Lucia stared at her beeping phone. It was Ted calling.
“What do you think of this dress, Monique?” Anita asked.
“Huh?” Lucia asked, looking up. “Do you need to get that?”
“Oh no; I’ll call back later,” Lucia said as she canceled the call. “The dress is gorgeous. You look amazing in it.”
“Really? I don’t think I do justice to it. It doesn’t hug my body the way I’d want it to.”
“Well, that can be taken care of; just a few adjustments here and there and you’ll be good to go.” “Maybe; let me try on a few more. You don’t have anywhere important you need to be right now, right?”
“No, not really.”
“Good; you can try on some too.” “Sure.”
After a dragging hour and half later, Anita was ready to leave the bridal shop. Lucia sighed happily inside. Anita checked her phone. “Huh, my honey hasn’t even bothered to check up on me for more than three hours now. He must be super busy,” Anita said. Lucia bit her lips. Anita glanced at Lucia, expecting a comment. “Yeah, I’m sure he is.”
“I’m calling him; let’s go.” They exited the shop.
“Hi honey, what’s up? I see…I went to check out some wedding dresses with Monique…yeah, she’s here with me…sure, okay. I’ll tell her. Where are you now? I was thinking we could have dinner together.”
“I’m sorry I can’t, Anita. I’m pretty crammed up here,” Ted said. “Okay, should I come over to the office?”
“No, you head home. I’ll call you later, okay?”
“Sure; love you.”
“Yeah.” He canceled the call and dropped the phone on the table.
Anita started the engine.
“Ted said he has been trying to contact you.”
“Oh really? Did he say why?” Lucia inquired.
“He said there were some inconsistencies in your latest report.”
“Was he the one calling you earlier…back in the shop?”
“Oh nah; it was a friend of mine. It has been a while since I heard from him. I’ll call him later.” “Okay; so where should I drop you?”
“Back at the office so I can take my car.”
“Sure, of course. So you’re headed home, right?” Anita asked.
“Sure, where else would I go at this time?” Lucia asked back, looking at her watch. Anita stole a curious glance at Lucia.
Anita pulled over in the parking lot.
“Thanks, Anita. See you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, take care of yourself.” “You too.” She got out of the car. Anita drove away. Lucia was heading to her car when her phone rang. She answered it. “Hello?”
“Where are you?” “Um…at the parking lot of our office. Why?” “Good; meet me at the children’s park.”
“Just meet me there,” Ted said and cut the line. Lucia got into her car and took off.
Lucia pulled over to find Ted already there, leaning on his car. She got out and walked towards him.
“What is going on? Anita mentioned that my report had some inconsistencies…”
“Yeah, forget that. I didn’t want Anita to suspect anything.” “Suspect what?”
“Monique…I don’t think I can marry Anita.”
“Why, why not?”
“I don’t love her.”
“Yeah but you seemed okay to settle with her.”
“Not until now.”
“Why, what happened?”
“I think I like someone else.” “Whoa…wow…I don’t know how to react to that. Who’s she? Since when?”
“I’m talking to her right now.” “What?” He only stared at her, with his hands buried in his pockets. Lucia blinked hard and shook her head as if to wake up from a dream.
“I think I like…no, I think I’m in love with you, Monique,” Ted said, taking a step closer to her. “Whoa, hold it there, mister. You realize I’m the maid of honor at your pending wedding, right?” “Well, you two can switch places,” Ted said lightheartedly with a shrug.
“That is so not funny, Ted. What are you trying to do, turn me into Anita’s enemy?”
“I know…I’m sorry I’ve put into a really awkward position but you’ve not really reacted to what I said.”
“What do you expect me to say?” “I just told you I’m in love with you and you haven’t blown me off nor admitted your feelings. So what is it going to be?”
“Oh no, you can’t do this to me. You can’t just drop such a bombshell onto my lap and expect me to pick it up. If you’re unsure about Anita, that is your problem. It shouldn’t be my headache too.”
“I need to know if I’m in this dilemma alone. If I am then….” “Then what, you go marry Anita?” Lucia cut in.
“Well, being with the wrong one is better than being with no one at all, isn’t it?”
“Let me help you decide.” “How?” He kissed her. He held her so she wouldn’t fall when he drew back.
“What…what was that for?” “Unless you can prove me wrong, I’d say you’re into me too.”
“Oh yeah, what makes you say that?”
“Well, for one, I can hear your heartbeat from here. That definitely accounts for something…in my favor.”
“You totally blindsided me. I don’t know what to say here, Ted.” “Okay; let me put it to you this way: I’m giving you three days, no five days to think about it.” “What…?”
“I’m not done. All I’m saying, I’m here…if you like what you see, you can have me. If you don’t, I walk away. No hard feelings. I just have a strong feeling that we’d be great together as individuals and also a very good reason for our parents to come together as one and take our business empires to another level.”
“Huh, sounds like you’re choosing me to gain an alliance with my parents,” Lucia pointed out.
“Far from it; I’m just saying, it would be an appealing bonus; a cherry on the cake.” He kissed her again.
“Promise me you’ll think about it.”
“Ted, this is not right.”
“Goodbye, Monique,” Ted said and went to sit in his car. Lucia looked on with widened eyes. He drove away.
“Seriously? You’re leaving me here?! Jerk!” She sat in her car and slammed the door.
“What goes around really does come around, doesn’t it?” She asked herself.