She sat down opposite him at the table. The restaurant was quiet but had a warm atmosphere. Butterflies of excitement flitted in her stomach.
As elegantly as she could, she crossed her legs, her sky-high heels tucking under her chair. Their knees bumped.
Menus were placed in front of them. She snuck a look from under her lashes. He was perusing the menu. His five o’clock shadow gave him a rugged attractiveness. She approved of his jumper. The perfect mix of smart yet casual. Her eyes darted down to the list of light snacks as he looked up.
What to choose? Spaghetti was off the menu. Too messy. What was he having. Would it be steak? Or perhaps a burger?
The waitress arrived. Just a small glass of wine ordered. She didn’t want to lose her inhibitions too much. He chose a coffee. Hopefully it wasn’t testament to the quality of her conversation, the caffeine a necessity to keep him awake!
Topics of conversation began to flow. Holidays. Weather. Food. Films. Television. Cars. There was some laughter. There were smiles. Comfortable silences.
It held promise, as dates go.
Promise that after seven years since that first date there was still that spark. Promise that, having not been out alone together in three years, a conversation could be held that didn’t revolve around their third wheel, their love, their boy.
She hadn’t needed to get out a pack of wipes. There was no need to insist on a toilet stop before they left. Not a single argument was had about eating two more mouthfuls before pudding could be considered.
As they strolled back to the car, Cinderella syndrome began to rear its head. They’d be back in time to walk to the preschool pick up. The Jimmy Choos could be placed reverently back in their box, hopefully not for another three years. The cream jumper could be replaced with hoodie and Uggs. Talk of the future could be swapped for discussion of various steam engines. Chardonnay could be traded for Spider-Man water bottles. Chicken Milanese would substituted for alphabites and beans.
It was a brief glimpse of the couple we used to be. Only we will never be that couple again. Whilst I’ll never forget the excitement and promise of those early dates, we are not those people any more. We are far tireder. Far less exciting. Far less spontaneous – come on, it’s taken us three years to get out. We are far more. Far richer in so many ways. Here’s to husband and wife time.