Cate was on her way to see Boris to tell him that she couldn’t go through with the wedding. Dread filled her. Several times, she wanted to turn around and head back home but she kept going. She had to tell him sooner or later. Best to do it sooner rather than later.
Before she left her flat, she had called Boris to let her know that she wanted to stop by. He sounded very pleased. “It’s a beautiful afternoon,” he said. “Maybe we can go for a walk in the park or for a drive in the countryside.”
“That sounds nice, Boris but I have lots of errands to run after I see you.”
“All right. We’ll make plans for another time. I look forward to seeing you, Cate.”
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” she said and ended the call. Poor Boris. She hated what she was about to do but it wouldn’t be right to go through with the wedding when she didn’t love him. He deserved better. She remembered the first time she met him. It was at a swanky New Year’s Eve party and when she recognized him as the businessman whom Jacopo Prisco had interviewed, she walked right up to him and introduced herself.
Up close, he was very attractive and had the most amazing eyes. He seemed quite taken by her. She congratulated him on the impact his business was making on the community where it was situated. They spent the entire night together, rang in the new year together and made plans to see each other again.
In a matter of months, they were dating exclusively and a year to the day they met, he proposed and she accepted. Her parents and Edward approved of him and wedding plans were set in motion. She met his family who warmly welcomed her into their fold. Boris and she were blissfully happy until she met Derrick. It was when she met him, that she realized that she was never in love with Boris.
Boris opened the door as soon as she rang the doorbell. He smiled down at her. “Hello.”
“Hello.” She stepped inside. When he would have kissed her on the lips, she turned her head. His lips brushed against her cheek. “Let’s talk in the living-room.”
Frowning, he followed her. “What’s the matter, Cate?” he asked when they were in the living-room, facing each other. He could tell from her expression that something was wrong.
“Boris, there’s something I need to tell you.”
“What is it?”
“I–I can’t marry you.”
For several minutes, he stared at her. He could feel the color rushing to his face which felt hot. Finally, he asked, “Why?”
“I’m not the right woman for you.”
“Why on earth do you think that?” He reached out and caught her by the shoulders. “Cate, you know perfectly well that if I didn’t think you were right for me, I wouldn’t have asked you to marry me. Now, tell me what is really going on. Are you getting cold feet?”
She pulled away from him. “No, I’m not getting cold feet. And I’m not the right woman for you because I can’t give you what you want.”
“And what is that?”
“Love. I don’t love you, Boris.”
His face became pale. “When did you discover this?” he asked tightly. “Before or after you accepted my proposal?”
“I guess I should be grateful for that. At least you believed that you were when you when said yes.”
“I’m sorry, Boris. If I had realized before, I wouldn’t have said yes.”
“What made you realize that you weren’t in love with me?”
“I-I’m not sure. I guess I wasn’t feeling what I should have been. I told myself that it would change but it hasn’t and I don’t think it will. You’re a terrific man, Boris but I can’t love you the way you want me to.”
“Is that the only reason why you want to break our engagement, Cate?”
Her heart lurched. “What other reason could there be?” she asked warily.
“There’s no other man, Boris.” Technically that was true. There was no other man because Derrick was out of her life. It hurt thinking about him and not be able to see him anymore.
“I hope not, Cate. I’d hate to think that all the time we were together you were cheating on me. I’ve never looked at another woman since I met you. And you know why, don’t you?”
“I fell hard for you, Cate. I couldn’t believe my luck when this beautiful young woman walked up to me at a party and introduced herself. I was completely blown away. I never believed in love at first sight until I saw you.”
“Boris, I’m sorry I hurt you.” She slipped the ring off her finger and held it out. “The last thing I ever wanted to do was to hurt you.”
He felt like knocking the ring out of her hand and throttling her but he grabbed it and put it in his trouser pocket. “It’s funny how people do the very things they say they never meant to do. You didn’t mean to hurt me but you have, Cate.”
“You’re hurt and angry right now but in time you will see that it’s for the best–“
“Best for whom?” he demanded, his face flushed and his eyes flashing with anger. “For you? Certainly not for me. How do you think it feels to have the woman you love tell you that she doesn’t want to marry you?”
“I told you why I can’t marry you, Boris.”
“Oh. You don’t love me. You never did.”
“I swear if you say that you’re sorry again, I will–” his hands balled into tight fists. “Get out before I do something that we will both regret.”
She took one look at him and scurried out of the living-room. A few seconds later, the door closed behind her and there was silence in the flat, except for his heavy breathing as he stood there, hurt and enraged.