Marita topped off her wine and tucked her legs up under her.
"Okay," Bets said impatiently. "Charli's in bed. It's just us and the wine. What on earth was this dream all about?"
Marita shrugged. "It was just a dream. I can hardly even remember it."
"Yeah, right. That's why you keep guzzling that wine."
"Ri-Ri. How bad can it be?"
"It wasn't bad." That's the problem.
"Ooh. Was it that good?" Bets squealed. "It was! Tell, tell, tell!"
Marita shrugged, trying to look nonchalant, for all the good it would do. This was Bets, after all. Hiding anything from her was completely impossible.
She cleared her throat. "It all started out innocently enough. There was this attorney -- "
Marita waved her off. "No one you know. Not really even anyone I know, actually. Anyway, we were working on a deposition. The day ended, everyone left and I was alone in the conference room, packing up my stuff."
"And the attorney?"
"He wasn't there. At least not at first. I picked up my stuff to leave and was walking to the elevator when he came around the corner and asked me what I was still doing there. We chatted for a couple of minutes, and he asked me if I had dinner plans. It was Charli's night at Jim's, so I said no, I'd probably just grab some Chinese food on the way home."
"Thanks for calling me."
"Bets. This is a dream. Besides, I was tired."
"You could tell that in the dream."
Marita paused. "Yeah. I could tell a lot of things."
Bets tilted her head to one side. "Like...."
"Like how this guy smelled. And how much I wanted him to make me a better offer."
"And did he?"
"We went to dinner, and it was really nice. Upscale. Candlelit. Soft music."
Bets leaned forward and poured herself some more wine. "Sounds horrible."
"Very funny. We laughed, we shared stories. It was like we'd known each other for years. And when he took me home, he kissed me goodnight and asked if he could call me."
"And you said...."
"Yes. Without even a second thought. No worries about how it would impact Charli, work -- "
"Yeah. Lukas. It was a totally selfish, self-indulgent dream."
"OMG, Ri-Ri. It was a dream. And all he did was kiss you goodnight." Bets waggled her eyebrows. "Unless you left out the juicy details."
Marita shook her head. "Nope. Total gentleman. Tall, dark, handsome, educated, well-off gentleman. The weird thing is I'd have felt less guilty if it had been -- I mean if things had gone further. I'd at least understand it."
"Because Lukas is a total choir boy and you -- like me -- think the choir loft was designed for clandestine rendez-vous."
"Don't be gross."
"Gross? Wow. Celibacy is killing your sense of humor."
"Bets, what do you think this dream means?"
"Ri-Ri, it's a dream. The guy was some anonymous hot dude and he treated you like a queen. You'd be crazy not to wake up feeling...how did you feel?"
"Disappointed that it was just a dream. Followed immediately by guilty. If I'm in a happy, committed relationship, shouldn't I be dreaming about my boyfriend, not bachelor #1?"
Bets took a sip of wine, then shook her head. "I think you're making too much of this. It was just a dream."
Marita nodded slowly, then polished off her wine and set the glass on the coffee table. "You're probably right." And this uncomfortable, unbalanced feeling is just the wine.
But Marita couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't the wine at all.