Short Story Fiction
Loves Departure
Scott A. Gese

Their budding romance took a sudden turn. One of them would be devastated.

Loves DepartureAlex Harmuth/Unsplash

She was born in the South of France.

In her prime she was tall, lean and extremely beautiful. Some would say she had more beauty than should be allotted to any one person. A quick wit, keen eye and clarity of mind were her hallmarks. Not only did she know it, she carried it quite well.

Her father tended a small vineyard. They lived well, but not in an aristocratic style.

Over the years many men attempted to scale the heights she demanded of them only to fall dismally short of the goal… except for one. For many years she held him close to her heart as she brushed aside all other suitors.

His name was Pierre. A dashingly handsome young man with an exterior ruggedness about him. His youthful features were chiseled to perfection. Highly educated and well traveled. His knowledge of worldly affairs rivaled his contemporaries.

As she will forever recall, their first encounter was brief. She sat in a small cafe with a friend. He was alone apart from a bottle of pinot noir. His quick glance and slight smile intrigued her. He silently saluted his glass in her direction before he sipped. She softly smiled in acceptance of his gesture.

From that moment on she could think of no other. She was smitten by his eyes as he glanced her direction. The smile that spoke volumes without so much as the parting of his lips, The noble gesture of a salute in her direction, the fact that he sat alone.

She had to meet him. For the next few weeks she made it a point to take an afternoon stroll past the cafe where she had first seen him, but to no avail. In time, she discreetly inquired of the young man with the cafe’s waiter. There was no comfort in his reply. She sat at one of the sidewalk tables and ordered a bite to eat.

As she waited, she enjoyed watching the scene before her. It was Spring and love was in the air. Couples meandered about holding hands and sneaking brief kisses.

She was lost in the moment when a voice from behind brought her back to her senses. “Are you expecting someone?” A young man stepped into view. It was him. “May I join you?”

She was pleasantly surprised. He was as handsome as she remembered, maybe more so. “Yes, yes, by all means please do.”

“I’ve seen you stroll by on several occasions, but you never stopped.”

“I was never hungry at the moment,” she quickly replied. “How did you see me?”

“My father owns this restaurant. I have a room above while I’m home.”

“Home? Do you live abroad?”

“I travel frequently, but what about you?”

The conversation continued late into the afternoon.

Over the coming weeks they met frequently at the small cafe. They carried on long conversations. Some lighthearted and some deeply philosophical. They enjoyed each others company sitting at the small cafe or as they occasionally strolled the streets of Paris. They were growing quite fond of each other. Maybe even in love.

The budding relationship ended abruptly when she received word he had unexpectedly passed away. He was involved in a horrific traffic accident while away on business.

She was devastated. The budding love of her life had been cruelly snatched from her arms before it had a chance to fully bloom. Her grief was deep and long lasting. Her ability to engage in any sort of meaningful relationship would be difficult for years to come.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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