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Tina arrives at the fancy restaurant; she is running 5 minutes late. As she is pulling into the parking lot, she could see Eric’s disgruntled face. Eric had phoned earlier in the evening to plan when to pick Tina up, but Tina wanted to drive herself. She was still wound up from the afternoon’s argument with her Dad and didn’t want to have to spend extra time with Eric before the dinner or feel pressured to spend the night with him after. She forces a smile as she approaches. “Hey, sorry I’m a little late.”
“This is why I wanted to pick you up Tina; you’re always late.” He sneers.
Tina scoffs. “Picking me up wouldn’t have made me anymore on time; you’d just be arriving late too. And I’m fine; thanks for asking.”
Tina brushes past him, but he catches her arm. “I’m sorry Tina. I don’t mean to be rude, but you know what this means to me… to us.”
Tears well in Tina’s eyes. “I don’t know if I can keep this charade of ‘us’ going anymore.”
Eric pulls Tina into his arms. “I know it was never me you wanted, but I’ve always treasured our time together.” Eric pulls back to look in Tina’s eyes. “We can talk about this more later, but I’m going to tell you what I’ve always told you: I love you, and Bette is gone. She left you, but I’m still here. You should stop pining over her and focus on the future we can have together instead. Once I secure this job, I’ll be able to give you any and everything you could possibly want.” Tina opens her mouth to speak, but Eric cuts her off pulling her towards the entrance. “We don’t have time now; we’ll talk later.”
Eric and Tina walk into the restaurant and check on their reservation. The hostess tells them the other two people in their party have arrived and leads them to the table. As they’re walking, Tina looks to Eric confused. “I thought this was one guy. Who else are we meeting?”
Eric smirks. “Tonight, is not just for me, it’s for us. I’m going to prove to you I’m the better option.”
Before Tina has time to respond they arrive at the table. Tina’s breath catches in her throat as she stares back at the two people already seated: Melvin and Elizabeth Porter.