Mike was already sitting in one of the two brown leather armchairs at the coffee shop when I arrived. He was wearing his baby blue button down, which he knew I loved and it made my stomach flip.
“I already ordered for us,” he said motioning to the little table in between the two chairs. There were two large cups filled with a light brown liquid and a enormous brownie.
“Thank you,” I said and before I could stop myself, I gave him an innocent kiss on the lips. What started out as a brief peck turned into a lingering, romantic kiss. Oh, I missed him. His small, thoughtful gestures made me really miss having a special guy in my life.
I sat down and we began talking about our usual go to topics. I asked him how his mom was and then how his dad was. They were divorced but I knew them both very well and there was always something new going on with one of them. Mike informed me that his dad was looking for a new apartment. Then, he asked me how school was going and what was new with my friends.
“You know,” I began. “Anna is still trying so desperately to get the attention of all the guys.” Mike began to laugh.
“Yeah, that was weird,” Mike said while cutting the double chocolate brownie in half. When I arrive in Heaven, it will consist of an infinite amount of these things.
“So,” he continued. “Does she take the attention away from your guys?”
I rolled my eyes at him. “Wouldn’t you like to know?”
He nudged half of the brownie towards me before taking a bite himself. Before he was even done with it he muttered, “I would.” Once he swallowed he continued, “But I know it’s not my business.”
I wondered about all the girls Mike talked to while we weren’t talking. I knew about some of his early flings, but after a couple months I tried to allow him some privacy. Since he brought it up, though, I thought it was time to at least touch on the subject I knew we were both thinking about.
“Well,” I began. “Do you want it to be your business?”
Mike took a long sip of his drink. I don’t know if he was buying time or just enjoying the heavenly hot chocolate and coffee mixture this coffee shop made so well.
“I mean, I love you, Caroline. I really love you. I miss you all the time and every time something good happens, you’re the first person I think of telling. I know you have such high hopes for me and I don’t know, even though we’re not together, I want to make you proud.”
I looked down and smiled. “I know exactly what you mean,” I finally responded. “As soon as Todd offered me a better position, I couldn’t wait to tell you. Not a single person popped in my head first.”
Mike reached over the small table and put his hand on mine. “Listen, I know you’re excited but is this really the best step for you?”
I went from leaning forward to sitting back in my chair as far as possible. “Mike,” I started as I pressed my lips together. “This program is two years and it’s expensive. My hours will be so flexible and it will just be, I don’t know…”
“Comfortable?” Mike cut me off. I began to slowly nod. “Yeah but Caroline, comfortable isn’t always right.”
I knew he wasn’t talking about the job anymore.
“I guess you’re right,” I responded. Neither one of us said anything for a while. I wanted Mike and I to work. I really, really did, but a part of me knew we wouldn’t be able to put the pieces of our relationship back together without some hard work. Was I willing to put in all that effort for something I really wasn’t sure about?
“Are you 25 yet?” Mike asked me, which broke the ice a little. Mike and I made a pact a few days after we broke up that on my 25th birthday, if we were both single we’d get back together. It wasn’t exactly an old age or a scary age, but it gave us about two years apart to see if we wanted to get back together.
“Mike, can we try like, being friends again?”
“Ugh,” Mike began. “You know that’s not going to work. Maybe we can stay in touch more, though. I don’t like not talking to you.” I nodded as a single tear fell from my eye. I tried to wipe it away before Mike saw it but he grabbed my hand and held on to it as the tear fell onto my lap.
“We don’t have to decide this now,” he assured me. “Do you want to keep doing what we’re doing? We’ll hang out once in a while and a few months from now, we’ll have a better idea.”
I finished off my drink. “I just wish I could see into the future,” I finally said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to know if we’re supposed to end up together? If we’re meant to be together?”
Mike rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. “I think that’s what intuition is for. We’d just know, wouldn’t we? The only thing is, I do think we could work. I just don’t know if we could work now, you know?”
I nodded. I could see myself married to Mike. I could see myself having his children. But he was right. We couldn’t get back together now. It would be forced and neither of us would end up happy.
We left the coffee shop and stood outside by our cars for a little while. We didn’t speak for a few moments.
“We’ll talk soon, okay?” Mike finally asked before wrapping me up in a hug. I cried into his shoulder while nodding.
“I love you,” he said.