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Pen Your Pride

This chapter is dedicated to RainBoWaShEs - my first reader! Thanks for supporting me and reading my story - I can't believe I come this far - I couldn't have done it without you!

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Anjali’s POV

Swirling my scotch I continued to watch the group of friends hanging out at the bar when a particular couple caught my eye.  The woman was a petite dirty blonde who seemed quite social.  Her partner was a tall dark haired man who seemed bored.  He grabbed her hand and tugged it to signal he wanted to leave.  It was still early in the evening and most of the group seemed like they hadn’t been there for that long, yet this man wanted to leave.  Every time they started to walk towards the exit, she would see another friend and get drawn into a quick conversation.  She’d move two steps and then see another friend.  You could clearly see her boyfriend was annoyed.

We all know those couples where one of the partners really doesn’t care for his or her lovers friends.  They make the occasional obligation appearance and then make it miserable for their partner.  Even though he was holding her hand it was clear she was being torn between her friends and her lover.

Seeing them hold hands so insincerely made me think of Alex and how he was the exact opposite.  We often attended each other’s professional and personal events and we didn’t necessarily stay glued to each other, but Alex would often stealthily come up to me and slip his hand in mine and intertwine his fingers in mine to let me know he was by my side.  He never interrupted my conversations or pulled me away, he just held my hands and stood by my side listening in on whatever conversation I was having.  If he wasn’t by my side, every short while he’d look for me across a room and catch my eye and smile at me letting me know he was with me.  Those gestures always let me know that he was by my side.

He made it a point to get to know my friends, my co-workers, my students, and of course my family.  I never felt I had to choose between him and others I loved and cared for.  Although, with us the tug of war seemed to be more with his ego and me. 

He could get so angry with me for not understanding his point of view.  I’d already experienced how mad and silent he could get after I slept with him the first time and snuck out.  The next misunderstanding had been even more painful.

I had written a letter ending things so Alex could have an out before my heart was completely shattered.  I knew he had received the letter because I hadn’t heard from him at all.  It had been three weeks since I put the letter in his travel bag and it had been a week since he was back from his business trip.  If he hadn’t seen the letter I know he would have called me because he always called me after coming home from a trip.  But, there was no call at all.  I expected him to take the out I had given him, but I also expected some response from him not cold silence.  That had hurt the most.

His silence made it obvious he was done with me.  But I also knew it was only a matter of time before I bumped into him; we couldn’t avoid each other forever.  Of course I ended up bumping into him at Tarun Jewelers.  Even though I had planned it so well to take care of my business at lunch time, a time I didn’t expect him to be there at.  I popped in and found Varun who was the store manager and I gave him the boxes that he needed for the jewelry.  I chatted with him for a few minutes and I was about to head out when I felt like someone was watching me and I looked to the back of the store and I was surprised to see Alex.  For what seemed like an eternity I froze.  In that eternity I was debating what should I do, ignore him and walk out, be gracious and ask him how he’s doing, or just yell at him and tell him he’d broken my heart.  I’m not the dramatic type so my only option was to be gracious even though it killed me. 

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