"August! August Williams from Audio Research Institute, is that you?" A man walked up to her and asked. When August looked up at the man's face, she began to smile.
"Wow! It's great to see you, Kenny. How have you been?" she asked as she jumped up to hug him.
"Oh! I could be better. I'm going through a divorce right now and decided to take some time off from producing," he replied sadly.
"I'm so sorry to hear that! "she replied with concern in her voice. Not wanting to make him feel uncomfortable, she changed the topic quickly.
"Wow! I haven't seen you since I graduated from Audio Research Institute. This is such a surprise," she exclaimed.
The Hit music producer, Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, was August's mentor at the recording school she attended. Every year, the institute invited past graduates, such as Kenny, to volunteer for various programs. He was a great help to August in those days and new to the industry as well.
"Are you living here in New York?" he asked.
"Only for two months, and then I'm off to L.A. to work on some projects, and besides, I can't take another Newyork winter!"
"Well, here. Take my number! So we can stay in touch. Are you free tomorrow? I'd like to catch up over dinner if you're not busy. I have a studio in L.A. that could use a great engineer," he spoke cheerfully. "Let's discuss this."
"That sounds great; how about dinner at 8 pm at 'Tavern on the green'? It's near the studio I'm currently working at."
"Perfect, that's a great restaurant; I'll make the reservation," he said.
August then asked, "Kenny, why are you riding the subway? You're rich & famous."
"This is Newyork! Everyone takes the tube here." He laughed before departing the train.
Michael's private jet landed in Newyork, just in time for his 8 pm business dinner at Tavern on the Green. He was there to discuss his new album with some potential producers.
After being taken to a private area in the VIP room, Michael's table was partly covered by a curtain. The VIP room and entrance of the restaurant catered to A-list celebrities only.
Even though Michael's privacy was safe, he still wore a semi disguise; a baseball cap and scarf. The restaurant was cold, so he could get away with wearing a scarf indoors. He liked wearing them because he could adjust them to fit his needs. He could pull it up to shield his face and down to expose it.
Looking across the table, Michael could see out from behind the curtain. Suddenly his breath hitched in his throat.
"Oh my goodness," he mouthed while looking at the woman seated a few tables away from him. He shook his head in disbelief and rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't hallucinating.
Kenny pulled out August's chair and helped her to her seat. She was unaware that Michael was seated just a few feet away, watching her.
Michael began to experience a range of emotions; gratitude, need, want, confusion, and anger. "She can't be here with him on a date?" he thought. "Isn't he married?"
Michael was unaware that Kenny was going through a divorce, so seeing him and August together alone was a shock.
Trying to tell himself not to jump to conclusions, Michael tried to concentrate on business, but he couldn't focus. He excused himself to the private restroom in his section.
"My God! she looks so beautiful. Go over there and talk to her," he said, trying to convince himself.
Leaving the restroom, Michael built up enough strength to confidently stride over to August & Kenny's table.
"Good evening," he greeted. "I haven't seen you two in forever; how are you?" He spoke without taking his eyes off of August.
"Hey, man! Great to see you. What are you doing here?" Kenny spoke cheerfully, shaking Michael's hand.
"I'm at a business dinner to discuss my new album, what brings you two here, and wow, the odds! Incredible," Michael said with a mildly sarcastic tone that only August would recognize.
"I ran into Kenny on the train," August spoke softly while gazing deeply into Michael's eyes. "We were catching up and discussing business."
The two didn't realize when they embraced but immediately felt the heat that arose between their bodies. By sheer muscle memory, Michael touched the small of August's back during their hug. While slowly pulling away, he grabbed her hand & caressed it lightly.
Michael loved the small of her back and knew it was a sensitive spot for her. Whenever they hugged years ago, his hand naturally gravitated there.
"Well. I didn't mean to interrupt,
I'll let you two get back to your night," he said as someone called him back to his table when dinner arrived.
"I gotta go, but hopefully, I'll see you two out in L.A. soon, have a goodnight," he said as he walked back to his table behind the curtain.
Both August & Kenny waved goodnight to Michael as they sat back down to finish catching up. During the duration of dinner, August couldn't concentrate & got a massive headache. Still spying from his table when he got the chance, Michael could tell she wasn't feeling well.
"Excuse me, waiter. Can I order a Perrier sparkling water with two limes and one strawberry? Please place the strawberry in the middle of the two limes and send it to the guest August Williams on my behalf."
Soon After the waiter left Michael's table, he returned to August's table with the drink requested by Michael.
Butterflies filled her stomach as she instantly recognized the beverage as her 'get well' tonic. The strawberry was placed in the middle of the two limes. It was how she rearranged the fruits on the rim of the glass back when they were dating. Michael would always tease her about it, but he found it cute as well.
"He still remembers my get well tonic?" she thought to herself, shaking her head with a nervous giggle.
Michael and his crew left the restaurant first, but she didn't see him leave. A bunch of questions was starting to spin around in her head. After dinner, August Thanked Kenny for the lovely dinner and took a cab home.
Upon entering her apartment, she slumped down with her back against the door and sat in silence. As if on cue, the flood gates had been released, and her tears began to stream freely down her face without warning.