by Nancy Blaine
April 10, 2018
He sat across the room in a high booth in an obscure corner, but I’d know him anywhere. I had studied his face so long that I could pick him out in a crowd with a blindfold on. He was tall, lean, and handsome with an expensive smile that flashed like lightning. He was my best friend’s fiancée, and I saw him when he walked in, holding the hand of a woman whose beauty and style from a distance struck a sharp contrast to my friends’ homespun flair. They took a seat across the room in one of those secluded booths deemed for lovers only.
He didn’t see me, as I sat alone and teary in an obscure corner nursing the fresh wounds of my latest relationship. I watched closely as he leaned close and kissed her closed eyelids. Her face reflected adoration, and they laughed the lover’s laugh of intimacy, closeness and familiarity. Before that moment, I had always envied my friend’s happiness, while I lacked any of my own. After all, she was engaged to a successful businessman, who seemed committed and devoted to her, while I still shopped exhausted for that proverbial “prince” who remained elusive. She had also been married before and I had not, and I was a little jealous of the fact that she had been chosen again.
As I sat watching him, I was in awe of his boldness. It was the middle of the day, and the place was nearly empty. We were in a small café on a busy street, but apparently he felt safe. I thought of my friend and her elaborate plans for the wedding and her excitement about being his bride. She had paid $8,000 for a dress that I was certain now would be returned, after I told what I saw. She would need resuscitation if she walked in here now, I thought to myself.
Ashamedly, I admit that the thought of her walking in the door appealed to me. At that moment, I felt some weird form of satisfaction that her “prince” had turned out to be just like the rest of the scoundrels out there. As I sat watching them whisper in each other’s ear, I felt the urge to call her right then, and have her experience the pain of deception firsthand. I felt it was my duty as her friend to stop her from making the mistake of marrying someone who obviously cared for someone else. As her friend, I felt I had to warn her, so she wouldn’t be hurt.
As my eyes begrudged the scene before me, I was reminded of my own pain and how it had come to be. I had decided to surprise my latest “boyfriend” with a birthday cake before he went to work, and when I arrived at his apartment at 7:00 a.m. he wouldn’t answer the door. I knew he was home because his car was parked in front of his building. So, I decided to wait in my car, which I parked a short distance away, until he came out to go to work. The nervousness in my stomach told me that he had another woman in his house, and my suspicions were confirmed when he walked out the door an hour later with a tall redhead.
As I sat staring across the room, my anger grew more intense. It seemed I was always being betrayed by a man I invested my feelings in. And now it seemed my friend was about to experience the same thing. When he leaned over and kissed her full on the mouth, I decided to leave. I couldn’t take it anymore. However, in a split second I decided to keep my mouth shut and act as if my eyes had not been privy to his act of betrayal. Two months later at the wedding, I was glad for my decision, when the groom’s best man turned out to be his twin brother.