Nick knew she wasn’t coming after 20 minutes, but still waited a full hour. What choice did he have? He endured the hassle of driving into the city. His 2 hour journey took closer to 3 hours. Some simpleton on a cell phone stepped into oncoming traffic just blocks away from his destination. Emergency personnel had to detour traffic around the entire area while they dealt with the carnage. That slight deviation from his printed directions was enough to have him driving aimlessly lost for an hour. He was thankful he had the foresight to leave the house early. Otherwise, he might have kept her waiting.
Funny how things can change in 60 minutes. She made a complete fool of him. It was Emma who had insisted that they meet in person. He was still completely content with their relationship exactly the way it was. It was thrilling to hear the laptop ring out with the sound of a new message. The online conversations that ensued could go on for hours. She had a such a beautiful way with words. She made him laugh too. Why did she have to mess with perfection?
He paid for the coffee he consumed while he pathetically waited, then exited the cafe. The dark clouds that loomed overhead let out a roar and spilled their contents. Mammoth drops of rain soaked him as he sprinted for his car. At least the accident scene was clear. He could get the hell out of there unimpeded.
Soggy and pissed, Nick made his way home. He didn’t even bother to change before he sat in front of his computer and fired off a message to Emma.
“I waited for an hour, then got stuck in the rain, Emma. You could have called.”
He waited, refreshing his screen every few seconds, becoming more despondent each time his effort proved fruitless. Dispirited, Nick logged off and dragged himself upstairs to shower and change. It was morning before he had the nerve to check his messages again. Still nothing.
“Did you drag me to the city just to break it off? What happened? Decide it was easier to just stop talking to me entirely?”
All day Nick tried, in vain, to forget about being so unceremoniously dismissed. However, he required closure. Out of desperation, he attempted one last message.
“I didn’t know you had the capacity to be so cruel, Emma. I love you, truly and deeply. I was going to tell you at the cafe. I honestly believed that you felt the same. If that has changed, please, I’m begging you, just tell me.”
He fell asleep at his keyboard that night, waiting for Emma to admit she’d made a mistake and confess that she loved him too.
During the 2 days that followed, Nick’s heartache became anger. He was convinced that she intended to end their relationship that day in the city but got cold feet and blew him off instead. By the 3rd day, when a message from Emma finally did arrive, he was too furious to acknowledge it.
Nick selected the message, held down the Shift key, and pressed Delete. He had his closure. He got to give sweet Emma a dose of her own medicine.
Nick never did learn what the contents of that unread message explained…
“Dearest Nick, You don’t know me, but I’ve just recently learned that you do know my sister. Unfortunately I have terrible news. I am sorry to tell you this way. Emma was struck by a vehicle last week and was killed in the accident. I am so sorry that you were not contacted sooner, but the police kept her phone for their investigation. According to them, she was drafting the following message to you when the accident occurred,
‘I am so excited to see you, touch you, hold you, kiss you. I want to look you in the eyes when I tell you how I feel. I’m almost to the cafe already, I think I’m over an hour early. I’m that eager to begin our next chapter, my darling. Hurry and get here Nick, I…’
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