else to the little boy’s party.
And then Lisa confirmed all her hopes by saying, “Yes, it would.”
Paulette would have clapped her hands together with glee if both of them had been free. “See, I told you so. All it took was for the two of them to be in the same place at the same time.” And just like that, she was flying high on confidence. “The rest will soon be history.”
“Don’t start sending out the wedding invitations just yet,” Lisa cautioned. “I mean, it’s not like Dave hasn’t dated before. And you’ve told me that Kara has gone out with a few guys from time to time. Wasn’t there that guy, Alex something-or-other, she was seeing pretty regularly a while back?”
The name instantly brought a wave of anger. “You mean the bigamist?”
“He was married? ” Lisa asked, horrified.
“Well, not exactly,” Paulette backtracked. “But he was seeing several women at the same time, including a live-in girlfriend who just happened to be the mother of his little boy. Kara was devastated when she accidentally found out—devastated and furious. He’s the one who made her swear off having anything to do with men.”
At the time that it happened, she’d kept the news to herself in deference to Kara’s wishes. But in her opinion enough time had passed for the truth to finally come out. Besides, she wanted Lisa to know that her daughter wasn’t a wallflower because no one was interested. She was one by choice.
“I don’t think you realize what this actually means,” Paulette continued.
“Enlighten me,” Lisa urged.
“If Kara actually agreed to go out with Dave, it means she’s ready to get back into life. This is a really big deal,” Paulette enthused. “Why don’t we get together at the end of this week and celebrate?”
As ever, Paulette was getting ahead of herself, Lisa thought. “A family gathering for a child’s birthday doesn’t exactly fall into the same parameters as a date,” Lisa pointed out.
“Walking down the block holding hands is a date,” Paulette insisted. “Anything involving two consenting people is considered a date. C’mon, Lis, don’t rain on my parade.”
It wasn’t that she wasn’t as hopeful about the outcome of all this as Paulette was, it was just that she was a little more grounded than her friend. And yes, a little more pessimistic.
“I’m not raining on it, Paulette, I just want you to have an umbrella handy—just in case,” Lisa explained. “By the way, about Ryan’s party… There’s always room for one more. Would you like to come?”
“You know I would, but…”
Lisa thought that Paulette would have jumped at the chance to be there to watch over her daughter interacting with Dave. “But?” she questioned.
“If I’m there, Kara might feel self-conscious and not be herself.” Her daughter also might think she was being spied on, Paulette thought.
Lisa sighed, considering Paulette’s reasoning. “I suppose you have a point.”
Paulette paused, chewing on her lower lip. “On the other hand, I also have an insatiable desire to see them finally come together.” She weighed the two sides for a moment, thinking. Desire won out over sensibility. “Oh, what the hell? Count me in.”
Lisa laughed. As if there was ever any real doubt, she thought. “Consider it done. I’ll call Melissa right now,” she said, ending their phone call.
This was taking way too long. By all rights, it should have been a snap, Kara told herself as she took yet another outfit out of her closet and looked it over carefully.
Ordinarily, she’d reach into her closet and throw just about anything on. Or, at the very least, she wouldn’t regard everything she’d taken out with such a critical eye.
Why did how she looked matter so much? She upbraided herself.
The problem was that she worked for a company that had no dress code—beyond requiring that their employees show up at work clothed. During the summer she went in wearing a tank top and
Anna Gavalda, Jennifer Rappaport