"Could you at least pretend?" He stopped in mid conversation. Some discourse about the pairing of saffron with fish or was it paella. She had lost him some 10 minutes ago. Caught between the drone of his voice and the tinkle of Richard Clayderman's Ballade pour Adeline.
"Pretend what?" She asked automatically even though she knew the answer. Dragging the rocket leaves across herplate, watching the trails of dressing left in their wake. Blossoms of brown and yellow twisting, writhing into life on the white plate. Now a face grimaced back at her.
'But I have nothing to say.' The face on the plate now morphed into a torrid mess. Of nothing. Or what a baboon might splash on a canvas and others hail as art. The clatter of cutlery on plate.
'Could you at least look at me?'
She looked up. Into the eyes of the man she'd shared her life with. Woke up to every morning. Stubble on the chin. Tousled hair now immaculately styled. The twinkle in his eyes when he grinned. His musky scent as they lay spent in embrace.
She saw the desire, confusion and the unspoken plea now written so plaintively on his face. She struggled for words to address his fears, comfort her lover, her friend. But words failed her.
A flicker in his eyes. Like a passing shadow. Hurt, despair, anger and resignation flashing past in quick, silent progression. A silent movie on the face of the man she'd known and come to read like an open book. For his emotions unlike hers while equally intense, were open and undisguised.
Scrapping his chair back, he rose. 'I can never tell what you're thinking. I'll get the bill. See you back at x at 7..'
'Sit down!' The words unbidden, rang out like a gun shot. He stopped startled. The forcefulness of her sudden ejaculation surprised her. Painfully aware of the curious glances from a couple of diners. 'Please.' she added. Not as an afterthought but one she really meant.