The last to know

She felt herself staring at him from across the crowded room. Now and then, a mildly drunken partier would veer into her sight path, which she told herself would disguise the fact that she hadn’t taken her eyes off of him for the last 15 minutes.

Why hasn’t he told me?

The question nagged at her mind more than it should of, crowding down the roiling anger, the devastating sadness, the poisoning guilt and sense of inadequacy.

Why hasn’t he told me?

She watched him lift a hand and smooth down his shiny curls, worn shorter than she’d ever see them. She watched him smile his goofy grin, make ridiculous faces in time with the story he was telling. She could hear the laughter around him. Did they know? Did everyone else know?

And worse, could they know that she didn’t know?

But the worst, above the doubts, the sadness, the anger, the guilt, the insecurities, were the moments when he glanced her way, their eyes locked, and she made herself grin foolishly back at him.

It seemed fitting punishment. Hadn’t she played the fool all along?


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