Love Letters(8)

By: Geraldine Solon

Nicole ran her fingers along the edge of the table. “Are you sure you want to marry Richard?”

Chloe put her menu down. “I know how you feel about Richard, but I love him and he loves me.”

“He’s so different from you. I can’t picture the two of you together.”

“So what if Richard is different from me? Isn’t that what makes a relationship exciting?” Chloe said, taking a bite of her Panini that the waitress delivered.

Nicole tapped her long red nails on the table.

“Nicole, Richard and I have been together for two years.”

“Yes, but you’re like night and day,” she said, stirring her lemonade slowly.

“How about you and me? We’re different yet we’re friends,” Chloe said.

Nicole laughed. “Now that wasn’t by choice.” Chloe pinched her friend. “All right, you win. Whatever makes you happy.” Nicole set her spoon aside.

“Thanks,” Chloe said.

They sat and talked for a while. Then, when they were finished with lunch, Chloe ordered a Mascarpone Cheesecake, while Nicole ordered a Meyer Lemon Parfait for dessert.

“I’m not having any dinner tonight. I think I’ve gained five pounds,” Nicole complained, rubbing her stomach.

“Oh, Nic, you have the most perfect figure. How can you be worried about your weight?” Chloe scolded.

Nicole changed the subject. “Is Richard looking forward to moving to your big house?”

“Actually, he wants me to put my house on the market before the wedding. We’ll be staying at his condo in the city,” Chloe said, twisting her hair.

“You’re joking, right?” Nicole asked, sipping her lemonade.

“No, I’m not.”

“Why would you want to sell your house? It belongs to you. Your parents gave you that house.”

“Yeah, but Richard thinks it is too big for us. I mean it’s just the two of us,” Chloe said.

Nicole raised her eyebrows. “How about Greta?”

Chloe shrugged. “Richard hates dogs, and he and Greta have an awful relationship.”

“You mean you’re going to give up Greta? Greta, who you’ve had for eight years?” She fell back in her seat, shaking her head. “I say ditch the man and keep the dog.”

Chloe moved closer and whispered, “Easy, girlfriend. I didn’t say I was going to ditch Greta. I said I haven’t thought about that yet.”

“First your house, now your dog. What’s next – your best friend?” Nicole fumed, arms crossed. “I knew he had something up his sleeve.”

“Calm down, Nicole. Richard likes you,” Chloe said, raising her voice.

Nicole rolled her eyes. “How about your job? It’s going to be a commute from the city.”

“Well –” Chloe paused, cringing at the thought of telling her the truth. “Richard wants me to stay home and be a housewife. He thinks what I do isn’t a real job.”

Nicole’s eyes flew wide. “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Are you crazy? A housewife? Are you a hundred percent sure you want to marry this guy?”

“Of course I do. He’s my one and only true love.” Her face grew warm because she knew she wasn’t being entirely truthful. Her one and only true love had left thirteen years ago, but Richard was a good guy. He provided the stability that had been missing in her life with her father gone and her mother not speaking to her. Nicole just wasn’t giving him a chance.

“Chloe, you know you’re not the housewife type,” Nicole exclaimed.

“How can you say that, when I haven’t even tried? I bought a book – gourmet cooking – serving your man gourmet breakfast in bed.”

“Ugh! You’ve been reading too many romance novels lately,” Nicole said, trying a slice of Chloe’s cheesecake.

Chloe laughed. “I do have my favorites … Danielle Steele, Nicholas Sparks, not to mention all the Nora Roberts shows on the Lifetime Channel.”

“Chloe, you’re too idealistic. That’s why those books are called fiction, because they’re not real.” Nicole dipped into her lemon parfait then pointed her fork at Chloe. “Richard is always busy. He might not even have time for gourmet breakfast in bed. Besides, you don’t know how to cook.”