The restaurant that Louise took him to was actually one that had become a favorite of Aedan’s. Being so close to the hotel, it hadn’t taken him long to find it. Now at lunch time, it was busier than Aedan had seen it before so they waited to be seated.
“Thank you for your interference.” He chuckled. “I am impressed that you noticed.”
“Oh, I know a lot about you, Mr. Charron”, she laughed.
His brows raised “Really? Like what? “
Her eyes rolled. It wasn’t the first time he had noticed the sarcastic thread in her but the first in this setting. “Seriously, it didn’t take long to figure that out and I know next to nothing else about you except…except you are dedicated to your work and..and you have a nice car that you haven’t touched in over a week. A lot of good that does you.” Her smile was interrupted by the hostess prompting them to follow her to a table.
Once seated at a small table beside the window with menus in hand and iced tea ordered for both of them, Aedan continued. “And…what else do you know?” He enjoyed the facial expressions she made to his questions. The rolling of her eyes, lifting of her eyebrows and exaggerated mouth movements…open emotions being shared, always got his attention.
“Nothing. Oh! I lied. I know your full name and address because it’s on your bill. That’s it.” She laughed and Aedan figured she had told all she had to tell…or was willing to tell.
“And all I know about you is your first name. It’s a beautiful name but a bit unusual for women of your age. I had an aunt named Louise. Not too friendly from what I remember“ Aedan chuckled, anxious to see her animated response to his intended dig.
“Oh…yes, it is a bit unusual but it was my mother’s middle name and her mother’s first. I loved that she shared that with me. My mother is a very caring woman and we’ll always have this connection no matter how far apart we are.”
The waiter returned and their lunch was ordered right away. As they waited the conversation remained light and playful. There was a familiarity in Louise that Aedan found comforting though he reminded himself several times that she was less than half his age and he would be leaving a couple hours. The light conversation kept his mind off of the day’s earlier events too. Really, she happened along at the right time several times today.
Among other things, Aedan learned that she had recently finished college and had come to this city on a whim. Spontaneity was something she inherited from her mom. Undoubtedly, she learned much about him too as he found her quite easy to talk to.
With lunch done, Aedan glanced at his phone to get the time. “Are you expecting a call?” Louise asked?
“Oh no…just don’t want to miss the plane.” Aedan laughed as he saw the relief in her face. Nothing could hide behind that face.
“Of course! I’m sorry. I hate to see the time pass so quickly.”
For a moment their eyes locked and much was said with no words. Aedan had to break the silence.
“So….I don’t know your middle name! Marie? Ann? I don’t know what goes with Louise.”
Her eyes dropped to her glass as Louise took the last sip of her tea. “Sara” she said “without the ‘h’”.
Aedan looked at her in silence, struggling to find words.
“My mother’s first name is Sarah and I guess she didn’t want to say she named me after her so she dropped the H from my middle name.’ Louise looked a bit upset for the first time since Aedan had met her.
Aedan regained his composure and tried to smile “No…it’s a beautiful name. Your mother must love you very much. We should be moving before I miss that plane.”
He flagged down the waiter to request the bill but Louise interrupted “I got this.” and pulled a card from her purse to hand to the waiter.
Aedan’s protestation was met with a “Shhh… Ms. Mann said this was on the house and besides….you don’t have your wallet on you.”
Aedan’s mouth dropped as he felt his pocket and realized she was right. He had made all the preparations for his flight, including putting his wallet, ticket and passport in his suit pocket.
“OK, you win but don’t get used to that. I’m really glad we got this time together before I left. You have no idea of how much this has meant to me.”
The bright smile returned to her face “and I am so happy we did too, Mr Charron.”
“Aedan, please call me Aedan – or were you lying about knowing my name?”
Both laughed and Aedan held out his hand as he stood. Louise took his hand and as she stood then grabbed her purse.
“I’m going to drive you to the Airport once you get changed so let’s get going” she volunteered and they headed toward the door.
Before they made it out the door, the waiter caught up with them “Ma’am…your credit card..and your signature please.”
Again, Louise made the most amusing faces of surprise and embarrassment and Aedan admired every motion.