As soon as she walked in, she felt the tension. She didn’t want to be there, but her friends insisted she go and enjoy herself. So there she was, scanning the crowd for people she wanted to talk to – and those she wanted to avoid.
She jumped every time someone brushed against her in the crowded room. She feared it would be him. In a way, she hoped it would be him. But she knew it wasn’t, because her friends were keeping watch.
Wandering around, she mindlessly swirled the drink in her glass and she tried to look happy; tried to look carefree. She laughed with her friends, and with others who approached her throughout the evening. She was flirted with, and she flirted. But she knew it was all just a game; it was just a distraction from the true emotions she felt.
When he did brush up against her near the end of the night, she looked away to hide the hurt. But was there hurt in his eyes, too? She couldn’t tell. She watched as he left the room; she tried not to look distracted.
As she left, she declined invitations from friends for drinks in town. She couldn’t risk seeing him again, so returned home to the safety of solitude; home to the safety of isolation, safe from reality and safe from the hurt.
But she knew those safe feelings would be fleeting. She knew that he would be watching her. She knew he would be waiting for the opportunity to speak with her; waiting for the chance to explain. Oh, she wanted to speak with him – she wanted to hear his explanation – but she knew it would only cause more pain. She knew his actions were for his benefit, not hers.
When the sun rose the following morning, she climbed out of bed and stood, staring out the window. And she thought about the past – about him, about home, and her dashed hopes and shattered dreams. With the shrill ringing of her phone, she was snapped from her thoughts and brought to reality once again. It was him. But she couldn’t bring herself to answer his call; she couldn’t bring herself to allow him back into her life.
Instead, she turned, walked swiftly to the closet, and pulled out her suitcase. It was time to leave this place. It was time to put the past behind her once and for all. It was time she made a new life for herself away from the pain; away from the memories.
As she climbed into the taxi, she clutched her passport close to her chest. And she cried as the driver made his way to the international departures gate.
To be continued …
[Note: The first line of this post came from a writing prompt I found online when struggling with a bit of writers’ block. I was only looking for inspiration for a silly blog post, but instead, it helped me to add to a draft outline for a bit of fiction I’ve been working on. This bit is somewhere in the middle of the story and I’m struggling with what kind of ending the poor girl is going to have. But, let’s face it, happily-ever-after is a bit over-done!]