Girls Night

I went out with what you could say is my closest girlfriend last night.  She knows about CEO.  It took me a long time to open up about him, but with the demise of her marriage two years back, I felt I could finally trust her with this information.  We sat over dinner and I even had a cocktail (I’ve only had 1 drink in the last 2+ years).  It felt nice sitting there catching up on her life, her relationship problems and laughing at the crazy things our kids say and do.  The topic turned to CEO and I told her about him logging in to that account and that I could see his active status.  That I knew he was thinking of me.  And that he just sold his start-up to a major tech company.   She brought up the following story, which I am now ready to share.  Its long since passed, so its kind of irrelevant at this point.

Shortly after telling her about CEO two years ago, I invited her to a charity event.  It was held at a swanky hotel in Beverly Hills and I bought a table, filling it with mutual friends.  It was a daytime event, and we were all dressed up to the nines.  I knew she would enjoy a day like this.  Her father is an iconic actor, so events like these don’t phase her in the least.  I can bring her anywhere and she’s that friend you don’t have to babysit.

We decided to drive to the event together and as we approached the hotel, she told me she had to pee!  So instead of queuing up, we headed immediately to the ladies restroom.  Afterwards, we both made our way back to the entrance of the grand ballroom.  When I was about 4 feet from the main hotel entrance, a group of three women entered the hotel right in front of me.  Looking back, it reminded me of that movie Sliding Doors, where if you had changed direction for a brief moment- things could have been wildly different.  It honestly happened that fast.  As I was briskly walking towards the ballroom, my subconscious must have recognized who it was.  Because as I walked past the group of jabbering ladies, my head turned ever so slightly to focus on their faces.  For just a moment.  And thats when one of the women looked past her friends faces while continuing to talk– and towards mine.  It happened in a millisecond and my slight hesitation to look in their direction obviously caught her attention.

Our eyes locked- for the briefest of moments.

Yep- it was CEO’s wife.

Again.

Ugh….

My best friend and I schmoozed our way through the event, having a great time.  I was secretly hoping I wouldn’t run into her again, considering there were over 500 women in attendance.  I headed towards the bar, where I ran into an old high school friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in over 20 years.  As I was talking to her, CEO’s wife was weaving through the pack of women to get to the bar.  She got as close as two people away from me, and no doubt- she was studying me for the few moments that she could.  I wouldn’t expect her to say anything, especially at an event full of women.  This was not the time, nor place for any first talk.  But she was definitely observing me.  That I am confident in saying.

We sat down for the luncheon and thats when a woman came over to talk to my best friend.  I’ll call her A.  A- as it turns out was sitting at the same table as CEO’s wife.  So clearly, they know one another (yes- the circle of our friends is getting THAT close).  After A left our table, I motioned over towards their table and whispered to my best friend, “She’s here.’

She knew immediately who I was talking about.  She looked over, studied her hair and face pausing pensively, till she broke the silence saying, “She looks familiar.”

Now because of who my best friend is, I don’t really put much stock into when she says things like this.  Because of her family background, she knows everybody (but like in a casual- I’ve seen that person in films or TV way).  So I really didn’t take it seriously- nor freak out.

Best Friend, “Like I’ve talked to her before.  I’m pretty certain we’ve met.”

By this point, I’ve stopped eating and turned to her to really gauge what she is saying.  This whole time, I’ve been talking about CEO and she may even know his wife?  REALLY?!?  I could feel my vegan salad about to hurl out of my mouth, when she suddenly said, “Kate- Oh my God.  I just realized how I know her.  She works out at my gym.  They pair you up with partners someones and we’ve definitely talked before.  I see her pretty regularly.”

All I could think to say back was, “Are you kidding me?”

“No-not kidding.”

“Whatever you do, you can NOT accept a friendship request from her on any social media.  I don’t care what happens, you promise me?  She would see everything online as we post so many things about our kids etc.  She can not have a window into my kids lives.”

“I promise- I won’t.  I would never do such a thing.  I get it…”

We left it at that…had a wonderful time.  Didn’t talk about it any further, nor let her presence bother us (we were at this event to raise money for a great charity after all).  The conversation was shelved and we laughed our asses off catching up over life, our kids, the men she is dating etc.

When it was time to leave the event, I looked up and CEO’s wife’s table was completely empty.  I was so busy chit-chatting, I hadn’t even noticed her party exiting past our table.  Shortly after, we decided to get up and leave.  As you can imagine, the valet was a zoo with 500+ women all needing their cars at once.  My other friend had purchased the center piece for our table, and she needed to use the restroom.  So she kindly asked if I would hold it for her, till she got back to the valet.

So here I am- standing there at the valet, holding this ginormous centerpiece which weighed a ton.  It’s taking forever for my friend to come to the valet and take it back from me.  Its also taking forever for the cars to move, because all these women are fluffing about putting things in their trunks and generally holding up the entire flow of the valet line.  Cars can’t get in, as its only three cars deep.  And thats when I suddenly see her out of the corner of my eye– CEO’s wife darting out of the glass doors facing us, to her waiting car.  I could have died.  You couldn’t have created a more comical experience, whereby we are forced to be stuck very, very close to one another.  It was like something out of a bad movie.

I cracked a smile to my best friend, “Oh geez, I thought she left.  But she’s right there.”  By now we are cracking up together, yet none of our other friends realize the awkwardness of the situation.  I whispered, “Should I put this centerpiece here *covering my face*?”  By now we are just trying to get our damn car so we can leave said swanky hotel.  When I turned to my best friend and said, “Is she looking over here?”

And right at the moment- she slowly inched forward in the que of cars driving out of the hotel valet line.  And as she did, she turned her face and gave me the dirtiest look.

Me, “Did you see that? Or am I imagining things?”

Best Friend, “Oooooooohhhhhh yeahhhhhhhh—that was the dirtiest look ever.”

Me, “So its not my imagination?’

BF, “No- that was definitely directed to you.”

And that my friends is the moment I knew 1000% that CEO’s wife knew who I was.  Up until that point, she was nothing but a woman void of expressions.

***

…The following Tuesday

….at the gym

(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

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Sold

I had a dream last night.  It was so vivid.  I had walked into a restaurant, and as I did, an extremely well dressed man turned away from the bar and approached me.  He was easily over six feet tall.  As we side hugged and said our hellos, the quality of his wool coat was not lost on me.  He was dressed impeccably down to his perfectly shined shoes.  And wore a sheepish grin on his face when looking at me.

I was wearing black slacks and a black sleeveless silk blouse + sexy high heels and a small clutch purse.  I think I had gone to the restroom or something and I was weaving my way back to the table, where my daughter was waiting for me.  I had noticed a man trying to make eye contact with me, as I moved through the crowd.  But I never broke my gaze to look at him directly.  But the gentleman who began to speak to me did- while turning his body towards mine, blocking my way greeting me with, “Kate! I was hoping I might run into you here.  Join me for a drink, will you?”

I remember feeling incredibly flattered that this man had sought me out.  That he changed his day, just in the hopes of crossing my path.  He was a business associate that I had met briefly recently.  At least that was the feeling I got as he spoke to me (this was a dream after all).

I wanted to sit there and share a glass of wine.  To talk about whatever he wanted to talk about.  He was charming, engaging and had a quiet assertiveness about him.  It was at that moment in my dream that I noticed, I was genuinely enjoying his company.  But I was shocked to realize this…because it wasn’t CEO.

****

I don’t dream of other men.  And can’t recall ever doing so.  But I did last night.  And I have no idea what it all means.

But as I awoke from this dream, I stumbled for my phone in my pitch black bedroom.  I soon realized it was now 3:30 AM.  I started reading news, getting caught up on emails, looking over schedules and planning my work flow for the week.  When I finally saw the news.

CEO’s start-up was just acquired by a major technology corporation.  I knew this was his exit plan all along.  But seeing  the news brought up a mix of feelings.  I’m so SO proud of him.  But it’s also bittersweet for me to process.  Every time an investor rejected his idea, or he lost an investor he originally thought he had- I was his cheerleader during that rollercoaster.  In a weird way, it’s the last vestige of our relationship.

As they say, life does indeed move on.

Part of me wants to reach out and say Congratulations.  To hear his voice smile…

But I won’t.

And it’s gut wrenching.  Because I truly miss my friend.

I cant help but think now that he has sold his start-up, he suddenly has “time” again.   Hence, why he logged on to where we use to communicate.

I guess you could say- old habits die hard.