Olivia answered the doorbell, relieved that Janet and her husband were the first to arrive. By the time Suzanna, her husband, and his friend, Mark, arrived, Olivia was in good spirits and was enjoying the evening.
Over wine and hors d’oeuvres, they swapped travel stories, caught up, and laughed. After a while, Olivia left to prepare the meal. Suzanna followed her into the kitchen.
“Well, wasn’t I right? Isn’t he charming and funny? And handsome?”
Olivia set out the vegetables for the pasta and began to rinse them.
“Yes. He is.”
“I’d say you had a lot in common. It looked like you two had a real conversation going there. What were you talking about?”
“Our spouses. How wonderful they were. How many years we were married.”
“Oh, for God’s sake.” Suzanna opened another bottle of wine. “Looks like I’m going to need this.” She started to leave, then turned to Olivia. “What if he wants to see you tomorrow? Would you say yes?”
Olivia patted the vegetables dry and set them next to the cutting board. “No. He’s very nice, but please don’t encourage him.”
Suzanna shook her head and left the kitchen.
A few minutes later, Mark came in and asked if there was anything he could help with. They talked and laughed a bit, then Olivia handed him the salad and asked him to fill the glasses on the table. She would be out soon. He placed his hand on her shoulder before he left, and smiled.
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