“My turn to ask you a question.”
“Okay, fire away.” She looks up at me.
“What’s your ultimate career goal?”
“Oh, that’s easy. I want to own my own restaurant. It’s what I’ve dreamed of since the first time I watched Julia Child cook her famous beef bourguignon on TV.”
“I have no doubt you’ll make that happen.” I lift her knuckles to my lips and gently kiss each one. “And what about after you reach that goal?”
“I suppose the next step would be to have my own franchise.”
“I wish I could have as much confidence about my future as you have about yours.”
“Fake it ‘til you make it is my motto.” She playfully shoves me to the side. “You should give it a try.”
“Hey, watch my pitching arm.” I pull her in and squeeze her tight. “Seriously. You know exactly what you want, and nothing will stop you from getting it.”
“From where I stand, you’ve got it pretty good. What else is going on in that head of yours?” She turns and loops her arms around my neck.
I cradle her face in my hands and focus on her kissable lips. This is the window of opportunity I’d hoped for. Life is full of calculated risks and this is the biggest one I’ve ever considered taking. She’s everything I’ve ever wanted, my first love… my only love.
“I can’t help but wonder if by leaving tomorrow, I’ll never really get what I want.”
Caroline gasps. “Oh…”
I’m paralyzed with fear that I’ve screwed this up.
She places her hands on my chest and closes her eyes. There’s no way she can’t feel my heart beating through my chest.
I try to speak, but my brain is misfiring, and I can’t find the right words to get me out of this situation.
“Micha…” she whispers and leans in, bringing her lips close to mine. “… please be honest and tell me what you really want?”