Anita and Lucia went out for lunch together after work.
“I propose a toast,” Anita said, raising her glass. Lucia raised hers.
“To the beginning of a great friendship.” They clinked their glasses.
“I like the sound of that,” Lucia said with a smile.
“So I was wondering, I’ve been in the business world for quite some time and know your family fairly well but I never heard of you. Were you overseas?”
Lucia chuckled. “I wish!” Lucia resumed eating. She looked up to find Anita looking at her, obviously expecting more than that.
“I was here…in the country.”
“Doing what, studying?”
“Wow…kind of feels like an interrogation,” Lucia pointed out uneasily as she sipped her juice.
“Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to pry,” Anita apologized.
“So you and your boss, are you a couple?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Because you look like one.”
“Well, we used to be till we had some issues and broke up and I’m working on it.”
“All the best with that.” Anita smiled. Lucia’s phone beeped. She took it.
“I’m sorry but I’ve got to go,” she said as she got up.
“Your boyfriend?” Anita inquired.
“Oh no, my driver is here to pick me up to my dad’s office.”
“Daddy’s girl,” Anita teased.
“I thank God for that every day.” Lucia signaled the waiter.
“Oh don’t worry, I got it.”
“Are you sure?”
“I may not be the daughter of a business guru but I can definitely afford this hangout,” Anita said.
“Okay, see you tomorrow,” Lucia said and walked away.
Ted stopped at a fuel station. He got out of the car. Allen came out of the station mart. Ted recognized him and walked towards him.
“Allen.” He turned.
“Hi, remember me?”
“Of course I do; it would be odd if I didn’t.”
“Good; I’ve been expecting your call but as you know, I’ve not heard from you,” Ted said, pocketing his hands.
“Well, that’s because I’ve nothing to say to you.”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’ve no idea where Lucia is either but I’m sure you’re still in touch with her so did you give her my message?”
“In fact I did. And she told me to tell you she has moved on so you should do same. She’s in a better place now and doesn’t appreciate people from her past creeping back into her life,” Allen said. Ted was stunned.
“What? Lucia said that?”
“Yes she did; I’m sure you thought she felt different about you but it does seem you were wrong about that. So, I hope I don’t get to see your face ever again,” Allen said and walked away. Ted stood there, confused.
“Excuse me, sir!” He turned. He was signaled to move his car. He paid the attendant and sat in his car. He drove away.
Dr. Grant got out of his car. He walked to the entrance of a supermarket. The door opened just as he was about to do so.
“I’m sorry,” a young lady said, struggling with two grocery bags.
“Lucia?” She looked up.
“Um…hi,” she said, unsure of how to react.
“You don’t remember me?”
“I’m sorry…I don’t.”
“You’re Lucia Baker, right? Just to be sure,” he asked.
“Yes I am and you are?”
“I’m Dr. Grant. We used to work together at the Peace General hospital.”
“Oh okay; sorry. I’m sure you’re wondering why I never came back.”
“I still am. What happened to you? You look good by the way. Let me help you with the bags.”
“Oh thank you.” She unlocked the door and put the bags inside.
“Well, a lot has happened, doctor. I wish I could go into all that with you but I’ve somewhere to be right now so maybe another time.”
“Sure of course. Ted has been looking for you.”
“Ted? Your last patient? The guy who temporarily lost his sight?”
“He thinks you abandoned him.”
“I’m sorry; you wouldn’t understand. We’d have to meet and talk.”
“Sure; may I have your number? I asked your mother but she refused.”
“You’ve met my mother? I’m glad to see you in shape,” Lucia joked. She took out her phone from her bag.
“You give me your number. I’ll get back to you,” Lucia said. He told her his number.
“You promise to get back to me? Ted has been bothering me about your whereabouts. If you could just give me your number so I can give it…”
Lucia’s phone rang.
“I’m sorry, I’ve got to go,” Lucia said and got into the car. The driver took off. Dr. Grant sighed.
“At least I know she’s alive and in town and obviously doing very well.”
Ted was driving when his phone rang. He took it.
“I’ve good news, Ted.”
“I doubt it. What is it?”
“I just saw Lucia.” Ted startled his car to a sudden halt.
“Yeah, she just took off in a car.”
“Did you get her number?”
“No, I didn’t. She took mine instead. She said she’d get back to me. But something was odd.”
“She didn’t seem to recognize me.”
“How’s that possible?”
“I don’t know; and she wasn’t moved when I mentioned you.”
“Do you think she’s all right?”
“From what I saw, she’s beyond all right. Something’s off, though.”
“I guess what Allen told me is true after all.”
“What did he say?”
“That Lucia doesn’t want anyone from her past bothering her. She has moved on.”
“I can imagine that so what are you going to do?”
“Pick up the pieces of whatever is left of my heart that she just broke and move on too.”
“Are you going to give up now that we know she’s in town?”
“She doesn’t want anything to do with me, man. I’m going to take your advice. I can’t wait for her any longer,” Ted said, starting the engine and getting back on to the road.
“If you say so but when we do meet up, I’ll let you know what transpires.”
“Thanks, doc.” He canceled the call and sighed.
Anita was preparing dinner when her doorbell rang.
“Who could it be?” She asked herself as she wiped her hands with a napkin and walked towards the door. She opened it.
“Ted?” She said breathlessly, her eyes lighting up with delight.
“Are you okay? You look beat up.” He leaned forward and hugged her.
“I need someone’s company or I’ll do something stupid.”
“Okay…I’ll help you feel better.” Anita closed the door.
She was walking on the corridor of where it seems to be a hospital. She greeted a colleague with a smile and entered a room.
“Good morning. How are you feeling today?”
“I’m fine, nurse Lucia. I hope you slept well.”
“Yes I did…”
Lucia woke up with a start. “Ted!” She ran her fingers through her hair.
“Ted…Ted Bourbon…Anita…at the hospital…now my work partner…oh no, what have I gotten myself into?” Lucia said as she collapsed back onto her bed.
The next morning, Fitzgerald noticed that his daughter was not eating her breakfast. Her mind seemed to be wandering far from home.
“Honey?” He called, touching her hand, startling her.
“Are you okay?”
“Me, sure. Why do you ask?” Lucia asked nervously.
“You seem anxious,” her mother observed. She chuckled.
“No I’m not.”
“What is it, Lucia?” her father pressed. Lucia dropped her fork and sighed.
“I remember.” Her mother froze.
“Not everything though but I remember some of the things in my recent past.”
“Hope they are not bad.”
“On the contrary, they are great. The fact that I have to deal with them is what is freaking me out.”
“You’ll be fine,” her father said confidently, rubbing her back. She smiled.