The Dinner


Callie looks at him. "I can't believe we're sitting here."

He nods. "Yeah."

"One year."


"She and you have been together for one year."

"One year tomorrow," he corrects her.

Well, obviously. Obviously, he would spend the actual day with her himself. This day, this drink, is not the actual commemoration. But she has brought him enough into the girly-world that he recognizes any plans he aims to make should be vetted through the best friend first.

"So?" she asks him.

"It's a tough one for me," he admits. "I mean, there's the dinner, obviously. The restaurant has a three-month waiting list for reservations."

"Always a good sign," Callie encourages.

"I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I didn't know anyone. I actually waited the three months."

She lets herself get caught up in the romance of the gesture. "You knew three months ago?"

"I'm trying to tell you. I don't care about the dinner."

"She bought a fancy dress, Preston. You'd better care."

"No, I do. I mean, of course I do," he hastily corrects. "But that's just…I want to propose, Callie."


"The dinner? We can have dinner anytime. She can buy a new dress anytime. But this, this is about us. Our love. Our chance. She's been difficult, you know."

"Uh huh."

"She's been hurt, you were there, you know she's been hurt."

"So have you."

"So have I. And in some ways, she's the easiest relationship I've ever had, because she's strong and she's beautiful and she's a mature, intelligent adult. Do you know how rare that is?"

"To be mature and intelligent?"

"No. To be a real adult."


"So that makes it easy. But then she has her days, and she can be so…so female! She cries, she mopes, or worse, she gets flirty and giggly and silly, and she has this strange secret language when she talks to you. I feel like I'm on a different planet sometimes."

"Sometimes, you are."

"I have never been in a relationship like this before. And…I love it, Callie. I love her. I want to tell her. I want to tell her so she understands. We can have dinner anytime."

"And you can love her anytime too, you know. You can tell her anytime."

He looks at her like that revelation surprises him, and she smiles. "She'll remember the dinner, Preston. She'll remember what you tell her, but she'll remember the dinner too."

He sighs. "Is that a girl thing? One of those strange girl things I still don't really get?"

"Hell yeah. She'll remember the dinner."

He sighs. "Yeah. I figured she would. I bought a new tie, Callie."

"Good boy."

"And I made a reservation."

"Better boy."

"Well, I'd better go. Thanks for the drink."

"Yeah. Good luck tomorrow. Let me know how Addison likes the…the dinner…"

She gave him a final wink as he headed out, off to finish his plans for the big date. Hell, yeah. She'd remember the dinner.

the end