Cath decided to put the Skype chat out of her mind while she had dinner. Jack had done well and found a local restaurant, not too pretentious, but served quality food going by the smells wafting from surrounding tables.
They decided to have the local specialty; shrimp and grits. "Would you like 'erb bread ma'am?"
Cath tried not to smile and nodded she would. She felt a bit hypocritical finding his accent amusing when hers was so strongly Kiwi with her dark 'L's and 'u's for 'i's.
Jack could see her struggling and smiled too. "So you are feeling better about this morning?"
"Not really and in fact it has got worse, I just had a bizarre skype with my best friend back home which I don't really want to talk about and I am not sure I can change by the way. I want to be a success. I want to achieve things in my life. What is wrong with that?"
Jack shrugged. "Nothing I guess. But how do you define success? What is a successful life? I think anyone can change. It is your life, you can do what you like if you want to. Anyway there is nothing wrong with achieving things but maybe you don't need to succeed all the time. You can learn a lot from failing you know."
"Yeah, apparently I can." Cath muttered thinking of Millie's comments.
The shrimp and grits arrived. The grits were nothing like the ones put out in the little bain maries back in the hotel at breakfast. They were creamy. The shrimps were piled on top of the grits in a sauce that was buttery with a little tingle of chilli, and it poured down the sides of the grits. It wasn't the most elegant dish to look at but it was delicious and very filling.
They shared the 'erb bread and after finishing her plate and drinking a few glasses of some very nice wine, Cath was feeling less worried about success and failure and what her life was all about.
As they walked across carpark after ashfelted carpark back to the hotel, Jack took her hand. She let him and was beginning to think failure did have its good points.
At the hotel she pushed the buttons for the lift and while they waited for the lift to arrive he kissed her. She felt tingles rise from her toes and this time it wasn't chilli. She wanted to relax into the sensation and let it envelope her.
She pulled herself free. "Hang on a minute."
Jack looked confused.
"Sorry, just give me a minute."
She slipped from his grasp and went out the door by the pool, pulling her phone from her pocket. The lights flickered on the water as it gently rippled. It looked so calm compared to her heart. She had no idea what time it was in New Zealand but she bounced through her address list until she found Nathan's number. She pushed it, not even knowing what she would say.
When he answered he sounded surprised.
"Hi, sorry haven't called for so long and sorry for calling you now. But..." She dashed on before he could say anything. "I'm in the US having a bit of rethink of my life really and well I think I messed things up with you and if you were keen, I'd like to try again only do less work this time, I mean more work on the relationship, less work on my career. I think, well I want to try anyway and if we fail then perhaps that is ok too but maybe we won't this time..." She was losing her way.
"Stop, wait." the voice said "I'm Nat's brother, Rob."
"Oh" Cath felt herself going red. What a fool she'd made of herself. Her life really was going all wrong.
"Well umm maybe pass that onto Nathan then, bye." She hung up. She couldn't bear to think of all the laughing that was going on where ever Rob and Nathan were.
Her phone sang a message had arrived. It was from Nathan. Her heart started to race. She opened it and all it said was, "Yes." She smiled. Did it matter if she made a fool of herself? Did matter if she failed again? Was just trying what it was all about?
Then she remembered Jack waiting inside what was she going to do about him now?
Paper clips and string
5 hours ago