Vera works for a company called Loan Some, that loans out friends to the lonely and for other events. Previously… Bruce gave Vera two assignments in one day: a lovelorn blind man and the world’s worst magician. When Vera met the blind man, readers voted for him to playfully hit her in the head.
Vera lowered her head toward Gus so her ear was within whispering range. Gus playfully hit her in the head, even if it still stung Vera’s scalp.
“That’s your idea of love?” he exclaimed, his voice ringing in her ear and reaching an interval beyond a yell.
Vera winced and looked around. People had darted their attention to the blind man and the redhead on the park bench.
“Well, I wish I hadn’t.”
They were quiet. Vera may have just gotten herself fired because she couldn’t come up with an accurate reflection of an abstract concept. This felt like some sort of final exam in philosophy.
“What’s the right answer then?”
“Anything but that. Maybe you’re not the right sighted person for this.”
Vera got up from the park bench to leave. After taking a few steps, she turned back and faced him.
“So maybe my concept of love is a little off,” she said, his body turning in the direction of her voice. “But I do recognize that you must still love this woman. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be going to all this trouble to figure out whether she’s still in love with you.”
Vera sighed, motioning to leave, when Gus said, “Wait.”
She turned back.
“You’re right. About everything.”
Another moment of silence.
“Ready for lunch?” Gus stood up and reached for his cane.
When Vera and Gus arrived at the restaurant, a ritzy joint ideal for special occasions or the blindly affluent, the woman, Edie, was already waiting for them at their table. She had soft, quiet features, a blond bob of wispy hair and a poker face that held all of the cards without making it known. When they were escorted to the table by the host, Edie stood to be polite. Vera made a mental note of that. Score one for Love.
“Edie,” said Gus. “So good to be with you. This is Marie.”
“Nice to meet you,” said Edie, double kissing Vera on the cheeks, before doing the same to Gus. Score one for Not Love, thought Vera. Why would she give me the same embrace as him?
After getting acquainted in their seats, Vera opened her menu. No price listings on anything, which meant it was too expensive to advertise. Vera shut the menu. She was glad she wasn’t here on her own dime.
“Let’s get escargot, shall we?” said Gus to Edie. “That was always our favorite.”
“Oh, yes,” said Edie. “I’d love that.”
“Edie and I used to dine here long ago,” said Gus to Vera.
Vera gave a polite smile.
“How did you two meet?” Edie’s doe eyes keyed in on Gus’s object of affection.
“Honey, why don’t you tell that story?” Vera playfully poked Gus.
“No, I’ll let you tell it.”
Crap. Vera needed to make something up. “A wine tasting.” That seemed normal enough.
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