the simple statements that she prepared to say. Then her eyes land on his; at the very same moment the blob takes clearer form, and she grabs the nearest chair to steady herself.
She expected him to be ready for battle. She expected to look into his all-too-familiar glaring eyes that had caused her unbearable pain. Seeing this expression – soft, sad, anguished, even – and the bouquet of red roses…
She lets out a soft gasp, and it takes her a moment to remember where she is and why she has come to this place.
He seems to be wearing a half-hopeful expression now as he watches her attempt to regain her composure and continue her stride toward him. This countenance has become strange to her; she cannot remember the last time she saw anything but resentment in his eyes.