“I don’t know about you but I’m glad Mr. McLean came to this conclusion that both parties should work together,” Ted remarked and suck through a straw in a plastic cup.
“Oh yeah? Why is that?” Lucia asked.
“I get the opportunity which might be my one and only chance to meet and work with you, Ms. Baker.” She smiled.
“Oh please, just call me Luc…call me Monique. Where’s Anita? She couldn’t join us today?”
“Oh yeah, she has some stuff to take care of in the office.”
“I see…so how long have you two been going out?”
“For some time…like every other couple, we’ve had our rough times but fate always seems to bring us back together. The last issue we had…I didn’t think I’d even consider coming back to her.”
“Why, what happened?”
“I met someone else but before anything concrete could happen, she disappeared.”
“What do you mean, missing?”
“I don’t know, it is like she never existed. And I waited for her and after a while, I decided to give up and move on. Who knows whose bed she might be greasing right now, right?” Ted said. His last words hit Lucia hard that made her blink. She sipped her drink to conceal her discomfort.
“So what about you? Who’s the lucky guy?”
“Oh there isn’t one.”
“What, how come?”
“Um…just like you, I was involved with someone whom I knew very well not be my Mr. Right until I met Mr. Probably.” Ted laughed. “Yeah I know…I wasn’t sure of what I felt for him and some things happened and we got separated. It has been a while and I’m sure he’s moved on so I intend to do same,” Lucia said.
“I see…I hope fate brings him your way again soon.” Lucia smiled.
If only you knew you were the one just sitting across me, Lucia said inwardly. She forced a smile.
“I’m glad you two have finally settled your differences and made up,” Mrs. Bourbon said as they all lunched together.
“We’re glad too, ma’am,” Anita said cheerfully.
“So when are you planning to get married?” Ted’s mum blurted out. Ted almost choked on his food. “Honey, are you okay?” Anita asked, rubbing Ted’s back as he coughed.
“Yes I am; the food just went through the wrong hole.”
“Was it the mention of marriage that made you almost choke to death?” she asked slyly. “Marriage helps to stabilize the two people involved and in this case the company as well.” “Mum, please stop putting ideas in our heads. We’ve a lot of things on our minds right now,” Ted said.
“Oh really, like what?”
“The joint project with the Bakers.”
“How consuming is that? You can still plan a wedding…”
“Mum!” Ted shouted, stopping her mother in the process of adding more.
“Leave the lad alone, dear. It is clear he’s not ready to take that step yet,” Mr. Bourbon said to his wife.
“Well I am,” Anita chipped in. Ted glanced at her. She shrugged. Ted dropped his fork and got up. “I think I’ve lost my appetite. I’ll be in my room,” he said and walked away.
“Did I say anything out of line?” Anita asked, putting on an innocent face. Mr. Bourbon shook his head.
“Don’t worry about it, dear. He’ll come around,” Mrs. Bourbon said assuredly.
After helping out with the clearing of the table, Anita went over to Ted’s room. She knocked. “Ted…it’s me. May I come in?” “Yeah.” She opened the door and entered.
“Did I upset you with my comment?” She asked as she sat on his bed.
“No, you didn’t. I just have some things on my mind.”
“Anything I can help with?”
“I doubt it.”
“Do you really want to be with me, Ted?” He looked at her for a moment and looked away.
“I’m not very sure, Anita.”
“I understand my last misbehavior has put some doubt in your mind about me but if only you would give me another chance…”
“It is not about you, Anita.”
“So what is it about?”
“Back in the hospital…I met someone.”
“Before you lost your sight?” He chuckled slightly.
“I was losing it when she came over but we grew close after I had lost it completely.”
“I see…what she a visitor or staff?”
“Staff…she was the nurse who attended me. She was amazing.” “Let me guess…you fell for her?” “I don’t know that for sure. She was absent on the day of my surgery and she hasn’t shown up ever since.”
“Okay…so exactly is the issue?” “I had feelings for her…I still do but I’m not sure if it is love.”
“So you want to wait for her to show up so you can tell if it is love or not?”
“I know it sounds silly but I want to make sure that it isn’t what my heart says it is before I move on. I don’t want to hurt you by being with you and thinking of someone else.”
“I understand. So how do we find her?”
“I’ve tried everything in my power but she still continues to elude me.”
“What’s her name?” “Lucia…Lucia Baker.”
“Did you just say Baker? Could she be related to the Bakers we’re working with right now?” “Oh I doubt it. Monique is the only child of her parents, I think. Like me.”
“So how long do I have to wait?” He glanced at her.
“I don’t want to, Anita; not anymore. I’ve kept my life on hold for far too long. I just want you to help me move past that.”
“Sure love; I’ll be more than glad to do so,” Anita said and kissed him.
About a week later, Ted, Anita, Lucia and her father met with Mr. McLean again for a progress report. Ted could not help but steal glances at Monique. There was something about her that kept his attention; he just didn’t know what. Her scent was familiar…but different. Her voice…maybe his mind was making things up because of his unresolved issue with Lucia…come to think of it, how is it they have the same surname? Is that what is drawing him to her?
“You have done impressively well, you all. I’m really proud of you. I have a strong feeling we’ll have a big cause to celebrate at the end of the six months,” Mr. McLean said.
“I totally agree,” Mr. Fitzgerald Baker said with a big smile. They all came out together after a meeting.
“Mr. Bourbon, may I have a word with you?” Mr. McLean said.
“Yes sir; I’ll be right back, Anita,” Ted said and followed Mr. McLean back inside.
“I’m so proud of you, Lucia. You have no idea,” Mr. Baker said with much content.
Anita turned sharply at the sound of Lucia’s name. She saw Monique hugging her father.
“Oh no…don’t tell me…Monique Baker is Lucia Baker…” She muttered in shock with widened eyes.
“This can’t be happening!” She screamed in her head.