"If You Still Care"
Kate walked as quickly as she could to get away from Colin’s Garage, pushing her sleeping baby along in his jogging stroller in front of her. How could she be so stupid as to even go near him or his place of business? What was she thinking? Or was she thinking at all?
No, she told herself, she was just being silly. Sid was a good father and loving husband. A bit over-protective at times but that just showed how much he loved her and little SJ. She’d just been needing to get some time alone, sort through all these hormones that were making her crazy and even have a bit of a cry. She’d gotten little sleep since the birth of SJ and the only company she’d had was that of Sid’s. It was natural for her to get a bit blue after having a baby. Damn Colin for taking advantage of that.
Kate looked up from her thoughts and found herself standing in front of Andy’s Diner. Famished from her jog, she decided to have a bite to eat before heading back to her house. Hopefully Sid hadn’t already gotten home and was worried that she and SJ weren’t there.
As she made her way through the diner she couldn’t help but become aware of all the eyes now focused on her. Self-conscious about drawing so much attention to herself (without Sid there by her side), Kate kept her head held high and managed to advert eye-contact with anyone as she made her way to a booth in the far back of the diner.
No sooner had she sat down and picked up a menu but who should come barging in but Colin! Kate put the menu up in front of her face but it was too late – he’d spotted her.
"Colin, why are you doing this?" she demanded in a hushed tone as to not draw anymore attention to them as there already was. "You shouldn’t have followed me here."
Without invitation, Colin slid into the booth, taking a seat across the table from her. "Hear me out," he said, keeping his voice low as well.
"There’s nothing more to discuss," Kate replied. "I shouldn’t have gone into your office like that."
"Just wait, please," he insisted.
Kate let out a sigh, sat back in her seat and crossed her arms. "Go on then," she said, tersely.
"Thanks," Colin replied. He hesitated for a moment, trying to get his words together before saying what he intended on saying. Finally, he looked up at her, into her eyes, "After all we’ve been through, even after you left me for another man, I…" he paused, unable to bring himself to actually verbalize what he was feeling inside.
Kate blinked, a shocked expression on her face. "Oh no, don’t tell me you’re about to say you’re still in love with me?! Oh Colin!"
He looked away, sheepishly, pulling out a cigarette, looked at the baby and then thought better of it, slipping it back into the package. He let out a loud sigh. "Back there, in my office… Kate. Don’t tell me you didn’t feel it too. There’s always been something – a spark – between us. You know it and I know it."
Kate shifted in her seat. "Well, this is awkward," she said, nervously wringing her hands. She didn’t know what she had felt back in that office and she didn’t want to know. That ship had long sailed and damn if she was going to let one minute of weakness change things. "How can I put this so you’ll understand?" she thought a moment, then continued, "I’m married… to a wonderful man who is both a very attentive husband and father…"
Colin let out a snort and rolled his eyes.
Ignoring his rudeness, Kate continued, "… and whatever you and I had together once upon a time is completely and utterly over, never to rear its ugly head ever again in this life or the next. What I was feeling back in your office, if you must know, was a mixture of weariness from being a new mom and the confusion that goes along with ones hormones being all out of whack, so to speak, and then the realization and regret that I must have somehow given you the wrong idea about my intentions towards you. I don’t now or do I ever wish to have another relationship with you, Colin, other than perhaps mere acquaintance - if that, even. So, please, do us both a favor and leave this diner before my adoring – and powerful – husband finds you here and decides to murder you on the spot."
Taken aback by her response, Colin sat silently staring at her for a moment before nodding. He stood up to leave, facing her, "Okay, Kate," he said, "if that’s what you need to tell yourself then fine. But if you do still care, know this – I am always here for you. Anything happens you know who you can turn to. Understand?"
She gave a curt nod, then replied, "Understand this - if you still care then you’ll leave me and my baby alone and forget whatever it was you thought you felt between us back in your office. Now go."
Colin gave her and SJ one last look then turned and headed back out of the diner.
Kate let out a sigh and motioned for the waitress to come and take her order.