A time for romance

Just a flash fiction, originally entered for a competition.

Romance lies.

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1. A time for romance

A Selfish Heart

Beautiful music filled the intimate restaurant as the two lovers stared at each other, their hands clasped tightly on top of the red tablecloth. His eyes were wide; lust, passion. Her eyes were empty pockets of green. To the entire world, they were a star-struck couple hopelessly in love.

He felt warmth embrace his heart as he gazed at those cat-like eyes, those gently falling waves that framed a beautiful face.  How lucky he was. Each day, he woke, believing she was some kind of cruel apparition taunting him, showing him something he could never have. But she was here; right now, a tangible angel. Her warm, smooth hand in his convinced him this was a dream that had escaped the confines of fantasy and entered the real world,  one from which he would never wake. She had woven her way into the fabric of his soul and he knew that a life without her was no life at all. Tonight he was going to propose.

The woman stared back, hoping she conveyed a love she did not feel. He was handsome, charming, and kind, all the qualities that made a man so appealing but she felt no spark ignite within in her heart. The man opposite her was not like her last lover. Memories of a consuming fire that melted her core came back to her and heat rushed to her face. She could not help comparing her past passions to what she felt with this man before her. With Alex, she felt like a goddess; adored, worshiped but distant, seeing everything with an omniscient eye. But with Griffin she had become a different person, had achieved a new perspective on life and seen everything in new, vivid dazzling colour. Tonight she would end her relationship with Paul.

They left the café, entering streets slick with puddles. Lights bounced playfully off the liquid surfaces of the pavement and road. The man took the woman’s hand and raced down towards the majestic arch that seemed like a heavenly gateway to another world.  She laughed, unsure of his intentions and allowed herself to be dragged towards it.

He stopped, the Arc de Triumph behind him as an incredibly beautiful backdrop, a film setting transposed into reality. He collapsed to one knee in a move he had hoped to be graceful like a dancers. His hand snaked into his pocket, searching. The woman’s heart turned cold and her stomach twisted. She couldn’t. Oh God. She hadn’t expected this. He had given no sign.

“Will you marry me,” he whispered, looking imploringly at her with eyes that shimmered, holding up a ring that winked cruelly.

For a long moment she couldn’t speak, her throat swollen and raw. Then her mouth ground into action. She forced the words out.

“I can’t. I am so sorry but I just can’t.”

She turned away, feeling the tears prickle her eyes, and walked back down the road, past the restaurant. That look he had given her…she had never seen such pain. But she couldn’t go against her heart. It belonged to one man and one man only. She didn’t know if she would ever find him again.

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