Just before I was able to divert my eyes he spotted me. I sat frozen, unable to move, a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car. He stood outside the cafe watching me as I tried to figure out what to do. Moving slowly, his gaze never leaving me, he entered the small restaurant and made his way to where I sat.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I just thought I’d get some coffee,” I lied. As his eyes swept across the items still spread on the table I realized I was no good at lying. Fortunately the clothing still remained tucked in my backpack, but the food and laptop would be difficult to explain.
“Looks like you plan to do more than drink coffee.” Rage briefly clouded his expression, but passed as quickly as a summer storm, over almost before I saw it. Until that morning I would have missed it, would have described it more as disappointment than anger, but suddenly I saw him in a different light.
I had no idea what to say, couldn’t think of a reason I would have packed a backpack full of food. Finally coming up with an plan that had potential I replied, “I thought I’d go to the park for a while to work. The beach is wonderful but today I felt like a change in scenery.”
Suddenly he looked unsure. “I think we should talk,” the statement also a question.
Realizing he probably knew I’d seen the journal, I glanced at my watch, as if I were suddenly in a hurry. “Yes, I think we should too. I have a conference call in a few minutes I need to be on. Will you be home in an hour?”
I could tell he wanted to argue, but what could he say? When he didn’t reply I added, “I’ll meet you at your place in an hour, maybe a little more.”
Standing, I hurriedly slid all the food back into my backpack. Zipping it closed I grabbed my laptop in one hand and the styrofoam cup in the other. I gave him a peck on the cheek as I passed by then gave an apologetic shrug showing that my hands were full and I wouldn’t be able to do better than that as I rushed out into the sunshine.
I didn’t allow myself time to celebrate as I turned toward the large park, desperately hoping he would believe that I was going back to his place.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Potential and is part of something longer I am working on.
This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after What Will He Do if He Finds Me?.