But as she sat there with her legs crossed on her luscious carpet, flipping channels aimlessly, she thought about her empty fridge and wondered what people did when they got home early. She picked up her phone from the table. A phone that only received official calls. A phone that had all but forgotten long ago how to flirt, how to loose charge in long meaningless conversations, how to stay up all night hoping to get that one call. It had all but forgotten, how to be fun. Suddenly, she just wanted to get out. Leave this empty house that she lived in.
So she scrolled down her phone book.Finally she got the number she was looking for. Her addiction for a long time. She hadn't dialled the number in a longer time.But she dialled it from memory.
"Hey, babe. How's it going? It's been a long time."
"I know. Work. You know how it gets. What you up to tonight?"
"Nothing. Just chilling in the digs. You?"
"Not much. You want some company?"
He smiled on his end. She could here it. "Sure. What do you have in mind?"
"Dinner. Anywhere with a view. Preferably not a bar"
His idea of a view was looking at scantily dressed women. Her idea of a view was looking at bright lights and passing foot traffic. A delicate balance but one they could work out. One they had always been able to work out.
He suggested the place. "Our place" She smiled. No matter how old they got, how rarely they spoke, it felt like that was just "our place".
"See you in an hour"
" No problem. I'll be scoping the scenery while I wait."
She hang up. It was just like old times.
She took a little longer in the shower, took a little more care in her dressing than usual, maybe stared at herself in the mirror for a second longer than she intended. She took a deep breath. It had definitely been a while since she had seen a man out of work. Even just a friend. But it was even longer since she had seen this man. She felt a little out of her element. She didn't even know why she cared.
He was by the balcony. A perfect corner for him to look in at the "scenery" and good enough for her to look out at her bright lights and foot traffic. The conversation was light. Almost like they had been together forever. The laughter was loud and uncontrolled, the food was great. No need to nibble at leaves, and be pretentious with unpronounceable foods. They ate heartily and drank freely. The silences were comfortable, the conversation flowing. Just like old times. This was definitely more comfortable than rush hour traffic..she thought and not for the first time.
"There's no food in the fridge." She said after a moment of staring too long into the street lights.
He was a bit taken aback. He approached the next words cautiously. Like a trainer in a lion's den. "What do you mean?."
She gave him a half smile, then looked back out, "I don't want to buy food for an empty house any more."
"You could always come and buy food for my house instead."
She chuckled. "We tried that once. I remember it not being this much fun."
"What if I get old and then regret being so comfortable alone?"
"You won't. You're beating men off with a stick."
"I lost my stick when I started working 4 million hours a week."
He smiled sympathetically at her. "You'll be fine."
"I know. I just sometimes wonder if I made the right choice."
They sank back into their comfortable silence.She went back to her lights and he went back to commenting on his "view". They bantered on for a couple more minutes and reminisced on old times, new times, future times. The chemistry had always been comfortable. For a few moments, she forgot why they never did work out.
At the end of it all, he covered the bill and walked her to her car. Maybe his lips slipped, maybe it was intentional. She didn't care. She needed to feel like her life hadn't been swallowed by other circumstances. Old habits. Comfortable habits. his hands began to do their walk, her body began to dance to his song.
Then suddenly she pulled back. Deep breath. Before his hands wandered too far. Before her mind wondered too much. She remembered why she couldn't go back. She was an addict and eventually she would have nothing in her life but him. Their chemistry was not comfortable. It was explosive. It was dangerous.
"That was another life and that life hurt."
He leaned back on the car next to her. "I know."
She hated that he understood her. That he always knew her. Maybe that was why she was addicted. She looked at him intently. He let her lips brush his one last time. He whispered "I'm sorry." Then she got into her car and decided she would buy food for her fridge.