THE MEET UP
Drenched from the rain, Lisa had arranged an important meet up which she couldn't cancel just because of the atrocious weather! Memories of the past are stirred up as she waits for them to arrive...
Dodging puddles from the torrential rain, Lisa entered the small coffee shop, her cool face flushed from the sudden warmth of the intense heat inside.
The homey aromas of coffee and pastries radiated the warm presence of comfort and calm, but those feelings went unnoticed, as her mounting nerves instantly swept them away.
Scouring the half empty room for a suitable table; the corner near the window, was perfect, quiet enough for privacy, but not completely hidden from view.
Drenched from the rain, it was pouring down and blowing a gale outside; certainly not the best of days to go out, Lisa pondered, as she smoothed down her now damp and rather wild shoulder length blonde, slightly greying hair.
Lisa had arranged an important meet up with someone from her past, she couldn’t possibly cancel and rearrange just because of the atrocious weather!
Taking off her damp raincoat, she draped it over the back of her chair and propped her sodden umbrella against the window sill. Checking her watch; she was very early, so had plenty of time to calm down - if her nerves allowed her to!
Picking up the menu, Lisa checked out the beverages, exhausted due to lack of sleep from the night before, she was in need of a ‘wake up fix’, so caffeine was what she so badly needed; although, Lisa pondered, perhaps something a bit more stronger like a stiff drink to calm her nerves would have been more appropriate!
A young waitress briskly strode over. “Good morning!” she spoke brightly “are you ready to order?”
“Good morning!” she spoke brightly “are you ready to order?”
“Yes, can I have a black coffee please? Also, I’m expecting a friend later so can you come back again in a little while?”
“Yes sure! One black coffee coming up!”
Lisa had never imagined this day would come, as she reflected on the unexpected moment he had got in touch - he had been looking for her, after all these years, finally found her and wanted to meet up!
Looking out of the window at the rain dripping down the glass, memories of the past immediately flooded back as her mind went back to nearly forty years ago, when she experienced first love - Martin, his name was...
Martin was Australian and his family had emigrated to England, all the girls fancied him, as she recalled how cute he was back then; his jet black curly hair, tanned skin and dark eyes had stirred up the girls in her class, who blushed and giggled amongst themselves whenever he glanced their way, including, she had to admit, Lisa herself, for she too had ‘fallen’ for him – just like the other girls, fourteen year old Lisa was also ‘in love’!
The following year, they shared more classes together, became friends and eventually, he asked her out for a coffee; of course an ecstatic Lisa just couldn’t refuse!
Remembering vividly, that Saturday afternoon; their first date in a coffee shop, very similar to the one Lisa was sat in now, only Duran Duran weren’t being played in the background of this one today...
Three years later, just after celebrating her eighteenth birthday, Martin’s grandmother became terminally ill with cancer.
“We have to move back to Australia” he spoke sadly “she needs us to look after her, spend time with her….” His voice trailed off.
In the coffee shop, Lisa glanced down at the diamond cluster ring on her right hand; so many memories were conjured up just by looking at it.
The sparkling ring was so exquisite that she had kept it and always wore it on special occasions; like today...
Martin had bought it after selling a few things he couldn’t take to Australia. His deep dark eyes gazed into her blue ones as he held out her left hand and placed the delicate ring on her finger.
“I’ll get a job in a bar or lifeguarding on Bondi Beach!” he winked at her.
“You’d love that job!” Lisa laughed; she knew he only had eyes for her.
“I can save up, then I’ll be back, we can be together again, get married and have six kids! Three girls and three boys, just like gran, she was one of six!“
“Yeah right! You do the easy job, and I do all the hard work!” Lisa joked.
She remembered that conversation as if it was yesterday, just as the waitress arrived with her coffee. Lisa thanked her and took a quick sip, welcoming its sweetness and warmth; how she so needed that!
She gazed out of the steamed up window, as she recollected the teary goodbye at the airport when Martin and his family jetted off to another life on the other side of the world.
They wrote to each other often, however over time, the letters and phone calls slowly fizzled out.
In her young naivety, it had been hard to accept that their relationship was really over; absence certainly didn’t make the heart grow fonder, as the realisation that Martin was never going to return to England to be with her as he had promised, slowly dawned on her. He was living a new life, without her in it and she had to accept that.
“Time to move on and find someone else!” Jenny, her best friend retorted, “plenty more just like him around if you look for them. Seek and thou shalt find!” Jenny was always chirpy and positive; she was right though, Lisa thought, as she fondly remembered her outgoing friend, how she often missed Jenny, they had lost touch years ago.
However life isn’t always plain sailing and it certainly doesn’t always go to plan, as the fun weekends out with Jenny and her other girlfriends eventually ceased too...
Taking another sip from her cup, Lisa gazed out of the steamed up window, her attention suddenly focused at a car attempting to parallel park into a narrow gap between two cars along the opposite side of the road – the driver, a little old lady, was completely oblivious of the impatient lorry driver behind her.
After several failed attempts, she finally gave up and slowly maneuvered her car back out into the road and drove idly away; Lisa was surprised that such a frail looking elderly lady would want to be out in this ghastly weather! Maybe she too had to be somewhere or see someone important?
Resuming her memories, Lisa’s thoughts traced back to the memories of the big move to London...
“The company is expanding” her father had informed her. “we need bigger premises for the increase of our customers, meaning more chance for promotion too” her hardworking, ambitious father strived to work his way up in the business.
“If I get promoted there will be much better opportunities for your future Lisa...”
Lisa was still young, she needed to begin the next chapter in her life, their new home in the city was the first page in that chapter; as one door closes, another one opens with a brand new view, her life was only just beginning.
Lisa’s eyes scanned around the quiet coffee shop, faint voices from conversations could be heard amongst the clattering of cutlery and crockery, however her attention had been drawn to the constant sound of the door; her heart skipped and her gaze darted towards it whenever it opened.
What would he be like? What had become of him? Would they recognise each other? They certainly did have lots to talk about...
Transporting back to the past again, her father’s promotion opened up a whole new world;
“You’re an intelligent young lady, don’t waste those A levels you have...” recalling those words of encouragement from her mother.
University beckoned where she studied history and built up a new circle of friends, including James, a math’s student. They grew close, fell in love and after graduating, rented a flat together.
Lisa went on to do teacher training, eventually landing a job in a secondary school as a history teacher, before marrying James and having two wonderful children; Lucy was now twenty-four and Tom twenty-two, both were leading independent lives of their own now.
She was yet to be a grandmother, but they were in no hurry to have children of their own. Lucy was happy being single and Tom was travelling around the world with his mates.
James and Lisa had been truly happy, they loved each other, but again, life can suddenly change; how she missed him so much...
The look on the consultants face said it all; “I’m so sorry, it’s not good news … it’s inoperable … possibly weeks rather than months …”
Six weeks that’s all the time they had been given. Six weeks after the diagnosis James passed away; she was widowed at the tender age of forty-two and her children had lost their father; they had only been ten and twelve...
‘How would they react if today’s meet up worked out right?’ Lisa contemplated; if this was the beginning of something new in her life, she would eventually want to introduce them to him. Would they like him? Would he like Lucy and Tom?
She suddenly brushed those thoughts from her head – take one day at a time! She told herself - who knows what today, tomorrow or next week may bring. Even if today was a success, she didn’t intend to introduce him to her children yet, not for while...
The door of the restaurant suddenly opened again and in walked a tall, smartly dressed handsome man. Lisa’s heart somersaulted as she looked over towards the door. He was searching around the room, until he glanced down towards where she was sat, she knew it was him immediately.
Lisa looked down at the old photograph she held in her hand, the photo she had kept hidden in her bag. Of course he had grown up a lot since then...
There was no mistaking the curly jet black hair, it was definitely him, she thought, as her gaze watched him walk over to her table.
As he approached her, she looked up into his eyes; the same mesmerising eyes which she fell in love with all those years ago. “Lisa?” the slightly deeper but familiar sounding voice brought back memories from all those years ago.
Lisa smiled at the young well presented man looking intently at her. “Or can I call you mum?”
Tears welled up in her eyes as she smiled up at him, she glanced at the photograph in her hand, the photo of the baby boy she never forgot; her son who she chose to give up for adoption; thirty-five years ago – the son Martin never knew about...
She looked up at his smiling face, she knew instantly that this was a new beginning; she was finally going to get to know the little boy she had loved and lost; given away yet never forgotten.
They had years of catching up to do and today she hoped was the beginning of the next new chapter in her life, with the boy she never got the chance to get to know.
About the Creator
..Suddenly I crash back down to earth with a big almighty bump!
...when not in a dolly daydream, creative me is at home in the UK doing the normal everyday mundane jobs, that seem to go on forever...until the daydreaming kicks in again...
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