It was a pleasant evening for a stroll. Cocoa was glad Andrew talked her into it. Lately this evening walks have become her favourite time of the day, just some quiet time with her best friend in the whole world… Looking at Andrew now Cocoa couldn’t help but feel grateful that they got to grow old together. Once her husband died it nearly destroyed her… She thought she would never again feel happy or anything but lonely… It was Andrew that helped her get over that… It was always Andrew that helped her pick up the pieces… Like when she got her heart broken by his little brother Tommy, or when she lost her first baby…
“What is it?” Andrew asked. “You are looking at me in a really weird way.” Cocoa smiled.
“Just thinking about how lucky I am. That is it.” Andrew smiled back at her.
“Yup. You can still walk without a cane what an achievement….” Cocoa punched him in the arm playfully and Andrew pretended to stagger and hit a pole next to the road.
“Ouch.” He said holding his injured arm. “You are one dangerous old lady.” He added pulling away from the pole. “You made me slam into this lovely girl.” He said looking over the poster glued to the pole.
The image showed a young woman with long brown hair and determined light brown eyes behind the checkered glasses. “And it’s Lucky Hoves!” He said getting serious. “You know I voted for her. She is young but I think she would make one heck of a council member.” Cocoa said nothing and Andrew continued. “A while back, while she was working for Posie Kerry she helped me out with funding for some hospital equipment… Great girl.”
He noticed Cocoa’s scowl. “I really think that bad feeling is misplaced.”
“I can’t help it. She is his daughter.” Andrew sighed.
“So is Rita.” When Cocoa again said nothing Andrew continued. “It is wrong to blame the child for the sins of the father. I mean look at your father he split before even getting to know you…. Or may father, a wretched homophobe… Do you want people to look at us like that?”
“I guess not.” Cocoa said. “It just bothers me.” She continued when they had started walking again. “Now he is dead and everyone thinks of him as some kind of hero…”
“He is a hero. He died a policeman on duty.” Cocoa sighed.
“He abandoned his child… He destroyed your parents’ marriage… He…”
“He was human.” Andrew said calmly cutting her off. “He made mistakes. We all do.”
“When did you get so wise?” Cocoa said teasingly. She was done talking about Jesse Hoves.
“Ahh years…” He said laughing as well. Andrew’s hair might have gotten gray years ago but his soft brown eyes were so full of love and warmth and every time Cocoa would look at them she would see that little boy with whom she used to play with and have sleepovers, the teenager with whom she shared boy problems and planned mischief, the young biology student with whom she lay on her bed and had drank beers, laughing so hard she thought she might die…
“I really don’t know what I would do without you.” She said touching his hand softly making Andrew frown.
“Well I did admit I am old but not that old…” He said. Cocoa sighed feeling the pressure of what she really wanted to talk about, what they had been avoiding for so long raise inside her…
“I don’t mean you’ll die… You’ll marry Patrick and leave me… You are going to go away and I’ll be alone again…” Andrew’s smile disappeared.
“Cocoa I…” Seeing him hurt made Cocoa feel even worse.
“I am sorry.” She quickly said. “I know you love Patrick and he makes you happy. I want you to be happy.” Andrew was still painfully silent.
“You know the wedding is still way down the road…” He said finally. “And I will talk to you about it… Like I do with everything… I love Patrick but maybe I am not ready to leave you yet.” He said and smiled weakly. Cocoa smiled back.
“Sometimes I am a bit selfish… I just don’t want things to go back to how they were… Before… Before you moved in with me.”
“It will never get that bad.” Andrew said. “Your daughter’s are all grown now. They can take care of themselves. And besides you are not in mourning any more either…” He added with a wink.”You never told me the details about your date with Dominic.” Cocoa smiled and winked back at him.
“A lady does not tell.”
“I am pretty sure gay best friends are an exception.”
And so Cocoa proceeded to tell Andrew about her date with the male nurse, Dominic France. How they went to see the Llamas game together, then had hot dogs at the sports bar next to the stadium and then ended the night with her beating him at darts.
Cocoa and Andrew laughed and had a good time, even despite all the hard topics they discussed. It was when they were already nearing the house when Andrew spoke again.
“You know I was thinking about something else. We should go away for an extended weekend, just the two of us.” Cocoa laughed. “I am serious. What would stop us? We are both retired, our kids are grown….”
“Your kid maybe.” Cocoa replied. “I don’t think I am ready to leave Sabina and Domynika all alone… Think about the troubles they will cause.”
“They are not so bad…” Andrew started. “And you can always send them to Rita and Tommy’s…”
“Really ? Rita and Tommy’s? They have enough on their plate already… Six kids and all…”
“Well the girls are friends. They all go to school together. ” Cocoa sighed.
“And where would we go?” She asked and Andrew smiled knowing he had won.
“I don’t know… Maybe rent a cabin somewhere out in the country side… You can paint and I’ll read medical journals… Learn to play the guitar… It would be magical! Just the two of us…”
One last time… Cocoa thought. And then he would go and get married and leave her forever… But despite her raising anxiety she forced herself to smile. Even if it was the last time they could still enjoy it.
Thank you all for reading! :)*/