Later that morning Holly woke up first and went into the kitchen to make the coffee. She looked at the clock on the wall and it was 8:15. She had her psychic reading later this morning and James had to be at work at 3:00. She felt better, although her head was still aching. She took two aspirin with her first cup of coffee and sat down at the dining-room table. She got back up and opened the curtains so she could look out onto the patio.
She thought about last night and Charlie. The song “Me and Mrs. Jones” was running through her head like a freight train. She was having mental pictures of the two of them in the coffee shop and thinking of how they held hands walking to the Metro. I guess I sort of cheated on James last night, holding hands with another man, even though it wasn’t for very long. One part of her brain was thinking . . . Don’t be so hard on yourself. James has taken you for granted for a long time. He repeatedly hurt your feelings by choosing to spend time with his guy friends over you, and you never do fun things together anymore . . . no wonder you are attracted to someone else . . . Charlie is HOT! The other part of her brain countered with . . . Stop making excuses . . . you have years invested in James and you know you still love him . . . Work it out, don’t ruin it by having an affair. Her troubling thoughts were interrupted by James coming into the kitchen.
“Good morning,” he said as he poured his coffee into a bright yellow mug.
“Good morning,” she replied, feeling the unspoken coldness between them.
“So, what are your plans today?” he asked.
“I have an appointment at 11:30 downtown to see a psychic,” she replied.
James laughed out loud, and it broke the tension. She started to laugh too.
“Why the hell do you want to see a psychic?” he asked, still laughing.
“I overheard some ladies on the Metro talking about past lives and I thought it would be a fun thing to explore,” she replied.
“Past lives? I know you believe in that stuff . . . I don’t. I believe you get one chance at life, and then you turn into worm food,” he said with smug satisfaction. “Let me know what she says.”
“I will. It should be interesting,” Holly replied. She was used to James not taking any of this seriously. He sincerely believed you turn into worm food and that is the end of the road.
“I’m sorry I jumped on your case last night,” he said.
“That’s okay. I understand. It wasn’t smart, forgetting to lock the door,” she replied.
“How did you get home? You must have driven drunk,” he said, looking serious now.
“I told you last night that I got home fine. By the time I got to my car I wasn’t drunk anymore, just buzzed. I drove fine,” she replied, slightly agitated.
“How about I make a sausage, ham, and cheese omelet for us?” he asked, hoping an offer of food would calm the residual irritation between them.
“Sure. I’m extremely hungry right now,” she replied.
James cooked a delicious omelet for them. She loved that he could cook. There were advantages to living with a chef. James liked to invent new meals for the restaurant, and he often asked Holly to try them first, although it seemed like it had been months since he created a new entree. Holly scarfed down the omelet like a starving prisoner. James watched in amazement. He wasn’t used to seeing her eat like that.
“You just inhaled an omelet stuffed with meat, and it wasn’t a small one either. I’m still working on mine,” he said with a look of surprise on his face.
“The last thing I ate was a piece of chocolate cake last night and some potato skins several hours before that. No real dinner,” she replied.
“I’m surprised you aren’t sick this morning. Please be more careful in the future and never forget to lock the door behind you, especially late at night,” James said to her, trying his best to not sound scolding.
“Yes, Daddy,” she replied with a laugh and glanced up at the kitchen clock. “I need to get ready for my appointment.”
She took a shower and later as she was putting on her make-up, James took one. By the time he was finished showering, she was ready to go. He was blow drying his hair in the bathroom when she went to kiss him good-bye.
“I’ll see you when I get back,” Holly said and kissed him.
“What do you want to do tomorrow?” James asked her.
“Oh, I don’t know. Let me think about it,” she replied.
“Whatever you want is fine with me.”
“See you later,” she said.