Sara tried to act indifferent when Derek told her almost immediately they entered the restaurant that he had spotted Tamar and wanted to say hi. He told her to go ahead and order, he would join her soon.
Derek never hid his relationship with Tamar from her, he had told her all about it before they started dating.
In fact when she met him, he was still healing from a broken heart.
After a few years of friendship, he had finally asked her out in this same restaurant and she would never forget the joy she had felt that day.
She had known while saying yes that she was taking a big risk as there was a probability he would never love her the way he loved Tamar, the man had been sleeping with her picture under his pillow when she met him for goodness sake.
But she was hooked immediately she met him with his beautiful dancing eyes. And when they became friends, she did not stand a chance at protecting herself from him, he practically stole her heart.
Although he no longer slept with Tamar’s picture and he had always assured her that he was over Tamar, she knew there was a part of him that would never actually let go of Tamar.
She didn’t think she believed that people never forget their first love but she couldn’t help but believe it in Derek’s case. She always feared that one day Tamar was going to come back and disrupt their well-structured life.
And now that she was back, he went running to her the first chance he got. Though she could see how awkward they looked from where she was sitting, it didn’t assuage her fears.
If they had moved on as they claimed they should be able to hold a conversation without being uncomfortable around each other, right?
She was still musing over all these and picking at her food when Derek walked back, sat down and squeezed her hand as though assuring her again.
But he said nothing and went about the business of eating his food.
Sara couldn’t get over her curiosity, she had to know what was going through his mind.
“So?”, she asked.
“She is still as beautiful as ever”, he answered flippantly.
Guys could be so insensitive, how could he not have know that was the last thing she needed to know?, she thought, but instead, she voiced out a quiet “okay”.
Then he chuckled and said, “Is that jealousy I hear? I’ve never hidden the fact that I think she is beautiful from you. But before you start getting all mushy on me, I love you, Sara. I am over Tamar and now, I’m certain.”
“So you were lying to me all the while you told me you had moved on?” she asked, miffed.
“No, I wasn’t lying but I was just never completely sure considering I haven’t seen her since we broke up. And you would agree with me that you can’t be certain about moving on until you’ve seen the person in question”, he replied.
Although she tried to stay pissed, she knew he was right and one of the things that endeared him to her was his honesty, even though it was not always what she wanted to hear.
She looked up at him and caught him watching her with a twinkle in his eyes like he knew she was losing her battle with jealousy.
“I want to go over and say hi too”, she informed him.
He couldn’t stop it at that point; he burst into laughter, clearly enjoying himself at her expense “Women! You can never change. I was just waiting for you to say that; the pictures were not enough, right?”
At her frown, he spread his hands and said, “okay, we will when we’re done eating”.
After they cleared their bill, he led her to where Tamar was seated with her head bowed.
When they announced their presence, Tamar stood up and smiled politely after Derek informed her Sara came to say hi.
“Hi Tamar, I’ve heard a lot about you and I hope you don’t mind that I wanted to say hi and I must confess I was a bit curious to see the woman that captured Derek’s heart in the way I probably never will. You look lovely, by the way, better than the pictures”, she rushed without pausing for breath.
Tamar murmured her thanks with another polite smile.
Although she was smiling, Sara could see her hands were shaking and she looked like she wanted to faint.
Maybe it was her amiable character or the fact that she was in the medical line and used to making people feel better, Sara drew the other woman into her arms and whispered into her ears, “welcome home Tamar. I know this really sounds awkward but I’d really love if we could be friendly towards each other, I know asking for friendship will be asking too much but I am here if you need anything”.
Sara pulled back and looked at her for a few seconds and then hand in hand, she and Derek walked out of the restaurant into Derek’s car.
While he drove towards her office, he left her to her thoughts.
Sara couldn’t dispute Tamar was a beautiful creature. She had seen her at her worst and she was still able to emanate a sort of class that Sara could only wish for.
Tamar had curves at the right places and the most striking face she had ever seen. She couldn’t say about the woman’s character yet, but for Derek to be hung up on her, then, she must be lovely.
She was sure Tamar wasn’t over Derek although she tried to mask her feelings. The anguish on her face gave her away. And even the greatest person can sometimes become awful when they want something.
Now, she wasn’t so sure her offer of friendship to Tamar was a good idea but she would have to wait and see. She was beginning to think nonetheless that the most sensible and unselfish thing to do would probably be to let Derek go.
“Whatever you’re thinking, I want you to remember I love you. I also think you’re gorgeous with the most beautiful heart I’ve ever come across”, Derek said into the silence, interrupting her thoughts.
She turned to see him watching her with seriousness in his eyes, as if willing her to believe him.
Then he turned to the road again.
She knew he said it because he could sense she was nursing doubts; but then, he called her gorgeous and not beautiful like he used for Tamar.
She quickly chided herself for such childish thought and told herself to just trust him.
She wasn’t sure of the outcome of this love triangle but she was sure she loved Derek with all her heart and she knew she saw defeat in Tamar’s eyes when they pulled away from the embrace.
And while she wasn’t totally certain of Derek’s love for her, she chose to believe he did. And she knew with a certainty that on her part, letting go was definitely out of the question, she loved him too much to give up.