|Image from here|
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was just 23 years old. She was in the depths of grief. And upon her return to work - in a restaurant - from a funeral, she met him. The "one"?
Leaning in the frame of a doorway, tall, broad, with the most intense of eyes, she fell.
He knew, and she knew.
Just one look and she knew that here was the one, the character, who could take away all her pain.
He was older. Assured. Confident (Arrogant?)
His voice and its undertones held her heart and caressed it.
His eyes were the darkest navy blue and they held hers and locked her in.
His hands were broad, and capable, and they stilled her. He was lean, long haired and undeniably sexy.
From that instant it was a given that they would be together. No words required. He presumed, she just knew.
Within days they moved in together, and for the first time in months, the pain of grief was not the dominant emotion. Lust and love were. As he circled his arms around her, as she nestled into his chest night after night, she found a calm and a safe harbour of bliss. Love?
So much anticipation. So much clarity and thrill at every move and every exchange.
They worked together and fell harder. Loved harder.
He was supremely capable and talented. Temper and passion. A heady and attractive mix. His charisma was legendary.
She was a leader and she thrived. Her energy crackled and she draw the very best from everyone around her.
Quite simply, they turned heads.
Until he cheated.
And then lied.
Savage denials to simply save face and buy time until he married. Yes, married. Another.
And her naivety at his ongoing affairs and lies and misdemeanors became apparent.
The grief this time was different. Not death, but betrayal. Raw heartbreak and shock. Humiliating heartbreak.
She did not eat for weeks. She worked, head down, pain suppressed, pride over-riding. Until she left.
"I am leaving you, leaving this place, leaving this country."
The pain of loss, of lost love, was revolting. Memories too jarring, to sad to recall or contemplate. Promiscuity in two countries did not salve the pain. She still thought of him too often. The hopeless sadness of being apart from him took longer than they time of love they had enjoyed. How can the pain of lost love be so disproportionate? How unfair.
In time, a long time, her resilience won. He was an echo in her past. A high that resulted in a deep low. That eventually returned to a sane equilibrium.
Over the years, she wondered about him, quietly and illicitly.
She dreamt of him at night. Tremulous complicated dreams that were filled with anticipation and hope. Hopes that were, as in reality, wasted.
And she searched for him. Not often. But enough. Enough to keep tabs. Online searches.
And she tasted the sour taste of resentment as she read of his fame, his accolades, his success, his partnership with his wife. She saw him, on TV, by accident, on occasion, and was ashamed at how her pulse still quickened at his voice.
An embargo was set. No more prodding at the rotten tooth. No more searching.
And, eventually, she was at a resigned peace.
Twenty years later, children later, blogs later, states later, on a random search for a particular hotel, his name and face popped up again.
She smirked in delight. Older. Greyer, with less hair. A broader girth. Tired. His charisma had entirely faded. In the images of him, and in his aura and in his appeal: all that dynamic attraction was gone.
She studied photos. Those fingers, those hands that had touched her. They no longer had any power.
She followed the breadcrumbs.
Separated. Bankrupt. Shamed.
Running scared. Tail between his legs, alone.
Karmic revenge is a powerful and gratifying occurrence.
He told me once that "what goes around comes around. We may not witness it, but truth and karma will out. Rest assured, people get what they deserve."
They do. They really do get what they deserve.