Love all alike no season knows, nor clime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. - (John Donne "The Rising Sun.")
Anthea stared at the T.V screen blankly, tears flowing down her face. She let them cascade down her cheeks, doing nothing to stop them. When a heart is broken, it hurts, and Anthea was hurting.
She thought about Felix, her boyfriend of three years. They'd had a great relationship; 'had' being the operative word. He had dumped her last month. A sob escaped her lips as she recalled the night he had dumped her.
It was Friday, when she had rushed home after work, eager to see Felix. He had asked her to come home early that because he had something important to discuss with her.
She had assumed that he was going to propose; that for her was the logical thing to think having been together for so long, and both had spoken of how they wanted to get married and settle down soon.
Nearly bursting with happiness, she had made dinner when she got home and was setting the table when he walked in.
He saw the set table she had decorated with flowers and candles and his features had an expression of sympathy and sadness. Anthea saw and thought that perhaps something had happened at work. When he started to talk she began to realize where he was heading.
She noticed how carefully he chose his words; rather like a marine picking his way through a minefield.
"Anthea ... I..." He tried to lessen the pain he knew he would inflict — tried, and failed, and then making a visible effort he told her the truth.
"Anthea, I know this is going to be hard for you, but you have to know; I love someone else."
He watched as her face first went blank and then registered shock and disbelief.
He hated doing this, but he went on. Having lived with her for three years he felt he owed her the truth.
"She's someone I met a few months ago, in the library. We became good friends and one thing led to the other and ... well, we love each other. We want to get married."
He waited, expecting her to say something, but she remained silent, tears flowing freely down her face.
He continued, "I thought it was only fair that I tell you. I'm sorry Anthea, this is true love. This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with."
She broke down then, emitting loud, wrenching sobs. She slumped forward, clutching her stomach, crying. Felix held her while she wept, and slowly, her sobs faded away. Suddenly, she pulled away from him and went into the restroom. She washed her face with cold water and took time to compose herself.
When she came out, she was smiling. Turning to Felix, who was confused by her sudden change of emotions, she said, "When am I meeting her?"
Now as she wiped away her tears, she tried to concentrate on the television. She didn't want to think about Felix and his new woman. But she couldn't help herself, the thoughts rushed into her head.
After Felix had left her, she had broken down again, even contemplated suicide. He had been the centre of her universe, and he had gone from her life.
Apparently, Felix had called a few of her friends and told them what he had done, because within the hour, they appeared at her house armed with chocolates, ice cream and a whole lot of tissues.
Now she gave a wan little smile through her tears as she that thought about that time; Jon, Shelly, Kim, Vic and Sami had tried their best to make her feel better. They spent half the night abusing Felix and the other half talking about the advantages of being single. By the next morning Anthea was definitely feeling better.
She did meet Felix's fiancée, Darla, and within the course of the evening they spent together, decided that she was a nice person, a person she wouldn't mind having as a friend. She also saw that Felix was happier with Darla than he had ever been with her. 'This is what he deserves', she tried to convince herself, but her heart wouldn't listen.
She turned the TV off and headed to bed, still thinking about Felix. He was getting married two days later, and she was to be the matron of honor. She wiped her face and got into bed and imagined how the wedding would be. She noticed that thinking about it didn't hurt as much as it used to. Maybe she was getting over it after all.
The day of the wedding dawned bright and sunny, perfect weather for an outdoor wedding. The wedding was to take place in the grounds of a beautiful resort near the beach. The reception would be held on the beach itself, a casual affair where the main objective would be to have as much as fun as possible.
Both Felix and Darla were orphans, so it was mostly young people who were invited. Anthea and the others who were organizing the wedding had arrived at the resort the night before, so they could see to all the wedding details. Even Sami, Jon, Kim, Shelly and Vic had turned up. They had forgiven Felix for dumping Anthea when they found out that Anthea really didn't mind.
Anthea woke up at 7 a.m. that day, and went to take a quick shower so that she could head out and help with all the last minute jobs that had to be done. When she came out, she woke up Shelly, who she was sharing a room with, so she could also help. She was just heading out when she noticed the envelope lying on the floor near the door.
She picked it up saw that it was addressed to her. Puzzled, she opened the envelope and pulled out the paper that was inside. It was one of those fancy letter papers that one can buy, scented with small designs. She unfolded the sheet and read the words written inside in a beautiful script. It was in verse:
"To do what you are doing, One needs to be strong, 'Tis painful to find that Your love has been wrong.
You have pulled through, And put on a smile, But I know it hurts, Deep inside.
I don't know if this helps; Here's something to you unknown; There's someone out there Very much in love with you."
She clutched the paper to her breast when she read the last two lines, but there was a smile on her face. She wondered who it was from. Perhaps it was from Shelly, who was trying to make her feel better. She carefully put the poem back inside the envelope and placed the envelope in her bag.
When Shelly came out from the shower Anthea showed her the letter. Shelly read it and gave it back to Anthea with a grin on her face.
"Looks like you have a secret admirer!" Shelly said
"You mean you didn't write it?" Anthea asked, a perplexed look on her face.
"Of course not, and I'm definitely not deeply in love with you" she laughed; "must have been someone else." Shelly replied.
"Oh." Anthea said. "Anyway, we'd better check on the food and stuff now."
"Yeah" Shelly agreed and both of them went outside to the wedding pavilions to make sure everything was in apple pie order.
After a quick check Anthea and Shelly found everything to be fine, so they headed back inside to grab some breakfast and then go to change. The wedding was at 10 o'clock, so they would have plenty of time.
After breakfast Anthea made her way back to her room to get ready. After she finished dressing, she was going to help Darla so she had to be quick.
The dress Darla had chosen for Anthea to wear was a simple, long, pale lavender satin gown with a square neck and thin spaghetti straps that held it up. It wasn't exactly traditional, but Darla had insisted that Anthea looked absolutely divine in it and refused to allow her buy a more conventional dress. She had agreed then, after all, it was Darla's wedding.
Anthea put on her gown. She fastened a simple silver chain with an amethyst pendant round her slender neck and donned the matching earrings. She pulled back her curly brown tresses into a severe bun and slipped on her sandals. She didn't apply any make up and didn't even look in the mirror before she went to Darla's room to help her.
Darla had already slipped into her strapless ivory gown and was waiting for her. Anthea helped her get on a transparent top made of lace on top of her gown which made Darla look stunning. Then Darla applied a little makeup while Anthea pulled her long blond hair into an elegant twist at the nape of hr neck. Darla had decided against a train and had instead chosen a simple circlet of white flowers that Anthea placed in her hair. Anthea smiled as she studied the finished effect, noting that Darla looked every bit the happy bride that she was.
Darla on the other hand was looking at Anthea, frowning at her bun and simple jewelry.
She got up from the vanity and made Anthea sit down in her place.
"Do you think you can go to my wedding looking like that?" Darla admonished, freeing Anthea's beautiful hair from the confines of the bun and letting it fall free. The long, lustrous tresses framed Anthea's oval face and brought out the beauty of it.
Yes, Anthea was beautiful. She had an oval face with a peach and roses complexion. Her thick brown hair and green eyes drew many admirers. Her small, straight nose served to enhance her features. She had a slender figure and was quite tall. 5'7" or 5'8". It was these looks and a quick brain that made her a successful model.
.... There is more of this story ...