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Confessions Over Prosecco

The restaurant was mid-range. It was morning, nearly afternoon, and they had had their bottle of still water reflecting the sunshine coming through the window for 10 minutes. The window seat had that effect. The starter was served. Boozy brunch was starting.

Talia looked at Melanie and smiled

“It’s been a while hasn’t it? Let’s have at least 2 bottles of wine”

Melanie returned the smile, “Sounds gooooood” and she laughed

“I love Saturdays. It’s just a shame they always come and go so fast. It is good to see you though Mel”

“And you Tali, I’ve just been so run down lately. Moving back in with dad and adapting back to his schedule is just, bleurgh…”

“How is that? You’ve been there, what, 3 months now?”

“4 months next week yep…” Mel nodded her head and gripped her lips, “I want to explode most days. I needed this catch up. Honestly. Thank you for inviting me out Tali”

“Not a problem… ooh look, the wine’s here.”

The waiter presented the wine to them and they drank it along with their soup starter.

An hour or so later, as the afternoon beckoned even more, learning along the way of each other’s exploits in recent months, Tali decided to ask the question which had been burning her the entire time

“Mel, you don’t have to go into details if you don’t want to but I just want to ask, you obviously don’t have to say anything, and I don’t want to pressure you or anything…”

“Are you going to ask me if I want to come here again for another date? You sound like you’re tongue-tied. What is it?”

Talia laughed, “You’re messy! I mean, what happened? With you know, Jonathan.”

Mel rolled her eyes back and grabbed the last of the wine on the table, filling her glass slowly until the bottom finished, put the bottle back in the middle and then deeply sighed again.

“I haven’t heard someone say his name in 2 months. Dad stopped saying it, I blocked him so I can’t see it and I deleted all the pictures off Facebook. I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about him Tali”

Talia nodded in agreement, “I’m sorry for asking now. You don’t have to if you’re not ready.”

Melanie looked out the window and noticed a young family walking past, a child no less than 3 running ahead of the parents, who were laughing behind in the sunshine.

“That’s what he wanted Tali…look at them. Happiness. He wanted a family and I had said before that I was open to it when we first got together, what, 5 years ago, but as we got on and moved in together, and then we were talking about marriage. He said he was going to propose…

“No way…”

“Yes, I know, but he wanted to know before he did it, if I wanted kids. And that was when I couldn’t answer him. 4 times we had the conversation. And 3 times I stared at him blankly. And then finally when he asked the 4th time, this was like 2 weeks before I went back to my Dad’s, I replied.”

“You said you weren’t ready right?”

“Tali, I said no. I said no to ever having kids.”

“Oh, Mel, that’s intense”

“Yeah, he never spoke to me for the rest of the evening. He just looked at the floor and turned the light off as soon as we went to bed. I lied down in the dark and he then got up and slept on the sofa, I called him to come back to bed and he just ignored me. By the time I woke up the next morning, he’d already left for work”

“You said why didn’t you? He couldn’t have just been that way for you saying no?”

“Tali, I told him everything… Dad, my mum, my siblings, my family distance, the fact I’ve got a great job who aren’t in the favourable cool progressive side of looking at maternity leave as a good thing and that I weren’t ready to have a minimum 18 year investment, especially with pregnancy and all that comes with it.”

“Wow. So what happened then? Did he speak to you?”

“He came back in the evening before me, I came home from work. Before I’d even put my bag down he was standing in the corridor staring at me. He then asked me if I loved him… I said yes… he asked if I would change my mind about what I’d said… I said I don’t know… he then told me that he loved me enough to know that we were looking for different things. I agreed. And then came the 2 weeks of silence. I don’t think either of us were ready to be so close physically whilst inside we were both tearing away. I moved back in with Dad within 2 weeks, he stayed there 2 more weeks for when the rent was finally up. That one month notice was a bastard. I don’t even know where he’s living now. And yeah, that’s that.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be, it’s life”

Talia and Melanie finished their afternoon with tea and cake before saying their goodbyes. Talia sent a text message from her phone as they walked outside.

“I’ll see you soon then darling” said Talia, hugging Melanie after they exited the door, “I’m heading this way, I’m meeting my sister, you remember Nadine don’t you?”

“Ah, lovely, yes I do, tell Nadine I said hi for me please Tali”

“Will do Mel! See you soon! And look after yourself!”

They departed separately. Talia walked around the corner from the restaurant and slipped into a side road where there was a coffee shop.

She entered and hugged a man as soon as she walked through the door. He was tall, clean cut with enough hair to comb it back and was wearing a fitted shirt, shoes and jeans

“How is she then Tali?” he asked

“She’s over you Jon…”

“Thanks so much Tali, I owe you.. If Mel feels that way, then I can move on too”

“Don’t worry. You can pay me back with a drink. Please tell me that we’re starting the night here but the ending is flexible…”

Jon laughed and Talia gently tapped his genital area covered by his jeans smiling as she did it.

They sat down and Talia started telling Jon about her day and how Melanie hated him. She then invited him back to hers and he followed her like a lamb to the slaughter