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“Well, not nearly well enough. I was originally with another girl but she left and I spotted Maya and her girlfriend at the bar so I went up and introduced myself and bought them drinks for a few hours. She mentioned that she worked here so I came to see her again. I’m going to ask her out tonight. Hey, maybe we can fix you up with the girlfriend? She seemed nice. Whadya say, mate?”
Danny was deflated. He had fully intended to ask Maya out too but Steve beat him to the punch. What’s the bro-code protocol, he asked himself. I don’t want to be a jerk but those two have only just met. Danny was playing out different scenarios in his head when Maya returned with the menus.
“The special today is grilled bream. Actually that’s the special every day, lunch and dinner,” she laughed, “but it is good.”
Both men watched her, both entranced.
Steve piped up without hesitation before she finished reciting the other offerings. “Hey Maya, come out with me tonight after work? I was thinking you could ask your friend to join us and meet Danny. He’s a good bloke. What time should I come by?”
Steve was confident, if not a little pushy. Actually Maya loved that confidence. And if Danny came too, it would give her a chance to find out more about him.
“Yes, I could call Marina,” she mused, looking over at Danny.
“Thanks guys but I think I have to pass,” Danny decided. “I’m going to head back to the mainland tomorrow. I’m still feeling the effects of last night, thanks to you Steve! I need to be up early to catch the ferry back to Split.”
There, thought Danny, I’ve done the right thing. Perhaps another day, he might have not given Maya up so easily. He looked at Steve and saw palpable relief — and was that disappointment on Maya’s face? And what a face. What an exquisite face.
The two men finished their lunch and Danny made a move to go. “It was so good to meet you Steve! Enjoy the rest of your holiday and good luck with Maya. She seems like a special girl.”
Danny left more than enough money to cover his share and quietly left without saying goodbye to her.
Five months later Danny woke up in his penthouse apartment in West Vancouver. The sun was coming up quickly and from his bed, he could see the ocean. He used the remote controller to open the massive sliding doors so he could smell the salt water. He loved this rocky view. This was his favourite residence. He had several. His photographic career wasn’t paying the bills, but luckily his enormous trust fund was. He got up and walked towards the kitchen, passing a few bedrooms and his in-house photo lab. He stepped inside the studio to stare at the large framed photo of a beautiful woman with hazel eyes. He smiled at her image, wistfully.
Across the planet, in Sydney, it was late at night. In a tiny studio loft, Maya with her swollen belly was uncomfortable, irritable and annoyed. Steve had just stumbled drunkenly through the door.
“Where have you been, Steve, it’s almost midnight,” she screamed at him. “Was it your very important finance job?” She used air quotes to punctuate the sentence.
“I was out getting plastered, if you must know.”
“Is it so stressful? You’re a bank teller, for God’s sake!”
“Didn’t even wanna come home to you and your fat belly. And I’m due a promotion soon so stuff it!”
“I’m not fat, I’m pregnant, you idiot! It’s your kid.”
“Is it? I’m not so sure.”
“Shut up!” She stormed across the stained parquet floor to the miniature bathroom. She started to cry. She hated Steve, she hated this rotten little apartment, she hated her ex for impregnating her, but most of all she hated this entire island.