“Hi, it’s me, sweetie. Sorry, I had to deal with a work situation. Go ahead and order and I’ll be back to the restaurant in less than 15 minutes.”
“OK. What would you like to eat?”
“Steak. Medium rare. The bloodier the better.”
“In a mood?”
“Primal. Absolutely primal.”
“Mmm,” she purred back at me. “We’ll have to unpack that.”
“Yes, love, yes we will. See you soon.”
There was work to do. Loafers were kicked away and tucked under the bed. I lost the blazer and dress pants, hanging them up in the closet, and replaced them with jeans and a polo. Next, to the bathroom. A sink of hot water and a new razor blade removed the four-week-old goatee in no time. Kind of a shame. I was growing used to looking like a billy goat. Finally, the earring was removed. I winced a little bit as I did. The piercing had been done less than a week ago and was still tender.
“We’re back,” I spoke to the bathroom mirror. The old man staring back at me looked like the old me, but I had to admit that after the experience this afternoon, after the host of experiences Sandi and I had shared over the past year, the work responsibility changes, the workouts, the writing…
“No, I’m not back,” I replied to the mirror. “That guy is long gone. But this new guy… this new guy can stay for a while. Let’s see what happens to him.”
The work boots were the final touch. Sandi’s husband was back in town.
“Hey, love,” I came up behind her, grasped her shoulders gently, and whispered into her ear.
Sandi smiled up at me and reached for my face, gently caressing my cheek with the back of her hand. “Welcome back, stranger!”
We had a delightful lunch/dinner together, catching up on the four weeks we had missed being physically in each others’ lives. The kids were doing good, the married children still married—always a good sign—the single kids still single and doing screwy, hairbrained, jealousy-inspiring single-people stuff, the grandchild still amazing in every possible way.
In a conversation lull, I leaned in and whispered, “Sandi, you look absolutely amazing.” And she did. The strawberry print dress clung to her in all the right places, revealing an ample amount of her gorgeous cleavage, and the thigh high stockings and heels were the perfect accessories.
“Glad you think so, love,” she smiled back at me. “John the realtor thought so too.”
“Really? Tell me about your afternoon.”
“Very enjoyable. John was a real sweetheart and very professional.”
“Good to know. How about the houses?”
“We saw one. It was absolutely amazing. Open plan like we’ve discussed many times over the years. Huge fireplace in the great room. The master was the bomb. Beautiful master bath. And then off the master dressing closet…”
Sandi stopped, picked up her napkin and dabbed at the corners of both eyes.
“Sweetie, you all right?”
“Rob, it was beautiful. That room was absolutely my dream room within my dream house. I realize maybe for the first time in the thirty-plus years we’ve known each other that you actually listen to more than just me. You listen to my heart.”
It was my turn to get a little dewy around the eyes. I reached across the table and took her hand. “Let’s go, love. We’ve got some more catching up to do.”
We paid our bill, took our two pieces of cheesecake for later, and made our way out the door.
“I’ve got a few loose ends to tie up. Will be behind you about 15 minutes.”
Sandi gave me a coy little smile and stepped in close enough to whisper. “You won’t last 15 minutes behind me, stud. I promise you that. See you soon.”
She walked away, a beautiful sashay etched in my mind for the ride home. I walked back to the hotel, checked out, packed my gear in the Mercedes, and made my way toward home and Sandi.
She was waiting for me on the couch in the den. The dress was gone. A sexy, well-fitted push-up bra accentuated her breasts and a G-string accompanied her hose and heels.
“Thought this fit the mood…”
Join Sandi and Robert as they embark on the next phase of life: Life in the empty nest–a time of discovery, of self-revelation and fresh starts.