Love at first sight

Love at first sight

Wordlessly, they both assessed each other. It had been many years since they last spent any time together. One day and a night they met, and then there was no reason for them to see each other again. Until now, a moment in time created by a reunion, and a few meetings into their reunion.

 

“Do you think Sandy would approve of our relationship?” she said. “If it weren’t for her dying we’d probably never have seen each other again.”

 

“We can never be entirely sure, but I know that she quickly noticed I was instantly attracted to you the day I saw you in Bournemouth eleven years ago.”

 

“You were?”

 

“Couldn’t you tell?” He didn’t wait for a response. “She and I eventually mellowed into an autumnal friendship. We both accepted that we were never going to be anything more, but would remain friends for life. I doubt she’d have a problem with you and I were romantically linked if that were to happen in the future.”

 

“I suppose we’re just friends now but with a strong connection, a mighty pull, and I feel if it wasn’t for Sandy we would have missed out on this.”

 

“This isn’t easy for you, I know and I’m not sure where we’re going, but I truly love you.”

 

“What isn’t easy for me?”

 

“I just don’t want to pressure you so soon after your breakup.”

 

“I didn’t think you were pressuring me in to anything; is going down the friendship route a pressurising situation? And it’s been seven months.”

 

“No… But I fell in love with you the moment I first saw you. This has only happened to me three times in my life. Sandy was first, you second and my wife third.” He hesitated, took in a deep breath. Leaning over the table, he topped up her glass with sparkling water.

 

“Thank you.” She smiled.

 

“Sandy was my past and my present. You were part of her past, and also part of my past and now my present and hopefully future. That makes you very special to me. There are very few people I’d trust with my life; Sandy was one and you are another. My feelings for you are based on the simple fact that you are a beautiful, talented and exciting woman and we have a connection to the past, and now we are two people who enjoy each other’s company for its own sake. Our past adds a reverence, which makes it exceptionally special for me, but this is not about Sandy and me, this is about you and I, it is about our past and our present.”

 

“You mentioned your wife, you still refer to her as your wife; I thought that she’s your ex?”

 

“It’s not as uncomplicated as I’d wish. She’s still my wife.”

 

“So, you’re separated? Live separate lives?”

 

“Yes, but under the same roof.”

 

“What?” She sat back in her chair, moves away from his space.”

 

“As I said, it’s not as uncomplicated as I’d like.”

 

“What does that even mean? Do you still love her?”

 

“No, not in that way. She and I have three houses between us and most of the equity value is hers. And we have a house that we share, where we live a life of pretence. She has one of the five bedrooms and I have another. She is away from home a lot as am I. Most of her friends and family live hundreds of miles away. Most of my friends live abroad, so they’re all blissfully unaware that to all intents and purposes my wife and I live a life of a brother and sister. Ludicrous as it sounds, that’s the way it is. There are also the marriage vows, which I do not take lightly, but I cannot live a life of celibacy before my manhood recedes, it just kills the love. I’m not a young man but I am far from finished in the bedroom!”

 

“I just don’t believe any of this!” She folded her arms across her chest. “I must have misunderstood. Or you didn’t reveal all to me during our conversations. I can understand why; however, the bottom line is you are living a lie.” She reached out and touched his forearm. “You clearly have your reasons but living in this way is debilitating and very sad. I feel intensely sad for you.”

 

“Don’t feel sad for me.” He squeezed her hand, the hand over his arm. “I’m a grown man who can deal with everything life offers.”

 

“That’s not the point. To me it is simple: If the situation makes you happy then make it work properly; if the situation makes you miserable then get out as fast as possible. This is how I live and how I’ve lived since sharing a life with a drug lord at the age of eighteen years old…”

 

There was a moment of silence. She stared at him. He stared right back at her, unflinching, appearing wounded.

 

“You clearly have chosen this journey for a reason. Do you feel you are not good enough for anything else? Are you that worried about what friends and family would think of you? Or do you really love her and can’t let her go?”

 

“I’ve had no reason to change it – the only other woman I loved I lost to Heaven or wherever the deceased go. My thinking for the last year or so has been why the fuck would I bother to change a situation that had no consequence to me one way or the other! What difference would it make? At least that was until you walked back into my life.”

 

“You wrote to me and said that you cannot find inner peace, and now it all makes complete sense to me. I will not judge you, but I cannot be a part of this entangled web. I will be your friend but until your situation changes I’d never consider getting romantically involved with you. I deserve to have a man who is as free as me and wants to share everything with me without the need to look over his shoulder, which I am sure you can appreciate especially after the breakdown between Pierre and myself.”

 

“I live the life of a single man who appears to be married, it’s soulless but I have become used to it. I can see how this makes your blood boil, my beautiful Angel, but there it is. Now you know why I’d swap my life for Sandy’s in an instant!” He reached over, touched her hand resting on the table. She did not move, did not return the touch. “As to you; you and I both know that you deserve better than a hundred Pierres and a million Sams. You know that I genuinely want you to be happy, I’ll do whatever I can from now until my last breath to help you to find that.”

 

She had no words, no reply. What further words could be spoken before digesting such new, poignant information? She told him she needed to get back home, things that needed sorting out. Not that they needed sorting out immediately, but she desired to be on her own, alone.

 

With only sixteen days to go, all she could think about was returning home, home to where she belongs. The only place – over thirteen thousand kilometres away from this place.

 

 

 

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