Looking at himself in Dara's bathroom mirror, Mac ran
his right-hand palm along his face and grimaced when
he realized that he hadn't brought any toiletries to
Dara's apartment. He made a mental note of items he
needed and maybe if they went out shopping today they
could pick up some things that he could keep at her
apartment. Mac was looking forward to spending the
entire weekend with Dara. Even though they had known
each other for several years Mac realized that other
than the two nights they've spent together, he and
Dara have not spent more than a few hours together at
each meeting. This weekend would be the first of what
he hoped to be many opportunities to learn more about
Dara and appreciate the things in her he had grown to
love. After splashing some water on his face and
drying it off, Mac returned to the bedroom only to
find the room empty. He could hear movements from the
kitchen or living room of the apartment and he
followed the sounds to the kitchen. The aroma of fresh
brewing coffee and the sight of Dara, dressed in a
short terrycloth robe, greeted him as he entered the
kitchen. He was able to enter the kitchen unobserved
because Dara was busy looking for something in the
refrigerator. Mac crept into the kitchen behind Dara
and snaking his arms around her waist he whispered in
her ear, "It's too early to get up for a Saturday,
let's go back to bed."
Laughing at Mac's suggestion Dara said, "Mac, it is 11
o'clock. Are you proposing to spend the whole day in
"Not alone I'm not," responded Mac as he turned Dara
so that she was now facing him. Mac captured Dara's
lips in soft kiss. Grinning mischievously he said,
"But to prove to you that I have more than a single
interest in you I can agree that we should spend some
time in the outside world today."
"Good morning Mac." Dara's hands and arms gently
stroked Mac's neck and broad shoulders as he held her
and she looked lovingly into his sparkling green eyes.
Mac was wearing only his underwear briefs and Dara
thought that she needed to put a few more inches
between herself and Mac or she might take him up on
his previous offer.
"Good morning, beautiful." Glancing in the
refrigerator he asked," What do you want me to make
"You want to cook breakfast?" asked an incredulous
"Of course. It's my specialty." Mac didn't explain but
he had routinely made full breakfasts for Felicia and
the girls on the weekends. Dara offered to assist but
Mac led her gently but determinedly to the kitchen
table where she watched him prepare the breakfast. In
less than 30 minutes they were enjoying a pancake and
Canadian bacon breakfast and discussing their plans
for the day. Because the week had been incredibly busy
for both of them, they made a list of errands and
tasks - shopping, taking clothes to the dry cleaners,
getting gasoline for the car, etc... - that needed to
be run and they would do them together. It took more
time to run these errands together than to perform
them individually, but both Dara and Mac enjoyed
spending the time together and learning the mundane,
day-to-day details about each other's lives. Around
five o'clock that evening they arrived at Mac's
apartment to drop off a few things and for him to pick
up a few items that he planned to always leave in
Dara's apartment. Waiting for Mac while he was doing
things in his bedroom, Dara wandered around the living
room. She gazed for a few seconds at a family photo of
Mac, Felicia, Maxie, and Georgie that must have be
taken within the last year or so. It reminded her of
Mac's request for her to accompany him to a school
play in which Georgie was performing tonight at seven
o'clock. Dara had encouraged Mac to go to the play
alone and suggested they'd meet afterwards but he was
absolutely insistent that they go to the play
together. A big part of Dara admired and loved Mac
even more because he was making such an effort to
involve her completely in his life, but she was still
a bit apprehensive about attending a "family"
gathering so soon. Then Dara immediately chided
herself when she realized that she wouldn't have been
pleased if Mac didn't want her to attend the play.
There might be a few tense moments at the event
tonight but Dara decided that she would just keep in
her mind on the fact that she'd be there because Mac
wanted her there.
Standing at the open doorway from his bedroom Mac
silently watched Dara as she looked at the
photographs. He sensed that Dara was reluctant to go
with him to Georgie's play but he felt that it would
be good for everyone - Georgie, Maxie, and even
Felicia - if they all got used to the reality that he
and Dara were now a couple. "A penny for your
thoughts." Mac teased as he returned to the living
room carrying a suitcase.
"You're only offering a penny?"
Taking her hand into his Mac said, "It was a token
amount. I already know what you're thinking," he said
watching her closely.
Believing that he really did know what she was
thinking and feeling her face flush, Dara lowered her
eyes from Mac's gaze and changed the subject by
noting, "That's a pretty big suitcase. Do you think
you have everything?" she playfully inquired.
"I think so. I want to keep some things at your place
so that I don't have to tear myself away from you any
sooner than I have to," Mac said kissing her lightly
on the cheek as he wrapped an arm around Dara's waist.
"Let's get going."
At 6:45 Mac and Dara walked into the auditorium of
Roosevelt elementary school. About 100 adults and a
large number of children were there and it took a few
minutes before they were able to find Felicia and the
girls in the crowd. At first Felicia grimaced as she
watched Mac and Dara approach but by the time the
couple reached them, Felicia had a strained smile
pasted on her face.
"Mac, we were wondering if you were going to make it
or not," Felicia said as a not so subtle way of
criticizing Mac. "And Dara, what a surprise."
"It shouldn't have been much of a surprise Felicia
because I mentioned to you last week that I was
bringing Dara. You all know that I wouldn't miss
Georgie's dramatic debut," Mac responded as he hugged
and kissed Georgie and Maxie.
"Mac, I've missed you!" exclaimed Georgie, hugging Mac
tightly. She was dressed in a long, dark green gingham
skirt and blouse with peasant puffed sleeves.
Gently prompting them Mac said, "Georgie and Maxie,
you both know Dara."
"Hi," said both of the girls in unison. Maxie had a
sullen expression on her face but Georgie greeted Dara
with a genuine smile. Georgie did miss Mac since he no
longer lived with them but she was very happy that he
was attending the play with his friend. Georgie
excused herself; it was almost time for her to be
backstage for the start of the play. Felicia led the
group near the front of the auditorium where Roy,
Bobbie, and Tony Jones were sitting. Bobbie was saving
3 seats for them as Felicia had asked. Unfortunately
they needed four seats not three but Mac saved the
situation by asking a person nearby who was seated by
himself if he'd mind giving up his seat. Just as
everyone was seated the play began.
The 45-minute play was a story based on the U.S.
founding fathers and prominent characters around 1800.
Georgie had a role as Abigail Adams and Lucas Jones
had a few lines as President James Madison. It was
evident that the children had a lot of fun
participating in the play and the audience was
enthusiastic in their applause. Though she tried to
focus on the play and Georgie's performance, Felicia's
eyes kept glancing at Mac and Dara during the evening.
She fumed silently as she watched them laughing and
smiling and occasionally holding hands during the
play. "How dare Mac ruin this evening when it was
suppose to focus on Georgie and our family outing?"
Felicia furiously thought as she fought the tears
threatening to gather in her eyes. "How could he be so
cruel?" Bobbie Spencer watched anxiously and sadly as
she saw her best friend become more and more upset
throughout the evening, knowing that there was nothing
she could do at the present time to help Felicia.
Bobbie hoped that Felicia would not make a public
spectacle as the play ended and whispered to Felicia,
"Felicia, I can see that you're angry but don't do
anything stupid. Wait until you and Mac have a private
moment to talk about what you're feeling tonight."
The children took their final bows on the stage and
dispersed to meet friends and family members in the
audience. Felicia quickly went to Mac's side and
asked, "Mac, can we speak for a few minutes,
privately?" After telling Dara that he'd be away for
only a few minutes Mac steered Felicia to a quieter
section of the auditorium. Before Mac could say a word
Felicia immediately pounced and vented her rage. "How
could you embarrass me and the girls tonight by
bringing your girlfriend here! Don't you have any
respect for us or for yourself? Whether you know it or
not this is a family outing and mistresses aren't
Blinking his eyes in disbelief, Mac took a deep breath
to calm himself before responding to Felicia's tongue
lashing. He hadn't expected Felicia to be pleased
about Dara accompanying him to the play, but he in no
way anticipated the depth of fury in her reaction.
"Felicia, what are you talking about? We're separated
and living apart and very soon we will be divorced.
Don't use Dara as an excuse to keep me out of the
girls' lives. For heaven's sake, calm down. Don't hurt
them because you don't like seeing me with Dara."
"I know that Georgie wants you to come with us for
supper after the play but I don't want you to come if
you're bringing her."
Mac could not believe that Felicia was behaving so
childishly and being so spiteful. Knowing that Felicia
needed to calm down before they could have a
reasonable conversation, Mac, not saying another word,
headed back to Dara and the others. Reaching them he
heard Dara praise Georgie and Lucas on their
performances. As Lucas and Georgie continued to talk
excitedly about the play, Dara looked at Mac as he
took her hand. She had seen Felicia and Mac talking
and from what she observed, it didn't look like an
amiable discussion. When it was decided that everyone
would go to Ruby's diner for a mini-celebration, Mac
told Maxie and Georgie that he and Dara couldn't
attend it tonight, but that he had a standing date to
see them on Monday night and this way there would be 2
celebrations. Saying their goodbyes, Dara and Mac
departed. As they left Dara asked softly, "Do you want
to talk about it right now?"
Mac stopped walking and kissed Dara. Stroking her
cheek with his thumb, he replied, "Not right now,
Dara nodded and they headed back to her apartment.
At 2 a.m. Sunday morning after finishing a bottle of
white wine and sitting in the living room for 3 hours
staring at the walls, Felicia picked up the telephone
and dialed an international number. After several
rings, a sleepy voice answered "Bonjour?"
In a choked whisper Felicia said, "I'm sorry to call
you so early on Sunday morning Robin but I need your