I try not to let that bother me now. I need to focus on my happiness and not ruin such a beautiful moment. I can’t believe I’m actually engaged! I can’t wait to tell Sheila. I know she’ll be happy for me, and she’s double happy that we’re with a pair of friends.
I’m taking a sip of champagne when I hear a voice next to me say, “Excuse me, Tammy?”
I look up to see that it’s Candy.
“Um, yes?” I ask, in surprise.
I’m so shocked to see her here.
She looks at Brian and then back at me, before saying, “I just happened to be eating here, and I saw what just happened. Good for you. I wanted to come over and congratulate you on your happiness. I also found happiness with the man I met at your auction, so thanks for that.”
I can’t tell if she is being sincere or not. I can feel my old jealousy returning, so before I can stop myself, I make a snide comment about her and Jim.
“I guess you and Jim didn’t work out, after all.”
She looks at me before saying, “Ugh, he was such a douche. I’m glad to be done with him!” she exclaims in disgust.
My eyes widen in surprise and I set my glass down. Brian watches us quietly.
“Tell me about it! I could have told you that, after he dumped me for you,” I reply, trying to be less snide about it, but I can’t help it.
I’m not at all prepared for her reaction. She looks at me in confusion, then shock.
“He did?” she asks, the emotions ringing true in her words. “I honestly had no idea.”
Her reaction is too genuine, so I believe her. Suddenly I realize that Sheila was right and that I was holding onto high school bitterness for no reason. It’s time for me to move on and forget what happened, just like Brian has done in his own situation.
He didn’t think he wanted any commitment because of being dumped in the past, but he let go of that fear in order to propose to me. It’s time for me to have my happiness.
Candy interrupts my thoughts with a quiet suggestion.
“Maybe we can work together to buy the business? With so many auctions happening now and people flying in from San Fran, and other large cities, there is going to be a lot of work and we are going to need a really big place. We are the leading two catering businesses, so maybe it’s a good idea to team up?” she asks.
After a moment of thought, I reply, “No thanks, I’m fine on my own.”
I have always been independent. I prefer it that way. It would be too awkward working with someone else. It took me a long time to trust the help I have now.
“Oh, okay,” Candy replies, and then she turns to walk away.
I think I’ve offended her again.
I need to stop that now.
I sigh and then stop her.
I say, “Thank you, though, and that it does sound like a good idea, maybe. I’ll keep it in mind and give it some thought,” in a much more polite tone.
She smiles at me and thanks me before going back to her table.
She looks happier now, and, even though I don’t want to admit it, I can’t help but think that the best thing to do really might be to go together on a bakery.
After Candy has walked away and Brian and I go back to our dinner, I notice that he keeps looking at me. I look up at him curiously.
“That was very gracious and commendable of you to do that,” he says. “To be so kind to her despite your tumultuous history, I mean.”
I smile, feeling proud of myself for reacting that way.
“Actually, I think it has a lot to do with being with you. I guess you are good for me,” I reply with a shrug.
I look up and I see him smiling happily at me.
“I think you are good for me, too. You have changed me a lot. You helped me let go of my past resentments and to be able to trust and love,” he confesses.
He looks at me and suddenly I see love in his eyes when he does. I reach out and hold his hand for a few seconds.
After that, we finish our food and dessert. We talk about the auctions and about how everything is going at his office and with my baking business. I love how I don’t have to eat dinner alone anymore.
I have someone I can share things with now, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally as well. It doesn’t hurt that he is gorgeous, or that we have hot sex.
We spend the drive home, quiet, wrapped up in our thoughts. I keep staring at my big, shiny diamond ring. I’m so happy and excited.