Dinner was extremely important to Diego because it always led to deep and meaningful conversations with his mom. He was grateful he had such a good relationship with her.
“Hey, I was wondering if I could go with some friends to the lake house on the weekend”. Mentioned Diego as he washed a few dirty dishes from dinner.
“How many friends do you want to invite?” questioned Ann, Diego´s mom
“Seven, maybe? Plus myself, it would be a total of 8 persons,” answered the boy
“And are you inviting any girls as well?” asked Ann
“I mean, yeah.” answered Diego nervously, “Is it a problem?”
“No. The thing is that if girls are coming we need another chaperone because I definitely cannot supervise everyone by myself”. Explained Ann patiently
“Alright, I´ll tell my friends so that they can ask their parents if someone wants to volunteer.” Offered Diego
“Wonderful idea Son. Do you mind if we finish planning the trip tomorrow?” Work was super stressful today so I want to take a bath and relax,” said Ann between yawns, “Thank you so much for washing the dishes. Love you”
She kissed Diego´s cheek and walked upstairs to her room. He immediately texted his friends and then went to sleep.
The next day they were driving to school and Diego said: “Juli´s dad offered himself as a chaperone is that ok?”
“Yes, great sweetie. Do I know him? Wondered Ann aloud.
“No, you would know who he is but you never go to any school meetings. You only know Carlos’ parents because they live next door.” Expressed Diego rolling his eyes
“I know, I am sorry but I need to work. Otherwise, how would we survive? Said Ann with a firm voice
“You´re right. I am so sorry Mom.” They arrived at school. Diego got off and waved good-bye and yelled “LOVE YOU!”
It was lunchtime for Diego. He gathered with his friends and planned the activities for the weekend. He was particularly excited because it would be their last trip before everyone went to different universities. They still had to wait two more days to have the best weekend in the lake.
Ann had an extremely stressful day at work and she did not intend to cook dinner on that Wednesday night. She picked up some Thai food before going back home, Diego loved Thai food and so did she. They watched Pride and Prejudice and enjoyed their meal.
Ann got off early from work on Friday. They still had to do some shopping for the weekend so they went to the supermarket.
“Can we buy marshmallows mom?”
“Yes, and let´s also buy pancakes mix and fruit for Sunday breakfast”. Ann loved shopping at the market.
She loved that Diego was always so willing to go shopping with her. He would tell her about some bullies at his school that teased him about going shopping with his mom because they said it was a “girl´s activity”. He didn´t care what they said because he really enjoyed this time with her. Ann´s heart always felt grateful after hearing this story.
On Saturday, they arrived at the lake house a few hours before everyone else to organize the rooms and the kitchen. Juli´s dad was supposed to pick everyone in his truck and get safely to the lake house.
Two hours later, Diego screamed, “THEY´RE HERE! Let´s welcome them together”.
When they reached the door, Ann froze as if she had seen a ghost. Diego ran to meet his friends and she stayed paralyzed at the door. All the teens ran inside the house, leaving her alone with Juli´s dad.
“Ann?” asked the man, “Is that really you? I cannot believe it, I haven´t seen you in many, many years.”
Ann, still frozen at the door, tried to open her mouth hoping something would come out from it. The only thing she articulated was, “Mark?”
He made his way across the front yard and found himself facing the woman he once loved. After a few minutes of staring at each other, Ann finally could articulate something else, “We should come in. It´s getting hot in here”. Mark raised an eyebrow wondering what she meant by this. She noticed he did his signature eyebrow raise and felt the need to add “because of the sun, obviously”. He thought it was cute. Both headed to the kitchen and found the teens already planning something to do.
“Mom, can we all go and swim at the lake?” Diego made puppy eyes to convince his mom.
“Yes”, expressed Ann, “Girls, you will be staying with me on the second floor of the house.” Anne turned around to inform Mark he would be staying with all the boys on the first floor.
“Yes. I will do my best to keeps these boys away from any monkey business”. Said Mark with a proud smile.
“Yes. You are the best for the job”. Observed Ann sarcastically.
They spent all morning at the lake. Ann and Mark only stole glances at each other but never said a word. They were still in shook of reuniting after so many years. Ann wondered if he was married and Mark wondered the same. They were both wearing their wedding rings so they assumed the answers was yes
“Dad, we need one more player so that the teams are balanced. Can you come and play with us?” asked Juli with a smile she knew her father could not resist.
“Yes, honey”. Said Mark with a sweet voice.
He took off his shirt. Ann was preparing lunch on a not so far table and had a perfect view of everyone, including Mark. Butterflies were circling in her stomach when she saw him shirtless; she noticed he still had firm abs and round booty. She began to play in her head good memories of them in high school, like their first kiss, their first trip, and even the first time they slept together. Ann assumed he was married so she stopped her mind and decided not to think more about him romantically.
“Everyone! Lunch is ready!” yelled Ann so that everyone could hear her.
The boys and girls ran to grab a sandwich and sat around the table to eat them. Mark was the last one to sit, Ann noticed and handed him a sandwich saying, “Here, have one before these hungry teens eat them all”. Mark grabbed the sandwich and thanked her with a sweet smile on his face; Ann liked his smile. She sat next to him, he was still shirtless, and their arms touched repetitively but every time this happened both would apologize and say “Sorry, it was an accident”. Even thou they knew it was on purpose.
The following activity the teens planned was volleyball. Ann had played in her high school´s volleyball team so she felt confident in this sport. Diego appointed his mom and Mark as team captains.
“Just like in high school.” Said Mark with a smirk on his face.
Ann just nodded and hopefully thought, “If only everything could be just like it was in high school”
The teams were decided and everyone went to their sides of the court. Mark noticed sweat dripping off Ann´s neck and said, “Aren´t you hot?”
“Excuse me?” answered Anne genuinely offended “Aren´t you bold?”
Mark started laughing too much his tummy was in pain. The teens looked as confused as Ann did.
Mark noticed and said, “I’m sorry, I´m sorry. I think you don´t quite understand what I said. I never meant any disrespect, believe me.” He was still laughing.
“Well, tell us what you meant Dad”. Said Juli with crossed arms hoping his dad had a good excuse.
“I noticed sweat dripping from Ann´s neck. So that why I asked if she was hot.” Explained Mark now realizing how bold his question had sounded.
All the teens laughed and one of them said, “I thought you were flirting with her”. Anne laughed but very deep inside she hoped it would´ve been a compliment.
“Anyway, let´s begin playing before someone else says something embarrassing”. Stated Diego throwing the ball to make the first move.
They finished the first match and decided to take a refreshment break. Some were thirsty and some of them needed to change into dry clothes. Diego was pouring water into the glasses when suddenly he lost control of the big bottle and dropped all the water on the table.
“Diego my clothes are all wet now,” Judi complained
“Sorry, it was an accident.” Said Diego looking down at his feet
“It´s alright, I´ll just wear my swimsuit then but if I get terrible sunburns it would be on you,” Juli said a bit annoyed.
Anne´s extra shirt also got wet and her only option left was to play wearing her swimsuit. She took off her sweaty shirt and this left Mark mouth-open. He noticed the moles she had in the middle of her chest and near her belly button and he membered their last visit to the beach together many years ago. Mark felt hot and started to sweat, he laughed as he remembered his last comment to Ann about sweat and hotness.
They finished their last match and returned to the house to shower and get ready for dinner. Diego and Ann decided to start a fire in the front yard and eat marshmallows around it.
“Can I help with anything?” asked Mark with his curly hair still dripping from the shower
“Yes, you can help the others with the fire while mom and I bring out all the food”. Answered Diego
Mark headed out and helped with the fire. A few minutes later, Ann and Diego followed him with all the food. The rest of the teens said in unison “We´re starving” when they handed the snacks.
“The fire is ready. Bring the marshmallows, Juli.” Commanded Mark to his daughter.
Juli ran to get them and Mark noticed Diego´s hand on Juli´s back when both were back to the fire. He knew that they had a thing going on but no one knew and remembered his relationship with Ann in high school and wonder what would´ve happened if they have ever made their relationship public.
The boys and girls made their own circle so that they could chat, which gave the adults a chance to talk without interruptions.
“Hey, do you mind if I sit here?” asked Ann pointing the free spot next to Mark
“Go ahead” Mark made the first move and asked, “What have you been up to these years?”
Ann rested her back on the wall and said, “Work and family have been my main thing. What about you?”
Mark sighed and stated, “Working and raising my daughter. Same as you.”
The atmosphere felt somewhat awkward because they both assumed the other was married so they decided to keep everything professional for the weekend. None of them asked any more questions. They simply enjoyed each other´s company for the rest of the night.
“People!” yelled Ann, “It´s time to get inside and play board games”.
Everyone followed her lead into the house. They played several games and had fun until 3:00 am.
“Come on, girls. Let´s go to our room, we can resume tomorrow”. Commanded Ann
“Boys. March, and follow me.” Said Mark playfully
Everyone was supposed to be sleeping but Ann couldn´t so she walked carefully to the kitchen to drink some tea. She found she wasn´t the only one having trouble sleeping. Mark was already there facing the window and drinking tea.
“I see you also had trouble falling asleep”. Said Ann quietly
Mark turned around and simply nodded.
They stayed a few minutes in silence and observed the stars together, they were particularly bright that night. Ann broke the silence by saying, “We used to come here with my husband often. I miss those days.”
Mark looked at Ann´s face and noticed her eyes were watery. He placed his arm around her shoulders to comfort her and she started to cry.
Ann dried her tears and added, “I miss him so much. I don’t understand why he had to die so soon”.
Mark thought, “Well, at least now I know something about his marriage but this is not how I wanted to find out”.
Anne snapped and said, “I am so sorry. You just witnessed my dramatic side again.”
“Nothing to be sorry about. Some days I really miss my wife too” Mark added, “raising Juli all by myself hasn´t been easy”
Anne hugged him. The hug was long as if they were trying to regain all the lost years from each other.
“Can I kiss you?” asked Mark out of respect
Ann hesitated but then signaled yes with her head. Her blood was warm and her lips were starving. Mark closed the gap between them and pressed his lips on hers. She melted into his embrace. Their bodies around each other felt like missing pieces of a puzzle that had finally found it´s place.
Ann was the first one to let go of the passionate kiss, she still had her tiny eyes closed and said, “ I want to give us a second chance but this time we need to make it public as soon as we figure out our feeling completely.”
“I agree. We are not making the same mistake twice”, Mark added, “I cannot lose you again”
They embraced each other for the rest of the night and fell asleep and the couch. The morning light woke them up and each returned to its room.
Mark closed the door of his room carefully to not wake up everyone else but he couldn´t hide his wide smile. He felt like a teenager again. Nothing could take this happiness away.
Ann stopped at the stairs, stared at Mark´s door, and smiled. She could not believe this had happened. She felt like the luckiest woman alive. Her high school sweetheart was in her life again and this time she would make sure he doesn´t run away.
None of them expected anything spectacular like this to happen that weekend but they were thankful that life always finds a way of getting two people that loved each other back together.