Wednesday, February 15, 2012
When Matt gave the coffee cup to Claire, their hands touched briefly. Claire tried hard not to look at his face, but she couldn't help herself. He was standing so close to her. Too close. He brushed her cheek with his finger tips.
The kiss that followed was not unexpected; she'd thought about it many times. When she'd found the single red rose in her mailbox yesterday, she'd allowed herself to hope that maybe her secret crush wasn't so silly after all. Who else would have left the flower but Matt?
"I'm sorry," he said, but he didn't move away from her.
Claire, still holding the empty cup, was the one to take a step back. "Don't apologize," she said. "It was nice." She saw the troubled expression on his face, and added, "But it can't happen again. You're a married man."
Matt turned away. "We both know I shouldn't have kissed you, but I'm glad I did. I can't believe I'm trapped with a woman who hates me, when I could--should--be with you."
"Caroline doesn't hate you."
"Yeah, she does. She hates everyone."
Claire made a production of rinsing out the coffee cup, drying it, setting it on the counter.
Matt continued, "I'm pretty sure she'd got some serious problems. She spends all day standing at the window, staring at the world through those damn binoculars, complaining about everything and everyone. I mean, literally, all day. That can't be normal."
"Why don't you see if you can get her some counseling?"
"Not going to happen." A moment later, he added, "But I can't go on like this. Something's got to give."
Claire moved to his side, put her hand on is arm. "I'm sure you'll work it out, and whatever happens, I'm glad that we're friends. Oh, by the way, thank you for the rose. That was sweet."