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Pen Your Pride

4 months later

“Good evening.  We have a reservation for four under Kowalski.”

“Right this way.  Mr. Kowalski and his wife are already here.”

We walked back to the table.  As soon as Jordan and Eleanor saw us they got up to greet us.

Jordan hugged Anjali and kissed her on the cheek, “You’re looking beautiful as usual.”  His hand lingered on the small of her back in a familiar way. 

“Hello, Eleanor.  It’s so wonderful to finally meet you.” I said as I turned in to hug her and kiss her on the cheek.

I was meeting Eleanor for the first time.  She was a beautiful and lively woman.  She had curly dark brown hair down to her shoulders and the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen that seemed to smile.

“It’s so wonderful to meet you too.  I’m so glad that you could join us this evening.”

Anjali walked over to Eleanor, “Thank you for inviting us.”  She and Eleanor had met a few times after Jordan and Eleanor had gotten back together.  They now had a standing lunch date once a month and Anjali could now count her as one of her friends here on the West coast.

“Anjali, I hope you don’t mind I took the liberty of ordering Prosecco for you.  I know how much you like it.”  Jordan stated as he poured Anjali a glass out of a bottle he had ordered.  He had already poured a glass for himself.

“Alex, what would you like?” Jordan asked me as the waiter was waiting for me to answer.  I looked at Eleanor and she had a cocktail.  She smiled, “Sorry, I couldn’t wait for you.”

“I’ll have a Scotch on the rocks.  Thanks.”

I couldn’t help but wonder how did Jordan know that Anjali had a thing for Prosecco, not champagne, but Prosecco. 

I looked at him as he was telling Anjali some inside joke and they were laughing.  Anjali was leaning into hear him.  We were at a round table and I was sitting across Jordan and Anjali to one side and Eleanor on the other side.

“So Eleanor, what’s your poison?”

“I’m a vodka girl.  Tonight, it’s just a simple vodka gimlet.”

The air felt stiff as this was the first time the four of us were going out to dinner.  You know the first time you go out with another couple and you don’t know what to expect.  Jordan and Anjali obviously knew each other well and you could see their comfort with each other.  Plus, Jordan knew that I had accused Anjali of having an affair with him.  Even though that had been cleared up, it was still awkward to dine with the man you thought was sleeping with your wife.

“I hear you and my husband have a lot in common, jumping from project to project.  Neither of you are the type of guy to spend a lifetime at one company in a nine to five job. So, Alex, tell me what projects are you working on these days?” Eleanor asked. 

I took a deep breath, “My portfolio is actually quite light right now.  I was working on four companies up until recently and two of them shut down because they couldn’t get the traction and they ran out of money.  Another one was purchased by a slightly larger competitor for small price and we really didn’t make any money on that one, and the last one was purchased by Google.  That one was my saving grace.  I’m working on the transition over to the Google team and then I’ll be looking for more projects again.  I take it you know the scene well having Jordan so involved in the start-up scene.”

“I know the scene well and I know that one out of four is actually quite good so don’t be so hard on yourself.  The nature of the game is about creating things and of course not everything is going to be successful.” Eleanor stated.

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