Was their special lunch really the time to start matchmaking?
Macy and her mother were shown to their table in the hotel restaurant.
“This is lovely, darling, thank you,” said Catriona, admiring the sunny daffodils on the table.
Mother and daughter lived too far apart to meet up as often as they liked so Macy had booked a weekend treat for Mother’s Day.
They’d had a hectic few days with shopping, a show, lots of gossipy mother and daughter time and now a nice meal at their hotel to round it off.
They placed their order and Catriona looked around the restaurant. Her eyes widened and she leaned across the table.
“Don’t look now, but check out that man over there,” she whispered.
Macy grinned. “How can I check him out without looking?”
“Shhh,” flapped Catriona. “He’s by the window. Dark hair. Wearing a green shirt.”
Surreptitiously Macy did as she was told. She saw a good-looking man sitting alone, studying the menu.
“What about him?” she asked her mother.
“Handsome, isn’t he?” said Catriona.
Not this again. Macy rolled her eyes.
“I’ve told you, Mum. I’m not looking for romance. I’m married to my work.”
“Your work isn’t everything,” said Catriona mildly. “You’ll learn that one day. Anyway, you haven’t said what you think of him.”
Macy took another peek. His hair was dark brown, peppered with grey. He was nicely tanned, with the sort of physique that looked as if it had been honed from hard work rather than in a gym.
“He’s nice. But too old for me.”
Catriona dismissed that with a wave of her hand. “Age is just a number.”
Macy couldn’t argue with that. Mum was living proof. Macy’s dad, Steve, had passed away five years ago. Losing the love of her life had affected Catriona deeply, but gradually she had fought her way back to her old self.
“Your father made me promise to live life to the full,” she’d told Macy. And that was what Catriona had done. Macy was so proud of her for that.
“Stop staring!” Macy said.
Ignoring her own words, she sneaked a glance at his table. To her horror, the man chose that moment to look over and for a second their eyes met.
Quickly she dropped her gaze.
“Oh no! He’s seen us!”
Catriona laughed. “You’re too serious.”
Her mother really was incorrigible.
“No matchmaking, Mum. I mean it.”
“I’m not,” said Catriona innocently.
The food arrived and they happily tucked in. They had just finished eating when the young server appeared at the table with a bottle of wine.
“Compliments of the gentleman by the window,” she said.
“What? No!” cried Macy in alarm. “No thank you. Please tell him –”
But the girl had gone. Even worse, Catriona had poured a glass and raised it in a toast to the man in the green shirt.
“Mum, no!” Macy was horrified. “Don’t encourage him. I mean it. Oh, no! He’s coming over. Don’t say a word. Let me do the talking.”
Bracing herself she looked up into a pair of clear green eyes, a perfect match for his forest green shirt. Before she could say a word Catriona beat her to it.
The man grinned.
“Cat. I’d know that laugh anywhere. Even after thirty years.”
“This is my daughter, Macy.”
“Pleased to meet you, Macy.”
“Wait. You two know each other?”
“Tom here once asked me to marry him,” said Catriona, her eyes dancing with laughter.
Tom rubbed his jaw. “Unfortunately my best friend had beaten me to it and she’d said yes.” His eyes clouded. “I was very sorry to hear about Steve.”
He knew her father, too? Macy didn’t understand. Why was Mum looking at Tom like that? And why was she blushing?
Her mother never blushed. What was going on?
And then it hit her. Mum wasn’t interested in him for Macy. She was interested in him, full stop.
And from the way he was looking at Catriona, the feeling was mutual.
Macy was proud of how quickly she recovered.
“Well, Tom, why don’t you join us for dessert?”
“Oh no, I couldn’t. I’m staying at the hotel on business. I actually forgot it was Mother’s Day when I came down to eat. I couldn’t interrupt –”
“Please?” said Macy and he didn’t take much persuading. Soon he and Catriona were laughing about old times.
Macy sat back and watched in amazement as the years melted away from her mother.
And Tom? The big, bluff man was like an awkward teenager as he hung on Catriona’s every word.
Macy decided she would stay a while then make an excuse to leave them alone.
Because, Mother’s Day or not, Macy had just been reminded that there was far more to her mother than being a mum.
Our My Weekly Favourites series of feel-good fiction from our archives continues on Mondays and Thursdays. Look out for the next one.
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