“Happy?” Werner asked.
Suzette beamed up at him. She looked radiant. “Incredibly.”
“Me too. We have so much to be thankful for and to celebrate.”
“Yes, our wedding which is amazing and our bundle of joy.”
“I’m going to be a Daddy.”
“Yes, you are. I know that you will be a terrific Dad.”
“I hope we have a little girl and that she looks just like you.”
She smiled. “I hope she has your eyes.”
Grinning, he lowered his head and kissed her.
LeAnne watched them, bristling. She should have been Werner’s bride, not Suzette. Thing were fine between Werner and her until he met Suzette. They met when they were invited to have dinner with Suzette and her parents. Right away LeAnne could sense the change in Werner. His feelings for her seemed to cool steadily until the day he told her that their relationship was over. How she cried and pled with him but he was apologetic but resolute.
When she accused him of dumping her for Suzette, he didn’t deny it. She wasn’t angry with him. She was enraged with Suzette. It was entirely her fault. If she had remained in Capetown instead of moving back to London, this would have been LeAnne’s wedding day instead of hers.
Hatred and resentment boiled inside her. For as long as they had known each other, Suzette was always the one most men preferred. Werner wasn’t the first guy LeAnne had lost to her beautiful cousin. In high-school Matt, a really cute and nice guy whom LeAnne was crazy about dropped her after he saw Suzette. LeAnne was relieved when Suzette decided to study at the University of Capetown.
After she finished her studies, she remained there to do her Masters. It was when she was far away in Africa that LeAnne met Werner. They immediately hit it off and began dating. They had been dating for six years and LeAnne honestly believed that one day, they would get married. And then, Suzette returned to London and ruined everything.
When she heard about their engagement, LeAnne had a fit. She couldn’t believe that Werner was going to marry Suzette whom he knew for only measly two years. It didn’t seem fair. She had been his girlfriend for six years and where did it get her? Not an engagement ring. She felt betrayed by her family because they seemed happy for the engaged couple.
At first she refused to attend the wedding but her mother and Marnie persuaded her to go. And she did and deliberately chose to wear a black dress much to her mother’s chagrin. “You can’t wear black to a wedding,” she said.
“It’s either I wear this dress or I don’t go to the blasted wedding.” She got her way. And she was, of course, the only one dressed in black and she didn’t give a hoot. It was more fitting because for her, this was a day of mourning, not celebration.
The wedding ceremony was torture but somehow, she managed to sit through it without bursting into tears. The reception was just as tough, especially when the newlyweds took to the floor for their first dance. That should have been me.
“Why are you standing here, torturing yourself?” A voice asked her. It was her sister, Marnie. “You shouldn’t have even come to the wedding.”
“I have as much right to be here as you do,” LeAnne retorted.
“I’m not the one who’s Werner’s ex or the one still carrying a torch for him.”
“A woman doesn’t stop loving a man just because he stops loving her.”
“I know this is easier said than done but you need to get over Werner and move on with your life. You’re young and attractive. There’re other men out there who would gladly take his place.”
“I’m not interested in other men, Marnie.”
“Forget about Werner. He’s with the woman he loves–“
“He loved me before he met her.”
“If he truly loved you, why was it so easy for him to fall in love with Suzette shortly after meeting her? Don’t kid yourself, Sis. Werner may have cared for you but he didn’t love you.”
eyes flashed at her. “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I do. And you need to stop pining over a man who dumped you and married someone else.”
“Leave me alone!”
“Fine. Just don’t do anything foolish.” Marnie turned and walked away, shaking her head.
LeAnne continued watching the newlyweds as they posed for photos and wished with all her heart that their marriage wouldn’t work out and that she would win Werner back. Fortunately, she didn’t get her wish. Werner and Suzette have been happily married for ten years and have two lovely daughters.
Heartbroken and defeated, LeAnne packed up and moved to Finland. She isn’t in touch with any members of her family. She found a job as Product Marketer at a software company in Turku and living in a nice, airy one bedroom apartment in the heart of the city and a short train ride to work.
Life in Turku has been quite a change for her. It was a great place to live and its vibrant, eventful, and high-class cultural life offered alternatives for all tastes. She went to a concert at Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and to a theatrical performance at the City Theatre. It was at the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum where she met Kalle, a businessman. They were both staring at the same painting and he struck up a conversation.
After they left the museum, they went for drinks and something to eat. He was very attractive, charming and she enjoyed his company but she wasn’t ready for pursuing anything more than friendship with him.
“I understand,” he told her. “And I’m not to press you. If friendship is all you want right now, that’s what you’re going to get.”
And so, currently, they are just friends.