Brandy had indeed, avoided looking at Sam on purpose. She was simultaneously deeply torn and deeply ashamed.
She was torn because for years her heart had been hoping for the return of the sailor while her head had been trying to convince her that was an impossibility. Yet, yet, yet... there he was - Mark Bertrand walking back into the bar, looking as handsome as he always had, with that charming and disarming smile. What was she to do? This was the same man who had broken her heart in favor of his career and yet she had never been able to let him go. And to complicate matters, there was that connection she felt with Sam after only one date. Torn heart, torn head.
And there was the source of her shame. Brandy couldn't bear to look Sam in the eye, because she realized he must have felt that connection as well. Besides that, he had been a regular at the bar for many months and had seen her turn down so many offers. How could he have come to any other conclusion than that he was being seen as special somehow. Yet, the very next day, there she was with someone else. She just couldn't think about that now.
Mark had asked her to step outside where he could talk to her in private. Brandy's friend, Marla, had given her a look that said "Go ahead, but be careful". Brandy had nodded her comprehension of the warning and then allowed herself to be escorted out the side door for their reunion chat.
Mark said all the right things. He talked about how he had made the biggest mistake of his life and that all he wanted, but didn't expect, was just to have a chance to take her to dinner and talk things over. He talked about how he had re-evaluated things and had gotten his priorities straight. He talked about wanting love and family - Brandy's love in particular.
Brandy wrestled with the competing urges to slap him or to kiss him passionately. She chose, however, simply to say "yes" to a dinner with him. She really had to believe she was strong enough now and wise enough to make a good choice for herself. She was prepared to break his heart and let go of her dreams if need be. And she was prepared as well, to enter that door again, eyes open this time, knowing what can happen.
She wasn't prepared to deal with this new wrinkle, called Sam...