The next morning, Stacy knocked at Lawrence’s door. The doorbell was faulty and he hadn’t fixed it yet. She knocked again. Then she heard scuffles as Lawrence walked towards the door.
He opened it to see her standing there. Dressed in sports gear and a pretty smile on her face. Her dimples showed the more.
“Hey, Love.” She hugged him and got in trailing her brown duffle bag with her.
“Hey, Babe.” He responded, rubbing his eyes as if he were an old computer booting from sleep. “What time is it?”
“It’s picnic time. I knew I’d find you asleep.” She was the morning person in the relationship, Lawrence was the night owl. She looked around the sitting room and asked, “Did you sleep here?”
“Uhm…Yes.” He was walking towards the kitchen to brew some coffee.
“I fell asleep working on some proposal that’s due in a week.” He was getting the frozen sausages from the fridge now.
“You work too much Lawrence.” She said, walking to join him in the open kitchen.
“That makes the two of us. But not as much as you do.”
“White or black coffee?” He interrupted her.
“Black. I gotta keep this in shape.” She said, tapping her bum gently on the side.
He smiled. They had breakfast, packed foodstuffs, a wine corkscrew and a blanket for the picnic. Lawrence decided to head to the shower.
“Wanna join me?” Lawrence teased her.
“Haha. Are you calling me dirty?”
“Hahaha. I rest my case. Haya basi.” He retreated into his bedroom.
Stacy opened his laptop and logged in to her email address to check mail. Moments later Lawrence strolled in.
“We are good to go. Are you working?”
“No. Just checking my email. Today I’m all yours.”
“Great, let’s keep it that way.”
At the park, Stacy was making the sandwiches, stuffing them with ham slices on top of lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and other sauces. Lawrence adored her seated in front of him, legs crossed together like a monk. August Alsina’s song was playing from a Bluetooth speaker next to the red wine bottle.
He moved his lips about to say something then stopped. Stacy looked up, handing him the sandwich. “Here you go.”
He stretched his hand to pick it. “Thanks.” Then took a bite.
“How long is the circuit?” She asked him.
“It depends on how long we want to ride the bikes. They have a 30-minute circuit and an hour-long one.”
“Oh, okay. Let’s do the 30 minutes one then.”
“Cool.” Lawrence continued staring at her until he noted someone behind her. “That’s the guy leading us during the circuit. He’s a guide here.” He raised his eyebrows gesturing at Stacy to look behind her.
Stacy turned to see a cyclist dressed in black and yellow gear pushing a bike, several other cyclists behind him. “Waaah, he’s dark. Are you sure he won’t get lost in the woods?”
“Haha. Be nice.” Lawrence was smiling heartily now. Then he looked at her eyes again, “Babe…”
“Yes, Love,” Stacy responded, meeting his gaze.
“I really love this.”
“What, the sandwich?”
“No. I mean, I – “
She interrupted him, “Shhhh. I get it.” She stretched her hand to hold his. “I love it too.”
“I love spending time with you like this.” They slowly interlocked their fingers.
“I meant it when I said I’d make it up to you, remember?” Stacy said.
“Is this what you call making up?”
She narrowed her eyes a certain way she always did when she wanted to seduce him into doing something. “Well, you haven’t seen nothing yet. Wait till we get back to the apartment.”
“Do we have to wait that long?” He teased her.
“Oh, you have a better idea?”
Lawrence moved his eyes towards his left side, a trail of trees next to it. “Yes. The woods.”
“Haha. I know you too well, that can never happen in your world. You are too reserved.”
“Says your crazy girlfriend.” She raised her shoulders in a strutting way.
“Okay then, you win!”
They spent that moment talking and making fun of each other, occasionally laughing out loud. There was more laughter than long pauses of uncertainty between them. It was much better that way. They waited their turn to ride the bikes in the 30-minute circuit.
Lawrence cherished such beautiful days. He hoped she did as well and that it didn’t come from a place of obligation for her. He was intent on making this day last longer the best way he knew how. Hoping that it would end the tough streak of days they usually had. Days when she would rather be somewhere else and not with him
NEXT: No Valentine’s | 5