She couldn't believe it. After all of these years and all of their time together, he went off and cheated on her with another woman.
"Why?" She asked herself. "What did I do wrong? Why wasn't I good enough? Didn't he know that I loved him?"
The tears ran down her face, even though it had been a week since it happened. She told herself that after a week she would be strong and that she would get out of bed and do her thing. Her grief, however, was overpowering, and she just had to let it all out.
What she didn't understand was why he put on a face. Why didn't he just be himself? Why did he tell her everything was okay when it clearly wasn't? Why did he lie for 3 years, only to go off and cheat with another woman? These questions raced through her mind as she hugged her knees and bundled herself into a ball.
She knew she had to eat, but she didn't feel hungry. Since she lived alone, though, if she didn't make the food herself she couldn't eat. She wished she lived in the city where she could order food delivery, but he wanted to live in the country, so they bought a house in the country.
She was thinking about this, and she looked out of her window. It really is beautiful outside, she thought; I love the poppies we planted in the backyard together. She thought about him once again and her lip began to tremble. She knew she had to get out of the house because everything there reminded her of their time together.
Once she was in her car she knew where she wanted to go: There was a restaurant in town called Dave's, and they never went together because he never liked eating there. If she went there she wouldn't think of him, and maybe she could clear her mind by having one of their tasty milkshakes.
She turned on one of her favorite songs on the radio, but everywhere she looked she saw a place they had been to. That hiking trail, that store, that movie theater… It was so hard to look away from it all. But she drove into the parking lot, turned the engine off, and walked inside.
"So, what'll it be?" The waiter flipped his pen right side up, ready to take her order.
"I think I'll have the Classic Combo with a chocolate milkshake… Actually, can I have two milkshakes?"
"Of course! I'll bring your order to you when it's done!"
She smiled at him as he walked away, and she looked out of the window. Across the street was another restaurant they used to go to. She sighed and looked down at the table - everywhere I go, she thought, the memories go too.
Then, she had a great idea - she closed her eyes so she couldn't see anything out of the windows. She put her hands in her lap and sighed a sigh of relief, holding back her tears since he was still on her mind. It helped, though, while she waited for her food.
But a feeling suddenly came upon her, a feeling she knew very well. Someone was watching her. However, it was usually a lot more… Creepy, she decided. This time it was more loving, almost as if someone was looking at her out of concern. She trusted them, even though she was sure she didn't know them.
She slowly opened her eyes and, yes, someone was indeed watching her. He was eating with his three friends, and he turned around to look at her. Their eyes met. She felt something about him she had never felt about anyone else before, a sense of security, almost as if he was who he was and who he was, was good. Did that even make sense, she thought to herself? I think so.
She broke their gaze and looked down at the table. The man slowly turned his head away and said, "I'll be back" before slowly getting up and walking towards her.
No way, she thought. He's actually getting up. Oh my God. He looks amazing!
He slowly sat in the chair across from her, folded his hands, and put them on the table. Crystal blue eyes, short brown hair, a dark green t-shirt. Not only does he look good, she thought, but it feels like I can talk to him. This is just what I need right now.
"Hey there," he said in a confident, compassionate, understanding voice. "Things aren't going so well, right?"
She looked off to her right side and twirled her hair with her left hand. "I… About a week ago he cheated on me. And, we had been together for 3 years." She looked down at the table. "He basically lied to me and told me everything was okay when obviously it wasn't. I just…" she looked up at him. "I just don't understand, you know?"
More tears. Not now, she thought, not in front of him! But he took one of her hands and clasped it with both of his, effectively telling her that it was okay to cry. She tried to say thank you, but it came out as a sob instead.
"May I?" She nodded, and they both stood up and embraced each other. She had never been so happy to hug someone in her entire life. The waiter snuck behind them, placed her food on the table, and briskly walked away. More sobs began coming out, and when they did he slowly rubbed her back with his hands.
She looked him in the eyes and said, "thank you. I really needed this."
He smiled. "I have something for you."
He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small, black notebook. He gave it to her.
She looked at it. “Moleskin? I used to work for Moleskin. I like their notebooks.”
“Open it up,” he said with a smile.
She opened it up - inside was a $20,000 check that had everything filled in except the name!
"Write your name in there and cash it whenever you'd like. Okay?" He smiled and went back to the table with his friends.
She sighed. No one had ever treated her like that before, not in a million years. They didn't talk for the rest of the afternoon, but when she got home, she found that his phone number was in there and that his name was Richard. I'm definitely calling him later, she thought, he's exactly who I need in my life right now.
Needless to say, everything turned out the way it was meant to! He alleviated her suffering and offered himself as a rock to lean on. He went above and beyond for her, simply because he wanted to, and for that, she was eternally grateful.