Blind Date (part 9)

Gemma stares, blinking away the memory.

“Welcome back.” He smiles. “You looked like you were about a galaxy away.”

“Sorry.” Gemma shakes her head, willing herself back to the here and now. Her throat is dry again. She downs the rest of her water, sets the glass down and clasps her hands together.

“Are you all right?”

Gemma nods, but finds she incapable of looking at anything but the tablecloth. There are alternating panels—solid cream broken by panels with intricate patterns in shades of peach and brick red—endless paths. She could easily get lost along one of them.

Jim reaches across the table, puts his hands over hers. “What is it, Gemma? Would you rather leave?”

She takes a deep breath. Get a grip! Her mind screams. Be here.

She takes a deep breath.

Be here right now.

Another deep breath.

Gemma looks up.

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