Without peeling my eyes off of my phone screen, I hand the cab driver a wad of bills – hoping it’s enough, praying it’s not too much – and jump out of the cab.
I stand there for a moment and let it sink in.
He has a new girlfriend. Ugh.
I give myself a bit of a pep talk, “It’s fine, Rachel. You’ve moved on. You’ve had multiple boyfriends over the past year and a half. It’s fine. You’ll be fine.”
I shake it off, take a screenshot of the picture (of course) – and head into the restaurant to meet Mike. I rush in, not only because I’m incredibly late, but more so because I need a cocktail, and a strong one at that!
There is Mike. Cute, funny, successful Mike. He smiles as he sees me, and this melts my heart. He really is such a sweetheart.
I rush over, apologizing profusely as he tells me it’s fine and that he is just happy to see me.
Heart = melting.
As I pull away from our hello hug, I notice he had already ordered wine. “I hope you don’t mind,” he says. “I took the liberty of ordering a bottle of red. I know you like this one.”
Extra points for, M!
“I don’t mind at all!” I exclaim as the server comes over to pour me a glass, which I promptly pick up and take a big gulp from.
“You ok, Rachel? You seem…frazzled.”
Oh, besides the million thoughts running through my head? When did He start dating her? Why did He pick someone so much younger? Does He ever think about me? Does it drive him insane knowing I’m out dating?
“I’m alright, sorry,” I mumble, while looking over the menu. “Just work stuff. How are you? How was your day?”
As Mike is explaining the torture that is his work, I continue sipping my red wine. It looks as though I’m listening attentively, and I really am trying to – but my mind is still racing.
Thankfully the server comes back and we place our dinner orders. As we continue chatting through the evening, I find myself relaxing more and more.
By the end of the meal, we had gone through the bottle of delicious red.
We head out of the restaurant and slowly start walking. It’s a beautiful spring night; one of the first of the year.
Mike casually drapes his arm over my shoulder, and I feel myself sinking in closer to him. I don’t know if it was the wine, or the ground breaking news I received right before dinner, or it just is what it is – but I realize – I really like this guy.
He stops and points out how gorgeous the view is from where we are standing. The skyscrapers buildings glistening with the streetlights and the lights of the passing cars.
He takes my face in his hands, and kisses me. Passionately. His body pressed firmly against mine.
Heart = melting.
I fall into his embrace and the thoughts of The Ex are long gone.
“Shall we go to my place for a nightcap?”, I ask as he grins back at me.
We walk hand in hand for the next 2 blocks until we reach my apartment and The Ex is the last thing on my mind.