Saturday, April 11, 2020

Chapter 24 - Final Blind Date


(As always if you are new to the book here are links to the earlier chapters, Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3 Chapter 4Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9 and Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17,  Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20 Chapter 21, Chapter 22 and Chapter 23).

“How did you know I needed you to pick me up?” Julie said, as they drove away from Charles Cabin site.

“I guess I didn’t.” Becky said in reply. “But I did know that Charles was bad news.”

“What did you mean you knew he was bad news? If you did, you could have said something before I went up to a secluded mountain picnic with him.”

“I didn’t know he was bad news until Byron told me about his wife. Did you know Smooth Charlie was married?” Becky asked.

“I do now. How did you end up talking to Byron, and how does he know Chalres’s wife?”

“So, well, I’m not sure exactly sure how much of this I’m supposed to tell you?”

“Well you have to tell me now,” Julie was amazed by her friends ability to find out so much, but felt under the circumstances she had a right to know.

“Byron made me promise that I not say anything, since he wasn’t supposed to tell me anything about Charles’s wife. And I guess he didn’t tell me anything about her except that she existed, which was all I really needed to know.”

“Did you find Byron’s number and try to set him up already?”

“No,” Becky said defensively. “I mean I would have but you wouldn’t give me his number, remember.”

“Well, if you didn’t reach out to him, how did you two get together?” Julie asked.

“He stopped by.”

“Oh, why?”

“It’s not important, but I did get to talk to him about my plan to set him up.” Becky was a wizard at changing topics that she knew would get would rile Julie.

“You didn’t?”

“He was more open to the idea than you might think.”

This was not the news Julie wanted. “I can’t imagine that he was willing to be set up.”

“He actually asked me to set him up with a particular person. Sounds like with you wanting a divorce he is ready to move on.” Becky was enjoying this way too much.

“That seems a little fast. Who did he want you to set him up with?”

“He made me promise not to tell. But what do you care?”

“Well, with how things worked out with Charles,” Julie paused, she knew what she needed to say, but hated the taste of crow. “I thought maybe divorce was a little hasty.”

“Do you really want Byron back?”

“Yes, so please don’t set him up.”

It was Becky’s turn to be hesitant. “I kind of, already did.”

“What, when is he going on this date of his?”

“Tomorrow.”.

“I can’t believe you set my husband up on a date with someone.”

“Hey, you are the one who tried to divorce him.”

“He could’ve waited for the divorce to be final before he started shopping for a new wife.”

“You didn’t wait,” Becky shot back.

“Okay, fine, is this a date set up, like trying to get him a new convenience wife or is this a he actually wants to really date?”

“I think after trying the marriage of convenience thing, he’s looking for the real deal,” Becky admitted.

“Why would you say that? Even if it’s true, just lie to me. What am I going to do now?”

“If you want him back, you should fight for him,” Becky suggested.

“How do you expect me to do that? Show up at his date, sock some unknown friend of yours in the nose and then profess my undying love for the man I told I wanted a divorce a few days before?”

“Well, it’s a perfect plan, but it’s not bad either.” Something about the idea of Julie socking someone in the nose warmed her heart.

“Does this friend of yours have a soft face?”

“She is pretty.”

“I don’t care about looks. I want to know if her face is soft. I don’t want to break my hand on her nose. So, really, who is she?”

“I have been sworn to secrecy.”

“Like that ever stopped you,” Julie said.

“Now I’m offended and for sure won’t tell. But I do know where they are meeting.”

“You really expect me to break up the date you set him up on?”

“Why not? Worth a try.”

“Did I ever tell you that you are the worst best friend ever.”

“I do my best.”

“Where are they going?” Julie asked.

“It’s a little Cafe in the Bellagio.”

-------------------------------------------

Julie walked briskly through the casino, she was torn between whether her punch would be better placed on this mystery girl or on Byron. When Becky had told her that he had chosen the place they had first met for his date with this girl, she was furious. She realized Byron probably didn’t think twice about it. Most likely he simply liked their pesto spread, but she couldn’t get it out of her mind that while still married to her, he was going to take some other girl, not only on a date but to a place where they first met.

She realized she couldn’t be too upset, after all, she had asked for the divorce, but the more she walked, the more she thought about it, and the more she thought about it the more upset she became. She had worked up quite a head of steam by the time she rolled around to see Byron sitting at a table all alone. She couldn’t believe it, he had a rose pinned on his shirt. This only added to her anger. She went straight up to him and demanded, “Where is she?”

“Julie!” Byron said with surprise, “I didn’t expect you.”

“I am sure you didn’t. So, where is she? Did she run off to the bathroom, or is she running late?” Julie demanded.

“Late, I guess. Did Becky tell you where I would be?”

“Are you embarrassed about dating, while still married to me?” The few heads in the store were now all facing their way.

“I thought you wanted a divorce?”

“If every couple you counseled gave up at the first mention of divorce, how many would still be married?”

“Good point. And given that I have something I want to say to you.”

She paused to listen and after an extended silence she said, “Well….”

“Julie,” he took a deep breath and got down on his knees by her side. “I love you. I don’t want us to get divorced. If you are willing to get rid of Charles, I promise to cherish you the way I should. I should have fought for you a long time ago, it wasn’t until I almost lost you that I realized what I have. I love our time together and I want you to be my wife, I mean, for realsies this time.”

The crowd couldn’t have been more pleased with the performance. Well except for the“reelzees” line. Julie on the other hand loved every word.

“You mean it.” She couldn’t stop the water from forming around the edges of her eyes.

“Very much so.”

“Well then? She said looking into his eyes.”

“Well then what?” Byron asked.

She looked at him and he realized what it was he was supposed to do. He stood pulled her into his arms and they for the first time kissed, really kissed...and kissed and kissed again.

At some point during a breath, she slapped him on the chest and asked. “What about you wanting to get set up with one of Becky’s friends?”

“What, she told me I had to go on a date with one of her friends or she wouldn’t help me get you back. The only friend of Becky’s I wanted was you.”

They kissed again, as Julie heard a text come through.

Looking down at her phone they both noticed it was from Becky.

“I hope you like the girl I set Byron up with. I thought you two would get along. I hope you didn’t hit her in the face, it would hurt, even though you have a soft face.”

They smiled as they fell back into each other's arms.

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“You wouldn’t understand. You haven’t been there. I don’t care how many degrees you have, it’s not the same until you have dealt with it yourself. I’m sorry. I’m leaving.”

The couple stood and walked out of Dr. Lewis’s office. They continued their bit of a storm, through the waiting room as Julie Lewis walked in. “What was that all about?”

“Oh, they are having trouble with their kid, and don’t want advice from me, someone with no experience. I thought about solving this the same way I have in the past, but an ad in the paper looking for a child may get me into trouble.”

“Didn’t you cover in school how to help people with parenting issues.”

“Sure, but supposedly no class is good enough.”

“Well funny, that is why I’m stopping by. I wanted to let you know that you and I just enrolled in a class that might do the trick.”

She held up the only stick that you are allowed to pee on and then keep as a souvenir. They kissed and then ran into the lobby to tell Mrs. Goodman and everyone else the good news.

THE END

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