Even though it’s bright and sunny I’m going to write a short story for a rainy day. Romance will always be and forever my go to. It’s what I look for when I watch movies, read books and think about when I listen to music. So I hope you enjoy my short little story.
I wish I didn’t love you anymore.
As the rain pelted her umbrella, Hannah hugged it close to her chest, mind in disarray as she tried to ignore the constant pinging in her trench coat pocket.
She knew what who was.
:PING: where are you?
:PING: everyone is here, is the train down again? Do you need me to pick you up?
Ping, Ping, Ping. She wanted to take the stupid phone out of her pocket and smash it under her heel. A part of her longed for it and the relief that would follow should she sever all ties to the person sending her message after message. She hated how much he made her heart beat fast, the warm feeling spreading through her whole body until the damp rain fell away. There was a sacred special connection between them. Even though she knew she wasn’t special to him. She was his gal pal, his bestie, the one he texted when he was troubled. She was everything to him but she was not his.
Finally the red wood shop came into view, the words “Fine Dining” were scrawled across the glass in gold writing. She wanted to turn around, crawl home with her tail tucked between her legs. Turn on some Jane Austen movie, ignore him and let this precious feeling wither to die. But he was waiting, hoping she would be there and she would never disappoint him.
So she shoved the guilt, the hope, the disappointment away forcefully as she closed her umbrella to pushed the glass door open. Out of the gloomy damp world she crossed into a comforting place of red velvet walls, hanging crystal chandeliers that cast a soft yellow glow over the crowded table at the center. Hannah noticed that they had pushed all the other chairs and tables to the side.
This was a private party.
Her stomach knotted as cold dread rose up. Oh no, no, no. She thought almost shaking her head back and forth in denial. Hard reality slapped her soundly in the face when she saw him. Standing beside his golden girl.
He was wearing washed out jeans, a dark brown dress shirt. A slight chill still lingered in the air but he rolled his sleeves up. When his dark brown eyes landed on her, that smile, the one that melted her heart, appeared on his lips. Before she could escape he was making his way over, hand clasped with a woman that beamed at her. On her hand was a large glittering engagement ring.
“Hannah! We’re so happy you could be here, we were worried you wouldn’t make it.” He said as he dropped his fiancee’s hand to enfold her against his chest. She could smell the husky cologne he used, feel the solid strength of his chest. It was cruel what he did and he did it so effortlessly.
“I had trouble with the train again.” Hannah muttered as the world shattered around her. He was never truly hers and now he would never be.
“Are you all right? You look pale.” His fiancee reached out to grasp her hand and it took everything in Hannah not to recoil from her touch. It was a touch of a woman who was gentle and kind. Hannah wanted to slap it off, guilt gnawing at her for the way he made her feel when his true love was just a foot away. Instead she stepped back and gave the happy couple room.
“I’m fine! So what’s going on? You didn’t mention why we were going to dinner in your text.” Hannah’s smile was so wide it was manic but if she didn’t force her lips into the tight grin, her smile would fall and the tears would fall with it. She endured as he slid an arm around his fiancee.
“Peter, everyone’s here, should we make our announcement?” His fiancee asked him. He nodded his head turning his future bride towards the table.
“You’re right, come on Katie. Hannah pick a seat and make yourself comfortable.” Peter tossed over his shoulder, thoughtlessly, in her direction. Hannah was a grown woman. She could take this. On shaky legs she managed to find the nearest seat and sit before she gave into the urge to run away. Firmly planted, the other guests took their seats around her, beaming from ear to ear. They saw the ring, they knew and how Hannah envied their happiness.
Peter clapped his hands together, standing at center of the table catching the attention of their guests. “Well everyone, we thank you for coming out on this god forsaken night to celebrate with us.”
She could only watch, from the outside, when he caught the eye of his fiancee. A look crossed his face as he held Katie’s hand. He gazed at her as if she held the world, and all it’s wonders, in her grasp. Hannah could barely stand to see it. She wanted to hang her head but she kept it up, out of respect to this moment that belonged to them. For they were a them now.
“I asked Katie to marry me and, as you’ve all seen,” he hoisted her hand as Katie laughed, “she said yes.”
The small enclosed space erupted in cheers and cries of congratulations, friends and family applauding as everyone rose to their feet to rush the happy couple. Hannah let the dagger sink further into her chest. She didn’t stay for the drinks, she didn’t hug them close and wish them well for they would be lies. Instead she gathered her umbrella and when they were distracted by his Uncle Morris, slipped out into the rain. When her phone pinged, she ignored it.
It pinged once and finally fell silent. Slogging through the rivets of water running over the cobblestone Hannah knew it was the end. No more lazy afternoons on a patio with a shared plate of food between them. No more early morning calls to make sure they grab coffee before work. No more Peter. In her heart she repeated the words into the rain.
I wish I didn’t love you anymore.