Jack knocked on Sarah’s front door. It took two goes before he received any response but he had no intention of giving up. He had been smitten with her from the first time he had seen her two weeks ago. Sarah opened the door and smiled. While she was pleased to see Jack, her heart was fluttering with nerves. It had been three years since she had lost her husband Mark. She had lost Mark to cancer and it had been a long farewell for them. Part of Sarah had always hoped for a cure, a remission for him but it had never come. It had got to a point where Mark had sat down with her and asked her where this was all going. “What are we doing” he said. “The treatments aren’t working, the side effects are dragging me down. Is there a point now?”. The conversations between them were heightened and emotional but the conclusion remained the same. Mark had made his decision. He was done with treatment and needed to be allowed to finish his life under his own terms, He had passed away peacefully three months later with Sarah by his side.
Sarah knew moving on was a necessity; it wasn’t something that was coming easy to her. So tonight was her first proper date. Not just with Jack, but with anyone . She had met Jack when out with her best friend Lisa and her husband Steven the month before. She hadn’t considered that a proper date. She had agreed to make up a foursome for a meal and had a much better time that she thought she would have, so she had agreed to a date and this is where she found herself.
She greeted Jack with a kiss on the cheek and thanked him for picking her up. “I could’ve met you at the restaurant” she said”. “No way” said Jack. “I treat my ladies right! Let’s get going”. They left Sarah’s house and a new way of life started for her. She still wasn’t sure she was ready but if she didn’t try she would never know.
Jack pulled up the car at the restaurant and seemed to be instantly at her car door. Can I be this lucky to find two great men in this world? Should I be worried? Is it too good to be true? All these thoughts were running through her head with no way of stopping them. So Sarah decided there and then. “Look forward, think the best” she whispered to herself. Jack opened her car door and together they walked into the restaurant. They were at Portabellas.
She was impressed. He had done his homework. This was her favourite restaurant and had been for many years. While the food was amazing here, the ambience played a massive part too. While it was her favourite, it also held a special place in her heart. Mark had proposed here. Sarah had a feeling that Jack had been tipped off about this as he was playing it very respectfully.
As they walked into the restaurant, they were met by the maître-d who didn’t even ask names. He winked at Sarah, indicating that he knew her from previous visits. He walked them straight to their table. A cosy table for two tucked away in an intimate corner. It was one of those tables that you literally stumbled on when you turned a corner. It took intimacy to a whole new level.
Sarah started to feel that Jack had conspired with her friends to ensure that nothing went wrong. He had even ensured that they were seated well away from where she used to have a table with Mark. She could not even see that table from where they were. It was those little touches that started to make her realise that he was taking notice of her, listening to what was said and making sure that she was comfortable. While a little part of her still radiated nerves, another part of her felt extremely safe. She liked that.
They began their meal. Conversation seemed to flow freely and before either of them realised what was happening the meal was over. “Would you like to go somewhere for coffee, a drink?” said Jack. Sarah knew the answer without having to think. “Yes I would” she said. “I most definitely would”. Jack reached for her hand as they made their way to the restaurant exit. He leant towards her and kissed her gently on her cheek. She leant towards him and returned the kiss. This time the cheek was not her aim. She kissed him squarely on the lips and felt a tingle inside her as she realised he was kissing her right back.
Sarah and Jack walked arm in arm towards the coffee house. Her arm just seemed to find its way to the crook of his arm naturally. She realised that she had never felt so settled and comfortable. As they entered the coffee house, Jack gently guided her to a seat as they continued talking. “What can I get you” said the waitress, leaning in and intruding on their conversation. “Er, Er” said Sarah, struggling to make a quick decision so as not to keep the waitress hanging around their table. “Its ok” said Jack. “2 cappuccinos and 2 slabs of chocolate sponge please”. The waitress stepped away swiftly but looked over her shoulder smiling.
They finished off their evening with the coffee and cake and started the short walk back to the car. Jack turned to Sarah as if he was about to say something. Sarah reached out and put a finger on his lips silencing him. “I need to say this now while I have some courage so let me have one minute!”.Jack nodded, unable to do much else with her finger still covering his lips. “I have had the best night, I really have. I am going to put my life on the line here and say two things. The first is: in answer to your next question I would love to come back to your place and the second: I love you too”. Jack smiled and pulled her close