Faces of love, jealousy

Published 10:25 am Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It was good there was a crowd. He had heard they would be attending and the presence of many bodies would serve to cushion his exposure, even provide escape if necessary.

Nevertheless, it did not lessen the shock. In mid-sentence, glancing to his left through various necks and heads, he witnessed their entrance.

She looked good. That familiar way she carried herself had no less effect on him than when first witnessed. Perhaps more so.

But he was beside her. Him!

“So this is the one,” he thought. “This is the one who pulled her from my grasp, took her from my arms. Why?” he asked. “Why would she ever leave me for him? He’s nothing but a man!”

But there he was. A real live human being, standing in that position he so coveted. Beside her. Next to her. Talking to her!

Like a stalking cougar, he moved through the crowd, observing his prey from a distance.

His heart stopped as he saw their hands meet, touch for an instant, and then clasp. That same hand he once held. He remembered the soft texture, the delicate feel of it all.

Now he was looking at her and saying something. What did he say? She was looking at him. They both laughed.

She glanced around the room. Was she looking for him?

Straining to engage her eyes, the connection proved elusive (she was always good at that). Had she seen him? It seemed she had. Surely she sensed his presence. He who was once the recipient of that enchanting laugh and those seductive whispers. He whom she once looked at like no other.

They turned and strolled across the room, stopping to converse to another couple.

One agonizing hour later, biding his time, he still had not spoken to her, but rather avoided broaching that invisible wall that compelled him to stay at such distance as to avoid the unbearable reunion.

“They ambled towards the exit. Were they leaving? Surely she would turn and glance his way before departing! Just a glance over the shoulder. Something — anything! — to show she still cared. Anything to show she had some semblance of doubt as to her decision.

As he watched her movements in that red dress he had always adored, it looked like she was about to glance his way. But HE started talking to her. Him!

They disappeared through the doorway.

“Oh, she cares,” he thought. “She still cares.”