I Really Should Leave, But Can I?

1 min
Image of Short Story
For any casual onlooker, they painted an idyllic picture. Sitting close by, hands clasped, eyes locked - two people so in love with one another that they were blind to the world.

He held her hand tightly, as if if he let go that would change everything. She smiled at him, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She had the saddest smile. She was telling him it wasn’t going to work. She was saying she loved him more than anyone or anything, but she had to leave. Her eyes lied though, they looked at him with such intensity and passion that any passerby would assume she was saying the opposite of the words leaving her mouth.

He was telling her he could fix it. He didn’t have to keep living the same way. He told her how he loved her - but he didn’t say just say it. He knew her. He knew what would make her stay. He told her he loved the way she stared at him with her huge eyes when she wanted something, pretending she didn’t know the power of those baby blues. He told her he cherished, more than anything, the simple way she would place her hand on his back when they’d be walking down a road. He told her the small thing she didn’t think he remembered. He regaled her with the tiny memories. He loved the parts of her she did not. He made her live through what she would lose if she left,

She asked if it would be different and he promised it would. He wanted her. She wanted him. What more mattered, right? Every reason she had to leave was fading. What had she been thinking - this man was the reason behind her smile, he lit up her day. She loosened her grip on his hand. Leaning in for a hug, she suddenly jerked away.

“You better go”, she told him, “your wife’s shift is up”. The passionate stares and heartfelt words were replaced by a courtesy kiss on the cheek and eyes not really locking with one another. “I promised you, it will change”, and with that he was gone, walking into the embrace of the other woman.

And she slipped deeper, deeper into a hole filled with the pieces of promises he had made. And yet she stayed.

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