So peace dwelt in the homes and hearts of the Bourbons and the Tudors as long as they stayed away from each other. But everything was about to change when fate made their paths cross again.
“Honey, I spoke with Mitch earlier today and he mentioned he’ll be in town with Anita this weekend. So I was thinking, how about we invite them to the lunch we have with our parents?” Ted asked his wife as she prepared dinner.
“Oh I see; sure. I need the consent of our mothers first. You know they can be pretty hotheaded sometimes.”
“Okay,” Ted agreed, rubbing her back.
“Where’s Gail? Is she still sleeping?”
“Yep. I’ll go and check up on her,” Ted said and kissed Lucia’s cheek.
“Okay, honey.” The idea of Mitch and Anita resurfacing in their lives got her thinking. They parted on good terms, of course but the thought of them appearing at her front door brought chills down her spine. She knew they meant her and her family no harm but why is her heart beating nervously? She brushed the uneasy feeling off with a shrug.
Anita studied her husband closely as he excitedly told her about Ted’s invitation to lunch with the family. They have not had any physical contact with the Bourbons since the wedding although Mitch and Ted have been engaging in long chats over the telephone. She and Lucia have chatted over the phone a few times but they were usually brief and a bit distant. And who can blame them, their history is too much of a chapter to revisit.
“Did he ask us to come or you suggested it?” Anita asked.
“He offered and I accepted because I thought it would be great to see Monique and her baby girl. Don’t you think?” Mitch asked.
“Yeah of course. It’s been a while since I saw them and I wouldn’t mind having lunch with them but with the whole family? Don’t you remember the last time we had lunch with them?” Anita reminded him.
“Of course I do but it’s all in the past now. We are together and we’re happy. No matter how long it takes, we’d still have to meet them one day, right?”
Anita nodded with a smile. Ted smiled back, touching her face. He got up and walked to the kitchen. Anita sighed.
Of course she would love to see Ted again. After all, he still owns a part of her heart. She had tried her best to put the past behind her and move on with her life with Mitch. Having to see him again…does not really sound like a good and safe idea for her. But how could she relay this fear to Mitch without letting him know that she is not totally over his friend?
Lucia went to visit her parents one afternoon with little Gail. Mr. Baker occupied herself with his granddaughter whiles Lucia kept her mother company in the kitchen. Lucia took a piece of chopped carrot from the board and popped it into her mouth.
“You still haven’t changed, huh?” her mother said, shaking her head.
“I am still a Baker. Mum, Ted spoke to Mitch the other day and he mentioned our upcoming lunch. Would you mind if he passes by with his wife?” Mrs. Baker dropped her knife which startled Lucia. She gave her daughter a very dangerous look.
“You find peace boring, don’t you Monique?”
“What are you talking about, mother?”
“We were deeply grateful when Anita left town to live with her husband and you could finally enjoy your husband without any interference and you’re inviting her back?”
“It’s not like I’m inviting her to crash at our place over the weekend. It is just lunch, mum.”
“Is that what you tell yourself so you can have a good sleep at night? Because that’s not helping. You don’t bring the cat near the fish you first drove it away from. Because for the second time, it could actually get the fish.”
“What’s with the parable, mother? I’m not that delighted about the idea either but Ted seems very excited about having them over. He hasn’t seen his long time buddy since his wedding.”
“Which part of this can’t you see the red lights blinking hard? He will be here with Anita, the woman who seems to never fall out of love with her husband and Mitch himself has a history of falling for you. Do you need me to tell you how potentially disastrous this could be?”
“Don’t blow this out of proportion, mother. Nothing is going to happen. I’m agreeing to this because it would make Ted happy. That’s all what matters to me. All other implications are unimportant. We’ll just have lunch and everyone will go back to his or her life.”
“Whatever gets you through the day. But don’t let your guard down because Anita is wearing a wedding ring. It can easily be ignored.”
“I hear you, mummy. Thanks for agreeing.”
“I haven’t but what can I say?”
Lucia took a slice of cucumber and bit into it. “Thanks, mummy.”
Lucia and her two mothers were busily working in the kitchen whiles the two fathers decided to amuse themselves with their little granddaughter. The ladies all paused when they heard Ted scream happily.
“I’m sure his best friend and wife are in. Why don’t you go and welcome them?” Mrs. Bourbon suggested. Lucia wiped her hands with a napkin.
“Sure; I’ll be right back.”
Lucia put on her best smile when her eyes met Anita’s. She opened her arms towards her. Anita smiled back and walked into her arms.
“Good to see you again, Anita. It’s been a while.”
“Yeah, but honestly I had my reservations about coming over. We’ve had enough drama for a revisit, don’t you think?” Anita said.
“I totally agree. Felt the same way but we’d have to put our misgivings aside for our dear beloveds, right?” Lucia said. Anita shrugged.
“Please make yourself comfortable or if you would care to join us in the kitchen…”
“I’d rather join you in the kitchen. I can see your little girl is keeping the fathers occupied. She’s really cute.”
“Oh yeah, she is.”
“I wonder how mine would look like by now.” Lucia froze at the comment. She turned to glance at her only to meet a tight smile from Anita. She swallowed.
“Shall we?” Lucia entered the kitchen and she followed suit. The two mothers paused their conversation at the sight of Anita.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Bourbon.”
“Good afternoon. You’re welcome. How’s married life?” Mrs. Bourbon asked.
“Great. I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
“Good to know.”
Throughout the lunch, Ted and Mitch chatted heartily whiles Lucia and Anita commented on one thing or the other once in a while. After they were done, Anita helped Lucia clear the table. They put the dishes in the sink.
“Hey Monique, I’m sorry for that remark back then. It was uncalled for,” Anita apologized.
“I thought all that was behind us now,” Lucia said.
“It is…it just slipped out. I didn’t mean to ruin the moment.”
“Well, you did,” Lucia said and walked out. Soon after, Mitch kept Lucia company in the kitchen whiles Ted and Anita tried to catch up on what was going on in their lives.
“You have a beautiful daughter, Monique,” Mitch said.
“Thanks; why wouldn’t she when she has a beautiful mother and an amazing looking father?” Mitch chuckled.
“Well said. I miss you.” Lucia glanced at him and noticed that longing look in his eyes. She smiled.
“Don’t do that.”
“Punish yourself and deprive Anita of your heart’s full attention.”
“I’m not. I’m just saying…”
“I know what you’re saying and I’m telling you not to do that. Let’s not reopen old wounds.” He nodded. She hugged him.
“You’ll be fine. You two will be happy together.” He held her tightly.
Anita stopped in her tracks at the door and swallowed.