He waited at the window table so he could watch down the street. She was late, as usual. She would have the same excuse she always did. “It was the rain, darling.” Or “the train was behind schedule.” And he’d smile and accept it. Like he always did.
The red umbrella stood out against the grey sky. He knew without seeing the person beneath that it was her. She came inside on a gust of wind and brought enough water to create a puddle. Her laughter charmed the host and he waved off her apology as he ran to get the mop.
She turned, her eyes scanning the cafe until they settled on him. She smiled and his heart went to his throat. With purpose, she crossed the room and slid into the chair beside him. Not across from him, no. Beside him. So they could touch each other. Her knee rested against his leg as she leaned over to kiss him softly. She smelled like rain and lilies. He breathed in her scent as their lips touched.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” she said. “The rain has everything slowed down.”
He laughed out loud and kissed her again. “You’re wonderful.”
She touched his cheek. “You’re happy today.”
“Yes.” Happier than he’d been in the last five years. Maybe happier than he’d ever been in his life.
The waiter brought a basket of fresh bread and soft butter. He broke off a piece and buttered it, held it out to her. “Eat.”
As she took it from him, she asked, “Are you going to tell me why you’re so happy?”
Melting butter dripped onto her fingers from the bread. He watched it run in a tiny rivulet from one finger to the next. He wanted to lick each little drop. Instead, he waited as she chewed and swallowed before speaking. “It’s official,” he said and placed the documents on the table in front of her.