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This time was different.  A different place, a different time, a different life.

He was waiting.  Waiting for me.  From a distance I could see him – tall, dark, handsome and alone.  Alone, waiting for me.

I took a moment, a moment for the flutters in my heart to come to rest.  A moment to breath in the misty swirls that spiralled and curled through the hazy October sunshine.

This time was so different, yet no different.  Hope breathed new life and I felt a smile spread from my being, my core, to my eyes, to my mind and into my soul.  A rush of warmth, of love so tender and vulnerability so deep flooding and sweeping through my depths as I stepped, stepped across the threshold.

I saw the heads turn, turn towards me, towards my freshness, my spirit, my life.  Confidence radiating from the joy only true love can bring.  Were they reminded of laughter, of sunshine and blossom, moments of pure bliss captured in the memory of the heart?

Did they see the hope, the dream, the wishes for a future, a happy ever after…

But when he looked up I knew I had made such a mistake.

The cold dark gave nothing away.  Eyes that looked into and through and around!  Eyes that showed no emotions, no feelings, showed no remorse, no regret!  Dark emptiness glittered, threatening and weakening.

I knew I could not fight back.  I knew I was useless against him.

Tall, dark, handsome! Strong, cool and aloof!  Dark, cold and angry!  I knew I was nothing!  I felt as nothing!

And I knew that this is how he wanted me to feel.  I knew that he needed me to know that I was nothing.

Like a child blamed for something but not knowing what they had done, an abandoned puppy left cold and alone at the edge of a busy road, the sense of confusion seeped through my veins, drowning the glow, extinguishing the light, the spark, the flame.

What had I hoped for?  What had I dreamed?  I wanted to lay the ghosts to rest.  I wanted to know that I had not imagined the strength of our connection.  I wanted to know that I had been loved.

But I felt nothing, nothing but emptiness and pain, shards of shooting, excruciating pain tormenting and destroying the love that once was.

He looked down at me, he looked through me, he looked deep into my eyes as triumph played a smile on his lips.  And I knew.  All emotion was gone.  And I was nothing. Revenge was complete.

Revenge for a life he could not have, a love he could not feel, untold affliction, unspoken damage and torture of a tormented soul longing for beauty to ease its pain

The man I had known so many years before, the man who had come back into my life.  The man who had become my life.

The man who had stood beside me at my sons wedding.

The man who had swept me off of my feet and carried me into a world I had only ever dreamt of.  A life of beauty, love, flowers and promises.  Sunshine, rainbows and laughter, shattered.  The poison apple tasted.  The venom ebbing into the fairytale, draining the colour, leaving the dark grasp of betrayal.

A happily ever after that was never to be….

And now?  The whisper of now?  The whisper is a breath, the now is a new story, not a fairytale that speaks of happily ever after.  But a real story!  A story of a spark never quite exhausted, but one that sparkled in between the ashes longing for the sigh of a summer breeze to bring it back to life.

Because life?  ” Life: it goes on” (Robert Frost)

Inspired by: Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After