Robynn raised her eyes to see a couple walking toward her, pushing a baby in a stroller. She recognized Anna and Nate Stephenson, frequent shoppers at her baby boutique, and their cute-as-a-button six-month-old daughter, Kelsey.
“Oh, hey, Anna,” Robynn replied. She leaned down to the baby. “And how is my favorite customer.” She shook her head from side to side at the little girl with animation. “Hello, Kelsey. It’s nice to see you, Kelsey,” she said in a babyish tone.
The baby’s face broke out into a large toothless grin and then she squealed with delight. “She’s always happy to see you, Robynn,” said Nate.
“When are you finally going to get married and have a baby, Robynn?” asked Anna with a smile.
It was annoying how often she was asked that question and how much it hurt to hear it now. But what did she expect as the owner of a baby shop. It was different when she was with Mitch. They’d made plans for a future—a life, a house, and children with God at the center of it all.
Thankfully, before she had to respond to Anna’s question, Nate asked her another one. “Are you waiting for some friends tonight?”
Robynn only smiled in answer; it was easier than admitting she had no life.
“Nate, look there. Isn’t that Mitchell Regan?” asked Anna.
“Do you know, Mitch?” asked Robynn, a bit taken back. She tried to keep her voice reserved and even.
“Sure,” Nate replied. “He’s been Kelsey’s photographer since she was born.”
“You should have seen the adorable shots he took of her last week,” Anna gushed. “He is so good with babies…well, all the kids. He’ll make a great daddy one day.”
Robynn closed her eyes for a split second as her insides twirled with pain. She loved kids and the one thing she’d always hoped for was a child of her own. Without realizing it, she had raised a hand to her stomach.
“You know, Mitch, too?” said Nate.
“Yes, he’s a…a friend of mine. We attend the same church.”
“Maybe you should make him more than a friend, Robynn,” said Anna. “He’s awfully cute.”
She didn’t need to be told that. Yes, Mitchell Regan was cute, standing six foot two in his bare feet with a natural tan which seemed to make his sandy-blonde hair glow, broad shoulders, a smile to make any girl melt, and those profound brown eyes—the eyes that could charm anyone into anything. Too bad I couldn’t charm him the same way.
Anna and Nate said their goodbyes and entered Gimme a Latte. Robynn knew she should either go on in as she promised Marina or go home. This is what was so difficult—remaining in the same circle as Mitch, pretending to be his friend, made her heart ache and yet she couldn’t imagine severing any and all connection to him.
Oh, Lord, guard my heart. Being friends with him has been harder than I ever imagined.
Pushing the door open, she stepped inside. Well, her date this evening had been horrible already. Why not add awkward and embarrassing to the mix. Then it would be a perfect night.
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