Boris returned the ring. Fortunately for him, he had bought it from a reputable jeweler who offered him a decent return policy. He got a full refund because it was a non-custom ring.
He wished he hadn’t bought the damned thing. And he wished he’d never met Cate Hardwicke. He tried not to think about her because when he did, he got very angry.
He buried himself in his work and went jogging and cycling a lot. He took frequent trips around Europe, losing himself in the different cultures. He started going back to church and read his Bible every evening. He prayed a lot.
Still, he couldn’t seem to get rid of the bitterness and resentment he felt toward Cate. And he couldn’t stop thinking about Tulia. He had used her to forget Cate and the pain she had caused him. He felt like a heel. He wanted to go to her flat and apologize but he was afraid that he would end up having sex with her again. Sometimes, it was all he thought about, especially at night when he was lying in bed. He couldn’t deny that he wanted her.
How was it possible to be in love with one woman and desire another? He had heard of men being in love with two women at the same time. He couldn’t believe the drastic turn his life had taken. Not so long ago he was engaged and looking forward to the wedding in May. And now, he was a jilted man who still had to break the news to his family, friends and colleagues. And to further complicate matters, he had slept with his next door neighbor on a rebound.
He stood outside the jewelry shop for a while, hands shoved deep in his trouser pockets. It was a mild morning so he hadn’t bothered to wear his coat. Then, he walked briskly back to the office.
As soon as he sat down behind the desk, his phone rang. It was Edward, Cate’s brother. “Hello, Edward.”
“Hello, Boris. I heard about your broken engagement. Cate told me. I’m so sorry.”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about. She couldn’t go through with the wedding because she doesn’t love me. And it would be foolish for me to marry a woman who doesn’t love me, wouldn’t it?”
There was a brief silence on the other end. “I guess you’re right. Again, I’m sorry for how things turned out. Please know that even though it’s over between Cate and you, you can still consider me your friend.”
“Thanks, Edward. I appreciate that.”
“Anytime you need to talk or to just shoot the breeze, you have my number.”
“Take care, Boris.”
Boris hung up the phone. It was decent of Edward to call and offer his sympathy and friendship but, he wanted nothing more to do with the Hardwickes.
He got busy. It was after one when he decided that he would step out for lunch. He wasn’t hungry but he would grab something, perhaps a salad or a sandwich from a nearby delicatessen. He was walking towards the place when he spotted Tulia.
Surprised, he watched her for a few minutes, wondering what she was doing in that part of city. Then, he called out to her. She stopped and turned around.
He hurried over to her. “Hi,” he said.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“I heard that there’s a health shop around here which sells Space juice.”
“Space juice is a rare hybrid strain which fuels and improves the body while relaxing it. It’s effects are a balance between calming the mind of stress and providing relief from physical pain or tension.”
“Is it for you?”
“No, it’s for one of my friends.”
“Oh. Tulia, I would like to apologize for my behavior the last time we saw each other.”
“I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I know. I was rude to you and I’m truly sorry. Can I make it up to you by taking you for lunch?”
“You don’t have to, Boris.”
“I know but I’d like to. I was heading to the delicatessen at the corner but there’s an English restaurant much closer where we can go.”
She smiled. “Okay.”
Source: Icing on the Ring;