Edward Visits Gladys

It was early in the morning and Edward was on his way home from the gym when Cate called him. He sighed. “Hi, Cate.”

“Hi. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s over between Derrick and me.”

“You did the decent thing.”

“It was Derrick’s idea to break up, not mine.”

“I guess he came to his senses.”

“He wants to work things out with his wife.”

“Good for him. And now that it’s over between you two, I hope you will focus on Boris and your wedding which is in less than four months.”

“There’s not going to be a wedding, Edward.”

“What?” He glowered. “What do you mean there isn’t going to be a wedding?”

“I couldn’t go through with it.”

“Why the hell not?”

I don’t love Boris.”

“Your ex-lover isn’t in love with his wife but he’s staying with her.”

“That’s different. She’s a Catholic and they don’t believe in divorce.”

“She has grounds to divorce him.”

“Well, she doesn’t want to divorce him and he’s not going to leave her.”

“Did you tell Boris about him?”

“He asked me if I was breaking our engagement because there was someone else and I told him no. Technically, it was the truth. There was no one else–at least, not any more.”

“I feel sorry for Boris. He’s a good guy and he’s crazy about you. How could you do this to him, Cate?”

“I didn’t mean to hurt him, Edward.”

“When did you realize that you didn’t love him?”

“When I met Derrick.”

“Why the hell didn’t you come clean as soon as you knew? Why continue planning the wedding? Didn’t you think that Boris deserved to know the truth–that he was marrying a woman who didn’t love him? No. Instead, you just thought you would keep stringing him along while cheating on him with another man. I swear, there are times when I don’t like you, Cate.”

“How could you say that, Edward?” she protested, sounding tearful.

“You don’t give a damn about people and their feelings. You didn’t care about Boris and you didn’t care about your ex-lover’s wife. All you cared about was you and what you wanted. To hell with everyone else. I’m glad Derrick dumped you for his wife.”

“Edward!” she began to cry.

“I’ve got to go.” He ended the call. She wasn’t crying because of the hurt she had caused to Boris and Derrick’s wife. She was crying because her world had been turned upside down. Well, let her cry. He was disgusted and didn’t want to deal with her anymore. And he didn’t want to be around when she finally got around to telling their parents.

He went home, showered and got dressed for work. When he got there, he called Derrick’s sister, Gladys. “Hello, Mr. Hardwicke.”

“Hello, Miss Moore. May I stop by around lunch time and see you?”

“Sure.”

On his way to see Gladys, he called Boris and spoke to him for a few minutes, letting him know that Cate had told him about their broken engagement. Understandably, Boris sounded upset. They spoke briefly and then, he ended the call. It would take a long time for Boris to get over this.

He parked his car in a parking lot and walked to the building where Gladys worked. He went to the receptionist to let her know whom he was there to see. She telephoned Gladys to confirm. “You may go right up. It’s on the 9th floor.”

“Thank you.”

He went to the lift and took it up to the 9th floor. Gladys was standing there when he stepped out. Smiling, she stretched out her hand, “It’s nice to see you again, Mr. Hardwicke.”

He shook her hand. “Please call me Edward and it’s good to see you again too.”

“And you may call me Gladys. Let’s go to my office.” She led the way. When they got there, she closed the door and motioned to him to take a seat in one of the chairs in front of her desk. After she sat down, “To what do I owe this visit?”

“Cate called me this morning to tell me that it’s over between your brother and her.”

“Really? Who broke up with whom?”

“He broke up with her.”

“Wow. I guess I got through to him.”

“Yes, you did and I’m grateful.”

“Now, Cate can concentrate on her wedding.”

“Actually, there isn’t going to be a wedding.”

“What?”

“Cate also told me that she had broken off her engagement after her breakup with Derrick.”

“Why did she break it off?”

“She said that she didn’t love her fiance.”

“Did she love him before she met Derrick?”

“No.”

“So, she was going to marry a man she didn’t love?”

“Yes.”

“Does he love her?”

“Yes. That’s why he asked her to marry him.”

Gladys shook her head. “Poor guy. I can’t imagine how he must be feeling right now.”

“I spoke to him this morning and as expected, he sounded down.”

“It will take a long time for him to get over this.”

“Yes, it will. I’ve told him that if he needs a friend, I’m available.”

“That’s very nice of you.”

He sighed. “I’m thankful that this whole certifiably sensational mess is now behind us. Your brother’s marriage is still intact, no thanks to Cate.”

“What about your parents? How are they going to take the news of Cate’s broken engagement?”

“Not well, I’m afraid but that’s her problem.”

“The two people I feel sorry for in this awful mess are Amelie and Boris. They were hurt by the two people they loved and trusted.”

“Yes. I can see why God who is always faithful has a problem with unfaithfulness in a marriage which is a holy and permanent covenant relationship between a man and a woman.”

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“So, you believe in God. That’s good. What about Cate?”

“I’m not sure anymore. It’s hard to believe that she does because of what she has done. How could anyone say that they believe in God and do something that’s contrary to His Word?”

“Derrick and Amelie attend church every Sunday but that didn’t stop him from cheating on her. Going to church doesn’t make a person a Christian but living in obedience to God’s Word does.”

“Why don’t we continue this conversation over lunch?” he suggested. “My treat.”

She smiled. “Since you’re buying, why not?” Getting up from her chair, she walked over to the coat rack and removed her coat. After pulling it on, she grabbed her handbag. “Let’s go.”

He smiled as he got up and followed her out of the office.

Posted for January 2021 Writing Prompts – #23 – Certifiably sensational

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