I got to Swensen’s before my Cajun cowboy did and that, for me, was a good thing. I’m not overly fond of ice cream, but I do love going to Swensen’s. The gorgeous jewel-toned stained glass, the marble topped bistro style tables, the 1940’s soda fountain feel of the place. And the people watching; so interesting it’s enough to make one wonder if ice-cream is some sort of truth serum and that day there were a lot of conversations to listen to. Yes, I suppose you could call that eavesdropping, but hey – public place, public conversation. Whisper or go somewhere private if you don’t want others to hear!
I purposely chose a table next to a couple sharing something known as “the Earthquake”. Picture a mixing bowl filled to overflowing with ice cream, fruit, sauce, whipped cream and a variety of toppings and you’ll get the idea. Takes forever to eat finish it, if you even can, and that only happens when you’re sharing. With at least three friends.
The two with the earthquake were obviously having a discussion of earthquake proportions. They were so intense: hard to tell if they were making up or breaking up. I wondered if there would be enough ice cream – even in something like the earthquake – to sort out whatever they were going through.
The door opened and my (the?) cowboy walked in. The man at the counter greeted him by name and nodded in my direction. What the hell? Did I have some secret sign on my forehead? He asked for coffee and a slice of hot apple pie, no ice cream. Two of us at the best place in the city for premium ice cream and neither of us having any. Figures. Not surprised at the pie, though. I don’t think I’ve ever met a man who would say no to fresh apple pie, with or without the ice cream.
Can’t hate a guy who is concerned about someone you love. And given that I made what money I had at the time from baking for friends and family I couldn’t really hate him for eating pastry and still being slim in the hips. Some people have lucky genes.
“Yes, or at least he knows where I am, if not the why and with whom. But then again I don’t know about the why and the who either, so no surprise there. Not much I could tell him, is there?”
“So, do you think we could start over?”
Starting over; I’d thought that a million times, both with Jims and with mom. Wishing that I had done things differently. Told them things when I had the ability to do so. Done more with them when I had the time, said fewer hurtful things. Isn’t that what anyone wants, a chance to do some things again? Not everything – thirteen was not a good year for me. But some things, yes. And starting all over with whatever was going on with the hot Cajun and my maybe not dead brother…yes, I’d like to start over.
“Please?” I nodded.
“Bonjour, I’m Remy LeBeau. I work for a group of people who knew your brother. Do you have a minute to sit and talk with me?”
“This is only because you said please. So yes, I have a minute. Hello yourself. I’m Evina Sulwen Yates, Evi to my friends. Feel free to call me Evina”.