Continued from M & M
"Do you have a place to stay while you are here?" Mae asked as they sat on the beach watching the tide come in. "You are more than welcome to crash in my spare bedroom for a night or two but I have to get back to work so you will be on your own."
Still the same Mae, thinks Megan. Always willing to help, never holds a grudge. Can I ever be like that?
"Thanks Mae, I don't want to put you out. I have always wanted to do a trip along the Garden Route and then I remember someone telling me you were in Herold's Bay. It's so beautiful here so I decided to catch a glimpse of the beach and the sea first before I checked in anywhere. As I turned out of that last bend down the mountain, I stopped at the take away and asked if anyone new Mae." Megan leaned back on both hands and squinted into the sun. "And before I could mention your surname, I was pointed down here to you lazing on the beach."
"I won't hear another word. Help me with my things and we will get you set up at home!' Mae started shaking the sand off her flip flops and towel and packing her beach bag. Megan gathered her chair and umbrella. "Follow me, I'm parked right here."
Megan raised her eyebrows as she pulled up behind Mae into the drive of a very charming house overlooking the sea. "Is this yours?" she asked getting out of her car. She could see that Mae had added her special touch to every aspect of the house.
"Isn't it just cosy and cute? I just love this place." Mae said. "Bring your luggage and we'll start dinner."
Mae's home was just as lovely inside. Very minimal but very tasteful and the view from the huge windows in the lounge just perfected the feel.
The two friends set to work in the kitchen and soon the aroma of mussels in white wine drifted through the air and found it's way to the table. A steaming bowl of linguine and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc opened and they were ready for supper. The friends chattered very superficially over the meal. There was definitely not the old camaraderie they had before.
"I have to be up early to order my fish," said Mae as she put the dishes in the washer. "But you can sleep in and make yourself at home."
"Who are you working for?" asked Megan.
"I have my own little Bistro down on the beach where I cook up a storm of whatever is in season and whatever comes out of the sea," laughed Mae. "I only have a staff of two and in the evenings a student helps out at the tables. Oh Megan, it is so much more fun than the restaurant we had. Here I am free to write up a menu at the last minute and experiment to my hearts content. They people that eat here are not stressed out as in the city and there is time to chat to my customers. I wouldn't change a thing!"
Megan was lost for words. She also felt a bit of jealousy as she sat looking at Mae. Beautiful house, successful business, totally happy - I could do with some of that, she thought.
"Let's turn in and do let me know if you need anything. Sleep tight," and Mae was off to her room.
It was close to noon when Megan made her way through the house after a shower. She slowly strolled through the house. When they shared the apartment in Parktown, they were always in a mess with clothes strewn all over and dishes from the night before - but Mae's home was impeccable but with a homely feel. How Mae had changed.
Megan had spent the afternoon in an easy chair, looking out over the ocean, busy with her thoughts. I need to make amends with Mae but where to start. We were so close and things were just perfect until I overstepped the line with Hansome Henry. What a dreadful mistake.
Megan once again made her way down the mountain to the beach in her car and stopped opposite Mae's little Bistro. The evening diners were starting to arrive and laughter filtered through the air as Mae greeted them and enquired about their day. She spotted Megan in her car and beckoned for her to come over.
"Something smells out of this world, so I will leave my choice of meal to you tonight," joked Megan as Mae made her comfortable at a table overlooking the sea.
The diners filtered in and out as the evening went by and as the last one left Megan left her table and collected some dishes from the table next to hers. Mae was walking her customers to the door, chatting in an easy way. Megan entered the tiny kitchen and put the dishes on the counter.
"You shouldn't have done that," Mae pushed the kitchen door open with her shoulder, her hands full of tablecloths. "You're my guest here this evening."
"Come on Mae! I'm your best friend. You make it sound as if I am trespassing!"
"You carry on home and I will see you in a bit." Mae and her staff set about their work tidying up for the night.
Megan had poured herself a glass of wine and was sitting at the kitchen counter when she heard Mae's car pull into the garage.
"Pull up a chair and I'll pour you a wine Mae."
"Okay, go ahead. I know you have something on your mind."
"Mae, I have been trying to think of a way to make amends and get us back to where we were six years ago. I didn't just happen to take a trip down here. It has taken me some time to gather the gumption to confront you and explain what happened with Henry."
"Let's just enjoy our wine tonight. If it's Henry you want to talk about, I am not interested. I really am tired and have to be up early tomorrow." Mae yawned and stretched. "Hope you enjoyed your meal!"
Megan slept late again but at least made it to the bistro by mid afternoon. The tables were still empty and Mae and her staff were prepping for the evening meal. Mae joined her at the same table overlooking the sea.
"You know what would be really cool," Megan said excitedly. "If you and I joined forces again. I could move down here and this could be another M & M."
The look on Mae's face made Megan stop in her tracks. "Megan, my friend - and I sincerely mean my friend because that is what you are to me. You will never be my partner and as far as my life here in Herold's Bay is concerned, it excludes you. I have moved on and am at peace with myself."
Back in the Mae's spare bedroom, Megan was in a fit of rage, stuffing her belongings into her suitcase. She opened the trunk of her car and chucked her suitcase in. She had forgotten to collect her toothbrush and rushed back inside. With toothbrush in hand she stopped in the lounge. Mae's book collection filled two shelves above her television. On either side of the top shelf were the crystal bookends that Mae cherished. Long ago, Mae had saved for months to buy the pair. Megan ran her fingers over the book titles then gave the last two books a gentle nudge. The books fell over and pushed the crystal glass bookend off the shelf smashing to bits on the floor.
Something to think about - Bitch - she smiled wickedly. Our paths will cross again.
Cosy and cute, my ass.