As Countess Adriana stood beside the coffin of Jean-Louis Marquis, the french lieutenant, the crestfallen curvature of her body was a dead giveaway of the weight of her grief… Kate set aside the book when she realized that she had read that sentence more than once. She just couldn’t concentrate. Her mind was on Sally.
Yesterday afternoon when they ran into each other, her friend had seemed unseasonably salty. It was unusual to see someone who was normally so good-natured uncharacteristically agitated and hostile. When she had tried to find out what was wrong, Sally almost bit off her head. So, she hurriedly excused herself and left her alone. She longed to pick up the phone and call her but what kind of reception would she get?
Sighing again, she got up from the sofa and went into the kitchen was about to to pour herself a glass of Orange juice when the phone rang. Setting the bottle of juice down on the counter-top, she hurried to answer the call. “Hello?”
She was relieved to hear her friend’s voice. “Hello, Sally.”
“I’m really sorry about yesterday.”
“I’m so glad you called. I’ve been worried about you. You weren’t acting like yourself at all yesterday. What’s wrong? Would you like to talk about it?”
Sally sighed. “I bumped into Sarita yesterday and we had words. She told me that the only reason why Tariq is with me is that most of the Indian women don’t want him because he’s dark skinned. White women wouldn’t look at him twice. So, he’s settling for a black woman.”
Kate rolled her eyes. “I’ve seen you and Tariq together and it’s obvious to me that he’s in love with you. You know what I think?”
“I think that Sarita is jealous. She wants Tariq but he doesn’t want her. Don’t pay attention to anything she has to say. She’s just hating on you because you’ve got what she doesn’t and can’t have.”
“I hope you’re right, Kate.”
“I know I’m right. Why don’t you talk to Tariq about it?”
“Do you think I should?”
“Yes, to put your mind at ease.”
“All right. I will. Thanks, Kate.”
“You’re welcome, Sally. I’m sure that everything will be fine. The next time I see Sarita, I will give her a piece of my mind–“
“No, please don’t do that. I’ll deal with her myself.”
“I’m sorry again for the way I behaved when you and I ran into each other.”
“Forget about it. You were understandably upset. I’ll be in touch. We can do lunch sometime.”
“That would be nice. Goodbye, Kate.”
Sally hung up the phone. That night as she and Tariq got ready for bed, she asked him, “Tariq, why are you with me?”
He looked at her, surprised by her question. “Why are you asking me that?”
She sat on the bed with her back turned to him. “I ran into Sarita yesterday and we had a heated exchange. She said that you’re only with me because you can’t get an Indian or White woman. They don’t want you because you’re dark.”
“And you believed her?”
“I don’t want to but I guess I’ve always felt that if you felt you could do better than me you wouldn’t be with me.”
He went over to where she sat on the bed and taking her by the shoulders, he drew her to her feet. “Sally, you’re the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he told her quietly. “I don’t want Sarita or any other woman. I have the woman I want. Please don’t let Sarita and her poison destroy what you and I have.”
Her head melted when she saw the earnest expression on his face. “I’m sorry, Tariq.”
“I love you, Sally.”
“I love you too.”
He cupped her face between his hands and murmured, “God made you especially for me.”
Tears glistened in her eyes. “And He made you especially for me.”
He smiled before kissing her. They stood there exchanging passionate kisses and then, he gently pushed her down onto the bed. As she lay there, he covered her face and body with kisses before he made love to her. Afterwards, they fell asleep, wrapped in each others arms.
The following night over the dinner which he made, Tariq proposed to her and she readily accepted. They got married in June. Kate was her matron of honor and her husband, Josh was the best man.