The Imperfect Lunch Date

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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“…but you should’ve informed the clients that you wouldn’t make it to the meeting,” were the last words he heard from his dad before storming out of the office, angry and frustrated at his dad’s petty-mindedness. He walked straight up to the water cooler in the reception area and filled a polystyrene cup with cold water. While gulping down the water in one sip, he reached for his cell phone in his left pocket and texted his wife, asking her about her plans for lunch. She came online as soon as he sent her the message, but the word typing took forever to appear on his screen, and that aggravated his spiraling frustration which his dad had prodded a few moments ago in the office. Why do people come online if they have no intention to reply to the message? But before he could continue overthinking this triviality, his phone buzzed, notifying him of a text from his wife.

Need to finish the reports before 5, so no time for lunch, read the message.

A quick bite at Malley’s? he texted back anticipatively.

I can’t, babes. I need to get this done.  

You can work while having lunch. I’m craving you more than the lunch itself.

Cheesy much…okay see you in 15 minutes, she replied while smiling at her phone, at his cuteness, and looking forward to taking a break from work.

He replied with a kissing emoji and walked away towards the bathroom to freshen up for the lunch date with his wife, his anger and frustration diffused.

Malley’s was a five-minute drive away from his office, so he reached there before her and reserved a table for two in the corner of the restaurant. He knew her preferences all too well, and he knew that she loved corner seating, away from the gazes of fellow patrons. He pulled out his phone and texted her, informing her that he was waiting at their usual spot. As he placed his phone back into his pocket, the realization hit that he was seated opposite the vacant chair, soon to be occupied by his wife. So, he got up and moved his chair, adjoining it to the vacant one. This way, he’d be much closer to her, relishing his wife’s presence at close proximity and savouring her scent and breath, synchronously.

She planted a quick, habitual kiss on his right cheek before taking a seat on her chair. “It’ll have to be a quick lunch,” she declared assertively whilst adjusting herself in the chair and looking at the menu, simultaneously.

“Yes, boss,” he teased. “That’s why I already placed our orders.”

“What have you ordered?”

“Halloumi and avo wrap with chips, and salad for you.”

“Ooh, nice!”

Their waitress brought the food after a couple of minutes, and the couple dug into their wraps instantaneously. He watched her work on her laptop while struggling with the fork in the salad bowl. She multitasks so perfectly, he thought to himself, in both admiration and envy. He could never multitask. He prefers to work slowly and deliberately, focusing on one task at a time.

Sauce from the wrap had messed on the laptop, and a negligible amount of mayonnaise had smudged on the left side of her top lip which drew his attention towards her face. She was sweaty and both her cheeks had a tinge of red due to the heat. She wasn’t exactly the most beautiful woman in the room, proverbially speaking, but his love and adoration for his wife could not be weighed adequately had he gotten married to another woman. She was perfect in her imperfections. She perfected him, despite her own flaws. And he was in love with her more than he ever could be.

He finished his wrap and chips and laid back on his chair whilst sipping his iced tea. His eyes fell on her boobs and he felt slightly aroused. Maybe they would make love tonight, he thought to himself as he continued staring at her boobs. But before he could linger on this carnal thought, she exclaimed suddenly, “I actually managed to finish these stupid reports!”

“That’s what happens when you have lunch with your husband,” he joked.

“Ha-ha,” she responded sarcastically. “Anyway, gotta go now and submit these reports. Thanks for the lunch, babes. It was lovely.”

She packed her stuff hurriedly and kissed him on his lips. He wanted the kiss to last longer, but given his wife’s haste, he was thankful that she at least remembered to kiss him, although perfunctorily. The couple exchanged smiles, and she walked away towards the exit while he pulled out the newspaper from his bag to continue his day’s reading. He tried focusing on the article that he opened up the newspaper to, but he was far too distracted by his wife’s now-gone presence. So he put the newspaper back in his bag and chose to sit in silence, daydreaming about her: The woman he had been married to for six years, yet it seemed to him as if he had just met her yesterday.

As soon as she sat in her car, she pulled out her phone from her pocket and Googled “good divorce lawyers near me”. As the screen filled with details about divorce lawyers, she exhaled deeply and thought to herself, It has been six long years of their marriage and she just cannot continue the relationship any longer. 

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Featured Image via Alekon Pictures