Turning off the headlights at the entrance of raven black gate, Rita reached for Henry’s hand if only for an infusion of warmth. “Do you want me to come in with you” he asked face hidden in the shadows of the interior lights. She shook her head and paused for a moment before she alighted from the car and walked through the gate. Rita knocked on the door and she felt rather than heard it open. She looked up into Andy’s smiling face and half grinned back. Blindfolding her with his strong hands he led her into the foyer and to the accompanying sounds of Jazmine Sullivan he whispered “I have a surprise for you”. He let her go to the exquisite sight of tealights, giant lilac candles, multitudes of peach & red rose petals and already sensing what awaited her she turned to find  him wearing a nervous smile on bended knee holding a flawless white gold sapphire ring.

She gazed at him, drinking in very angle of his handsome face. She took in the deep dimples peeking out at his cheeks, the prematurely graying hair, his golden whisky eyes noticing all the little things that she liked to tease him about. This man was goodness, perfection, love and everything any woman would kill for. She was tempted, so very tempted but instead she sighed and cupping his face she said, “Andy we need to talk”.

His face fell and she felt her heart give a lurch at the devastation and sadness she saw in his eyes. Clasping his hand to hers she tilted his head up to meet her own gaze and steeling against all the emotion she could sense in his slightly trembling frame she said “ I can’t go on pretending, I am in love with another man”

She watched him close his eyes, heard the ring tinkle as it fell to the floor and heard him slowly mouth ‘Why?’ Spirit crumbling she begged, “Please at look me”, and when he opened his eyes she went off in a tirade scared  that he would run away before she had a chance to explain. “I can’t explain why it is him and not you. You treat me so much better than him and if I was sane there would be no competition but I find myself in love with him” she uttered. Andy angrily shoved Rita and stood up roughly dragging her along with him, ‘What have I not done right? What have I not given you?” he shouted. “You have given me everything. Henry doesn’t even treat me right but when am with him there isn’t anything like it. If I could I would forget him, please believe me” she pleaded.

“How can I believe anything you say?” he was now yelling upturning flowers and the bucket of champagne, “You made me believe you were in love with me. I wanted to make you my wife” gesturing to the room that was now in tatters. He turned his back to her; his shoulders slumped like a man weighed down with so much pain and in a cold voice said, “Get out. Get out and don’t you ever come back”.

Rita froze, she had hurt the man who had made her happy for so long and all instinct pushed her to run to him, get on her knees, ask for his forgiveness and beg him to take her back but it was for naught. For outside all this pandemonium was Henry; the man with a perfect body, who she always seemed to fight with but was just right for her. Walking towards Andy, his back still turned to her she gently touched his arm, “I am so sorry for what I have done to you. I will never forget us”.

As she turned to leave he held onto her arm and abruptly Rita was whirled into a hug. Andy held her like a vice and in a hoarse broken voice pleaded, “Don’t leave me. Whatever is wrong I can fix it even if it takes me a lifetime. We are soul mates, you know we are. Let’s get married and have those adventures & children we always talked about. Forget him”. Clutching to him, she wept for all our lost dreams and memories, the agonizing heartbreak and the pain that we would no longer be us. “You will find somebody else. There will be another woman who will treat you right and understand the man you are. Don’t let this dim all that fire inside you.” Then she kissed him for one final time, a slow savoring goodbye kiss mingled with salty tears and ache. Standing on tiptoes she kissed his forehead and whispered, “Goodbye Andy, another soul mate will find you. Perhaps we will find each other in another  lifetime”. They clung to each other for a few more seconds and without a backward glance Rita walked out the door guilty, hurting and a total entanglement of emotions.

That was her price for falling in love with another man.♥

Passion makes the world go round, love just makes it safer – Ice T