"I have joined an internet dating site. My mother nearly died when I told her, but Carlene's already been on two dates with someone she met on line."
“So have you seen anyone promising?”
“Well yes and no. There is this Doctor I’ve been corresponding with but he’s not got back to me. Remember all those questions I asked you to answer about me?”
“You mean the What 3 qualities do you have to offer a mate and Describe your sense of style…
“Yep those questions. Well that’s what it was for and after all that effort no response. Nada. Zippo.... I don’t think it’s going to work out Luce. ”
“Maybe he’s just on call Nads, or working nights or shifts and he doesn’t have time to log in to a computer just now.”
”But that doesn’t bode well for a relationship. He won’t have time. I’ve seen how it is with the doctors at work.”
“Being a doctor is a vocation Nads, a calling. It’s not your standard profession.”
“But I need someone who can be there on the weekends, someone I can hold at night, all night, every night. That may be selfish but at this stage of my life I think I know what I need.”
Nadine had been in a long-term relationship up until recently. For the past six years she and Desmond had been inseparable, and like a good woman she stood by his side and waited for him to be a man and pop the question. She waited and waited and waited, until finally it dawned on her that things were not going to change. Desmond wasn’t going to take the next step. Why would he? He had enjoyed the milk for free and after six years of free milk he wasn’t going to buy the cow. So she ended it. Slowly, gently, because it was hard for her to let go of someone she had invested so much time with and deep down she hoped that if he realised what he was losing, he’d ask her to marry him. So it wasn’t a clean break.
Lucette who had arrived in town just two years hence, had watched the end of the relationship drag on for the entire time she had been there, not unsympathetically at first, but then with increasing irritation and ire and finally before it drove a wedge between her and Nadine she stopped talking about Desmond and what Nadine should do, all together. As far as she knew Desmond still had stuff in Nadine’s shed, and just last weekend he and a friend had gone over to sort out Nadine’s garden. Nadine had a good job, it paid well, why she didn’t hire a gardener was beyond Lucette, but they didn’t speak about it, couldn’t for friendships sake.
Truth be told Lucette wasn’t sure Nadine knew what she needed. She wasn’t sure Nadine had made a clean enough break to allow someone new into her life; she certainly hadn’t given herself enough time to heal.
"Do you know what you want Nads?" Lucette tested the waters.
“Of course I do. I’ve had loads of time to think about it.”
Lucette decided to play along. “ So what do you want in a partner Nads?”
“Older, sexually experienced, someone who enjoys travel, who wants kids, is confident, has a good relationship with his family, is self assured, can make decisions, someone spiritual and dependable. And I want all of this in a package I’m attracted to.”
“Mmm so what type of man are you attracted to apart from George Clooney?, I hear he is a confirmed bachelor, great ass though”
"I’m trying to stay open Luce, not rule out any options… Any way, enough about me..... What’ s new with you? How is Robbie ?”
Nadine’s tone made Lucette grimace. Nadine knew Robert hated to be called Robbie, he barely tolerated Rob. The slight dig did not bode well.
“I mean Robert.”
Lucette paused, how much was enough to satisfy Nadine and not cross the line and upset her.
Lucette had a tendency to splash her emotions all over those around her, when she was happy everyone knew it and more often than not shared in her joy, but it had become apparent to her, that her best friend instead of being happy for her at her fledgling relationship, became sarcastic. The snide comments had been enough to stop Lucette from talking about Robert in Nadine’s presence. Lucette had been forced to compartmentalise her time between the two, which was why Robert was notably absent from the Barbeque. It seemed that any news of him fuelled Nadine’s increasing desire to find someone.
Where was all this ugly desperation coming from? Nadine was beautiful, vital, a brilliant companion, a loving friend, so what if she was turning 34. Women were delaying motherhood these days and there were many examples of happy, healthy older moms, so child bearing couldn’t be the only issue.
Lucette wasn't Nadine's only friend in a relationship. And Nadine hadn't behaved this way. Was she afraid of losing her comrade at arms on the battlefield of singledom ? Or was it that a single and a double made a triple, and to her mind three was a crowd.
“ Oh Robert, he’s fine”.
“So how is the new job coming” Nadine pressed.
What should she say? Lucette felt very insecure since Robert had taken a job halfway across town and she no longer saw him every day. But she couldn’t share those feelings with her friend.
“Great! He’s very happy…… Excuse me a sec Hon, I smell the ribs.”
Lucette and Robert met at work, one of those office romances.
That they had ever got together was a complete surprise to Lucette. She hadn’t been looking, had never even considered Robert. In fact when they first met he used to annoy her. Arrogant, Arrogant, Arrogant! That’s what she’d thought, she’d complained to Nadine about him. And now she was hooked, she even felt a little needy and she and Nadine couldn’t talk about it.
Ignoring the unanswered questions in Nadine’s eyes, Lucette busied herself with the Barbeque outdoors.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard Michel, come through the front door. The long anticipated glass of red wine should distract Nadine and if not, at least buy her some time. Michel understood that things were a little tense between them, so she could count on him to run interference if need be.
“ Food ready yet Sis? We don’t want our guests to expire from hunger.”
“We are all set, I’m just bringing it out. If you could set out the plates that would be great.”