Three over Lunch


Three over Lunch


A pop-up on Vide’s desktop alerted him: Lunch!, and the lunch was with Greta.

For Greta, Vide has become more than a friend but not yet a boyfriend. Vide is looking for the right time to express a feeling of intensity for her, and he wishes to be in a relationship with her, but not able to get out of his doubts over her.

For Vide, Greta has become more than a friend but not yet a girlfriend. Greta is sure that he will not find someone better than her, and he will update their relationship to ‘in-relationship’ at some point, but if not he will be a loser.

The alert cheered up Vide for he was going to meet Greta after two weeks but the two weeks felt two years ago. He left the stuff on his desk as they were, wore an autumn-suitable jacket and got out of his office. At the entry door of Nordstan facing Gustav Square, he met his colleague Zoey who was checking her phone.

“Going for lunch?” she asked.

Vide murmured, “Yes.”

“I’ll join you, it has be’n a long time,” she noted, and said, “let us go,” without waiting for his consent.

Zoey was sure that Vide will go for his noon meal at one of the restaurants in and around Brunnspark, Nordstan and Central Station. In these busiest spots, there are a large number of eateries to choose suitable to one’s palate in Gothenburg.

Vide was cocksure that he wanted to have lunch only with Greta and certainly not with Zoey. He said curtly to Zoey, “I have to meet a friend…decided long time ago.”

Zoey insisted, “I’m not going to hurt your friend, come, let’s go.” In fact, it was uncharacteristic of her to insist to have lunch with Vide. Zoey is abstemious with her money and picky with her meals. She is one of the persons in the office who always brought cooked and packed meals.

Vide was wide-mouthed.

Zoey took his arm, and nudged him, “Common. You can choose where to eat.”

Vide and Zoey landed at the venue as decided previously by Vide and Greta: John Scott’s Palace by the water canal in Brunnspark.

Vide introduced Greta and Zoey to each other, and as the three took their seats and felt comfortable after introductory queries and answers.

Greta asked Vide, “How was your weekend.”

Vide replied, “Relaxed. Met my brother. We had a good time. How was yours?”

Greta started, “What a weekend! A terrific Saturday morning. Woke up to a false alarm which pissed me off. Of course. Who in the world will not be pissed off if disturbed by a false alarm in the morning… .”

Their meals were brought to their table.

Zoey felt she was not in their presence at all. Greta was focussed only in Vide, and talking to him. Zoey munched every morsel of her meal and started to relish the food. She had intruded into their lunch meeting, she thought.

“… Saturday was like roller coaster. And funnily…” continued Greta.

Vide gently belched in, “You had a good time.”

Greta spoke, “Not a kind of weekend I wish to have. I have been planning for a long time to see my old aunt…not that I have to see…but my mother has been requesting….By the way, I am planning to go to Norway for skiing. It will be great to be there with you. As a child, I loved skiing. I just enjoy myself in the snow, you know… .”

Vide’s ears stretched wider to hear all the words of Greta. He gently intruded into her conversation, “I will let you know in a week’s time.” He skied but saw no fun in going up and coming down, coming down and going up, and coming down. He has discovered he was liking to go and spend the holidays in winter with his parents in Värmland.

Greta continued, “I love the food here. It has been a long time ago I had French fries. When I lived in LA and in London, I gorged on them….saved time…but… .”

Zoey finished her meal, paid for hers, and stood up to walk to see the canal flowing by. Greta’s utters started to ring in her mind like bullets.

Vide and Greta completed their meal and planted a kiss on each other’s cheeks. Greta wanted to continue to talk to Vide but Vide had to go: to work!

The three converged. Zoey spat the customary parting phrase to Greta and walked towards her office. 

Walking into the office, Zoey said, “Can’t she stop talking, Vide?”

“You can be in your world when you let the other do the talking,” Vide said.

Zoey’s cheeks stretched to a wide smile as she realized the relationship of Vide and Greta: one, is talkative; other, is taciturn.

—Lucinda Palme