Are we simply going to waste our time repeating each other’s words, Danny?
Sorry about that. I guess... I am...a bit nervous.
Nervous? About what exactly?
This...seeing you again. The conversations. Off limit subjects. Unanswered questions.
When was the last time you went on a date?
I haven’t gone on any since my divorce.
Wow! That was almost five years ago right?
Oh, you remember that?
Of course, I do. My widowhood and your divorce. Hot topics of discussion for our reconnecting phone call. Accompanied by some ugly crying. Ring any bells?
Ya. Not one of my finest moments. What about you? How long?
My track record isn’t great either. Ten years. Since George’s death, to be precise.
Interesting. Two rusty daters trying to get back to the game.
When you put it that way, it feels like we are back in high school. Our first date? That was awkward with a capital A! I was so jumpy and I spilt the cola on the waitress. Luckily she didn’t throw me out.
Do you...do you ever think about our date? About how happy we were?
I...wouldn’t say I think about it all the time. But I have never forgotten – the love, the heartbreak. In a way, those experiences helped me grow into the woman I am today. A realist.
I might be crossing the line here. Do...you regret saying no to me back then?
I wish I had a better answer for that, Danny. No. I don’t regret rejecting your proposal. Not at all.
Ouch! That just hit the bull’s - eye.
I told you I am a realist.
Is that another way of saying ‘heartless’? Don’t roll your eyes. That was a joke.
I remember you having a better humour sense than this.
Everything was better back then...what happened to all of it, Lily? What happened to our love? Why wasn’t it enough? Why wasn’t I enough?
Lily, say something. I swear I won’t make a scene. I couldn’t accept it then. But I can accept it now.
Love, chemistry, compatibility – we had it all. But sometimes they aren’t enough, Danny. The timing … it just wasn’t right. We were too young. And we had different ideas – about career and life. It wouldn’t have worked. We would have ended up hating each other.
What about him? George. Did you love him?
Now, what kind of question is that? Of course, I loved him. He was my husband. And he was a great father.
Did you love him...like the way you love...d me?
I thought we agreed we wouldn’t discuss our ex-spouses today? I can’t do this. I should go.
Lily, don’t. Don’t go, please. Come back. I am so sorry. That was the ‘green-eyed monster’ talking.
Hey! Can you get the parsley from the fridge?
Parsley? Why do you need the parsley now? Are you going to cook? Wait! I thought we had a dinner reservation?
Change of plans. I cancelled the reservation. I think I owe you a homemade meal for driving all the way here to meet me. Hope it’s ok with you.
It’s more than ok. But honestly, you didn’t have to trouble yourself.
Don’t worry about it. Oh, that’s cilantro. I asked for parsley. The bag next to it.
Oh my! They look almost the same. This is embarrassing. Here you go.
Thanks, Lily. Why don’t you take a seat? Shall I offer you another drink?
No. I am fine. I want to watch you cook. What are you making? It smells amazing! Where did you learn to cook like that?
I am making spaghetti with parsley- pistachio pesto. Cooking is one of the hobbies I picked up over the years. Apparently, I am quite good at it.
Well, I am not a bad cook but my culinary world is very tiny. It’s the size of a notebook full of tried and tested recipes. I don’t really do well with exploring and experimenting.
Life is too short, Lily. Explore. Experiment. Live a little.
Woah! That was inspirational. I am impressed, Danny. Equally surprised too. I admit I came here with a prejudiced mind – expecting a typical bachelor pad with an unmade bed and unwashed dishes. But this place? I wasn’t expecting this. What you have here is a home, in every sense. And you – you are still the same yet different, in a nicer way.
Twenty-five years and a divorce. People change, Lily.
Impressed again. What else has changed? I am intrigued.
Not a long list I am afraid. But still a decent one.
I am all ears.
Nothing dramatic. Small, gradual changes. I have better control over my emotions now. I have learned to talk less and listen more. More patient. More accommodating.
Interesting. Is there anything that never changed?
If you ask me about a thing that never changed in me, it’s my love for you, definitely. This is not a corny line, Lily. My love for you is still the same. Pure. Intense. An addiction that I never want to get rid of.
Wow! I am speechless. Who would have thought Daniel Johnson is truly a romantic at heart!
Let me refresh your memory. I sell romance for a living.
Oh, how could I forget that! How is it going? Drowning in fan mails already?
Not quite there. That wasn’t my intention anyway. My fascination is with the craft. It comes with numerous perks even though they don’t excite me much.
I … am proud of you Danny. I am so proud that you pursued your passion and reached where you want to be.
Thank you, Lily. My only regret is… you weren’t there to share my journey.
Um...is the spaghetti ready? Shall I set the table?
Ya. Go ahead.
Mmm. My mouth is watering already. You must teach me someday how to cook this.
Pull the chair and join me. Don’t mind me starting without you. I am famished. Today was a long day.
Your children...do they know we are meeting today?
Well, they know about my medical conference in Rome. I...didn’t tell them anything else.
I completely understand. An ex-boyfriend doesn’t usually fit in a dinner table talk.
Don’t be bitter, Danny. I am trying. Sincerely.
So what about you? Do you enjoy what you do? Being a clinical psychologist. Dissecting human minds.
It’s a rewarding job. Talking to people. Helping them understand themselves better. Showing them ways to heal. I love it.
That’s great! The hospitals in London...are they good?
Ya, they are. Why?
Heard the hospitals in Rome aren’t bad either. But the pizza – way better than what you get in London. And then the wine – the best! I could just go on and on.
Hold on, Danny! Are you indirectly asking me to move in here? With you? That is too fast. Even for you.
No. It’s not. My pace is just right. So what do you think?
I think you are mad. What comes next? On bended knee with a ring?
That thought might have crossed my mind.
Is this another one of your geriatric jokes, Danny?
Only a part of it.
How was your ring shopping? Found any 2-carat solitaire?
I don’t have to. I might still have the one from years ago.
You have to stop this, Danny. I am usually a very composed person. But all these talks about moving, ring… too fast. Just too much to take in. It’s messing me up.
Is that a yes?
Yes to what?
To everything – Rome, pizza, wine, me. Not in any particular order.
I...have to go…it’s already late. Early flight to catch tomorrow. Packing. Checking out.
I hope I am not chasing you away...again.
No. Not at all. Thank you… for everything, Danny. Inviting me to your house... the exquisite dinner... lovely company.
Is this a goodbye, Lily?
Do you think we should see each other again?
Do you want to?
It’s not about what you and I want, Danny. Do you see a future for us?
I think we are already in the future. Fast forward twenty-five years.
You notice a pattern here – the way our story always ends?
You mean...on a cliffhanger?
No. Not a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger would mean a second chance. To fix the past mistakes. Our story is different. We are different.
What is our story, Danny?
Our story is...untitled, and incomplete.
Untitled and incomplete. I like the sound of it.