This week, I'm sharing the first part of Marita and Lukas scene -- a different take on one that actually made it into the book. Because it's a long one, I'm splitting it up across several posts.
Marita drummed her red-lacquered nails on the table, trying to ignore the glares from the patrons perturbed by the single woman taking up a booth in the packed deli. Lukas was never late, especially when he knew she had to get back to work after lunch. She checked the time on her phone and took a sip of her iced tea, hoping it would quell the uneasiness that had taken up residence in her stomach.
Was he coming? Or had he thought they were finished when he walked out of the restaurant and left her sitting there?
She had every right to be mad at him about that.
But he had every right to be mad at her about the conversation that had precipitated his departure.
He was right about the wedding. And, Gregory aside, if Lukas didn't want to go to the wedding with her, what did that say about the future of their relationship? Skipping Bets' wedding was one thing but, if she and Lukas were going to have a future together, he was going to have to find a way to make nice with Bets and Trevor.
She took a huge bite of her sandwich. Come on, Marita. Be fair. You need to give him ore that one chance to --
"Hey." Lukas slid into the seat across from her. "Sorry I'm late. Last minute crisis."
Marita froze, her overstuffed mouth incapable of forming words. She covered her mouth with her napkin and muttered, "it's okay."
Lukas laughed. "I placed my order, but figured I'd better with sit with you while I wait so I could appease the table-stealing vultures. Hey those are some fancy nails."
Marita finished chewing and swallowed, her sandwich congealing into a hard lump somewhere between her mouth and her stomach. "Thanks."
What was going on? Sitting across from her was he old, lighthearted Lukas. The pre-Gregory conversation Lukas.
Marita nodded. "Yeah. Just a little confused. The last time I saw you--"
"I know. I've had some time to think."
A bell rang, and Lukas
looked over at the counter, then at the ticket in his hand. "That's me. Hang on a second."
As stepped away to pick up his sandwich, Marita took another monstrous bite of her own. What was going on here?