BetrayalThe Dark Side of Love.
She swept into my life and cut my heart into pieces. I just hoped she’d soften up over time. But, things got worse as she then decided to give me the ax. Barely able to breathe, I tried to voice a protest. She said nothing and was so cold she seemed almost inhuman. I tried again with a lacerated heart, but the iron in her eyes gave me the shivers. The blood froze in my veins as fear and the dark, thorny side of love surrounded me. A frightening, cold, and dark emptiness made itself comfortable in my heart. Sweet Lord, if love is nothing but a game, is there a saint to look after the lovelorn? Will wounded hearts be consoled and given enough strength to move on?
In one fine Friday afternoon,my world changed in the most unlikeliest of places.The Champs-Elysées Megastore café. It was busy, and I asked a young lady if I could sit near her.She stopped reading,looked at me in a contemptuous manner but said nothing.She was very beautiful and wore a mini-skirt and a tight shirt that revealed enticing curves.She was not more than 25 years old and had blond curly hair and piercing blue eye.Her arrogance added fire to her superb looks.I asked her again. She sneered at me and said in a cold voice:
“Mais enfin,allez vous asseoir ailleurs.”
“Sorry but I don’t speak French.”I explained.
“Why don’t you choose another table?”
“There are all taken as you can see.Are you expecting someone?”I asked.
“No.”She replied in a dismissive tone.
“Why can’t I seat here then?”I protested.
“Because I refuse to share my table with strange, unfriendly people.”
“Unfriendly? Who is being unfriendly then?”She ignored me and resumed her reading.
I sat down anyway.There was animosity in her eyes as she looked at me again.She said nothing but the atmosphere became explosive.I ordered an espresso and observed her with a discreet eye.She was the typical,elegant but arrogant and proud Parisian beauty.She looked like a supermodel so engrossed by her little cute self she didn’t seem to have any time or patience for strangers.How can one be so beautiful and yet so conceiced,proud and downright rude I asked myself.I ignored her and tried to relax.The music was soft,the décor agreeable and life certainly beautiful.Who gave a darn about a conceited Parisian lass no matter how beautiful?A half hour went by when she suddenly addressed me,
“Je suis désolée pour tout à l’heure.J’étais vraiment chiante.”
“As I already said I don’t speak French.What now?”I said.
“Sorry, I forgot.I was rude a little while ago and I apologize.”She offered with a warm smile.Suddenly, she was like another person.Her heart opened up through her sincere smile and the whole atmosphere became smooth and pleasant.That almost magical smile changed everything.The beauty of her heart was now on her face,in her smile and in her eyes.
It was pure beauty.It was pure life.At that moment, a passionate poet needed only to throw her a glance to offer the world undying poems.
“But, why were you so rude?”I asked.
“I was irritated.I was trying to learn my lines for my next play without success when you startled me.”She explained with the same captivating smile.
“I never meant to disturb you.Are you an actress, by the way?”I asked.
“Yes, I am.”She replied
“Obviously, you shouldn’t be here if you truly wanted to learn your lines”I ventured.
“True.You may be right considering I lost my temper with you.But,I like to go through some of my work here. The atmosphere inspires me, but only if, by a stroke of luck, I manage to ignore the noise.”
“How can you concentrate with what is going on around you?” I asked.
“I like to work when there is music in the background and some easy chatter … … like a series of continuous sounds that perdure on the same note without getting any softer or louder. But, it doesn’t work if there occurs a little agitation or excitement over anything .”
“I need total silence to be able to read, let alone memorize lines.” I remarked with a short laugh.
“We all function in different and mysterious ways, don’t we, sir?” She looked into my eyes and smiled as she arranged her books on the table .
“What are you reading?”I asked.
“Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.French version, of course.I got three different volumes here.”
“Is that your next play?”I asked.
“No.There is one before that. Anyway, I’ll be playing Portia.Are you familiar with the play.”
“I read it a long time ago.Portia is not an easy role at all.”I observed.
“Absolument…terriblement difficile surtout face à cette misere de Shylock. »
“I beg your pardon?” I asked.
“Sorry, I keep forgetting you don’t speak French.I meant Portia is a damn difficult role especially in front of Shylock.”
“That’s why I was trying to concentrate long before you arrived.But, I’ve kind of given up on concentrating today.It’s really noisy and I’m not having much luck with memorazing.”
“Do you consider yourself a good actress?”I asked.
“I do actually.I work very hard at it but in France favoritism comes first.”She replied in a vehement tone.
“What do you mean?”I asked.
“Simple.If you don’t know the right people you’ll be considered mediocre even if you were the best.Voila, cher monsieur.”She replied sadly.
“Most unfair.” I remarked.
“I couldn’t agree with you more,cher monsieur.But,God Almighty,this is a true beehive.I really don’t know what I’m doing here. What on earth do people talk about all day long?”She lamented.
“Nothing important,.” I remarked again.
“You’d think the nation’s most important matters are analyzed, criticized, and laughed at here.” She held her head and lowered her gaze. I devoured the expression her face offered at that moment and wished time would freeze there and then.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Is something the matter?”She asked.
She blushed but sat very upright and rearranged her books in a different order .The table was so small and shakey she almost spilled the rest of our drinks. I felt as if I knew her all my life and as if she had the power to open my heart. There weren’t any hopes or fears I wouldn’t have shared with her on the spur of the moment. She was fascinating, and I felt something jump inside whenever I looked at her. The abundant curly hair;, the inviting green eyes; and, most of all, the irresistible smile.I loved the way she sat, and held herself with the bearing and features of a fifteenth-century aristocrat. There was something I loved even more.It was the suggestive,slow and deliberate way she crossed her long and soul-stirring legs. These were odd,alluring, and exciting ways that engrossed and enriched me so much. She was a powerful elixir for what weighed upon my heart and ailed the soul. I knew I’d toil night and day to make sure happiness became her eternal companion. But, one question buried itself deep in my mind:. How was it possible for any man to meet such an attractive lady and be captivated by her looks, manners, and personality within minutes? As much as I tried, I found no answer. I knew it wasn’t just because of her looks, intellect, or wit. There was something else that brought me to my knees. Something that was in her eyes and shone with an inner, as well as outer, light. Something that told me how warm and beautiful her heart and soul were. The blissful encounter lasted for almost an hour. But, she then looked at her watch and stiffened.
“Time has flown by and I must go home now”I looked at her as if it were the last time I would see the light of day.
“It’s still quite early.”I remarked.
“I must cook for my fiancé.It’ll be a surprise diner.”She declared,excited.
“Would you mind if we met again?”
“But, I don’t … …”
“Oh, so sorry! I haven’t even introduced myself.”
“It wouldn’t hurt if you did now, would it?” She said with a smile that carried tons of charm.
“Patrick Kanes, from New- York. Here is my business card.”
“Wahi Sali from Paris. Pleased to meet you.”
“I’m staying at the Pavillon hotel, Place des Vosges, for a few days and I’d really love to see you again.”
“Are you on vacation?”She asked.
“No.I’m here for business.”
“Interesting.What line of business?” She wanted to know.
“I’m a consultant and I help international companies promote ther products and services in Africa and the Middle-East.”I replied.
“Do you like your job?”
“I love it.I created my company 15 years ago.”I declared with pride.
“Fifteen years ago? But, you must be at least twice my age then.”She exclaimed.
“I’m 45 years old.I’m married and have a cute five year old boy.But, unfortunately,I’m separated from my wife.”
“Wow!!!You look much younger, sir.Bravo!”She exclaimed.
“Come on.You make me blush.” I said.
“Look at you.You’re well-built, elegant, slender and definetely handsome.Bravo, cher monsieur.”
“Let’s meet again.”I proposed again.
“Why not?” She replied with the same extraordinary smile.
“How about some coffee tomorrow ?” I asked.
“Here is my number. Why don’t you give me a call after lunch? I’ll let you know then.”
“You bet I will.”
She picked up her books and smiled to herself.
Sweet Lord, it was that heavenly smile again.The one I’d love to see again and again. It was pure charm and beauty. I was overjoyed and clasped the paper that bore her number as if my life depended on it.