We Meet Again
by Gloria Watts
I turned my head and I thought, just for one second... it was him; but the man that had caught my attention was nothing like Hugh. Okay, he was tall, had fair hair and walked with a spring in his step, but Hugh he was not.
Who is Hugh, you ask? Only the first man I ever loved, and how I loved him. Mesmerised, infatuated, brainwashed, that’s what my best friend Alma said, when I told her.
* * *
“I’ve just met the most wonderful man.”
“Oh yea! Another wonderful man.” Alma knows me, we’ve been friends for years.
“This time it’s for real, Alma, for real.”
I couldn’t keep the happiness I felt out of my voice and planted a kiss on her cheek.
“Be happy for me, Alma.”
“Sure thing,” she said, brown eyes showing her amusement.
Two months later she told me she’d seen him with Lily, seen them at the cinema, sitting in the back row, his hands all over her.
“Mesmerised, my girl, that’s what you are. Brainwashed by a two-bit womaniser.”
I didn’t let her see the tears hiding behind my eyes and I felt such a fool. I’d believed everything he’d said. I’d believed we’d be together for... always.
I couldn’t let him get away with it, why should I? What could I do? Thoughts, not pleasant, ran through my head. Each day another plan plotted, only to be abandoned as unrealistic. And then, he was back, putting on the old charm, smiling that charismatic smile of his and whispering sweet nothings.
What could a girl do but succumb, and I did.
It didn’t last — three weeks later, he was found dead. His neighbour found him lying at the bottom of the stairs. Had he tripped and fallen? And if so, why? The police were at a loss. The coroner pronounced death by misadventure.
Alma was all comfort and tears.
“You poor thing. Happiness snatched away just like that.”
And it was true. I’d been happy until he’d deceived me, shattering my happiness without thought.
* * *
The man turned, looked right at me. His smile lit up his face and I could see, even from the distance I was from him, the beckoning look in his eyes. He kinda looked like Hugh, a thinner version with a stern face. The thought flashed into my mind: he knows, and suddenly I relived that night... he stood with his back to me, just one push and he was falling.
Shivering, I stepped off the kerb onto the road. One minute I was walking across the road and then... nothing but blackness and pain, excruciating pain. How long it lasted, I don’t know, maybe a second and then I reached the opposite pavement. I looked across the road where he was still standing. He raised his hand and I heard his voice, impossible I know, but I swear I heard his voice.
“Hello Jen. Welcome to my world.”
Copyright © 2006 by Gloria Watts