As bad as I wanted to crumple the letter up, I kept it folded in my coat pocket, running my fingers over the tattered envelope.
The train station’s clock towered over me, the hands ticking closer to the meeting time, my anxiety peaking and knotting my stomach. My heels clacked across the floor, echoing, but I was invisible to everyone going about their afternoon, never noticing how badly I was falling apart on the inside.
It would be the talk of the town and the shameful secret whispered at our family gatherings. My heartbeat was nearly deafening, my eyes flicking back and forth over the platform in search of the person who would change my life forever. My wedding band caught on the corner of the envelope, and I swallowed hard, telling myself to keep it together.
Did it say a blue or black hat?
I yanked the letter from my coat, my fingers trembling, and my vision blurred behind tears when the waft of the woman’s perfume hit my nose. Her cursive was elegant, her instructions clear, and the love she proclaimed to have for someone who didn’t belong to her, knocked the wind out of me.
Unsure of who she was, cleverly signing darling, I hadn’t a clue of who to expect, but I knew what Grant looked like. He’d be in uniform, the one he wore the night before to a dance we attended with my brother and his fiancé. The same one I had found the letter slipped into the pocket for safe keeping.
One last hoorah.
Grant’s words had more than one meaning apparently. I had foolishly assumed it was the last outing we’d have before he left for England.
I had wanted to call my brother the second I found the letter before breakfast, but my embarrassment stopped me from picking up the phone from its cradle. The two of them had gotten into a small tiff at the dance, neither wanting to answer my question over a flash of white stationary being fought over, but it seemed he had discovered Grant’s plan to run away with this woman. I’d like to think he had convinced Grant to live by his marriage vows, but I couldn’t sit at home, staring at the clock for the time he might be in someone else’s arms.
The tiled column was cool against my shoulder as I leaned into it, and I checked the time, readying myself for my life to change drastically.
My heart sank to the pit of my stomach and my body flushed, seeing the blue hat appear in the growing crowd. She set her bag down, quickly checking her reflection in her compact, unbeknownst to her that more than one person was searching for her.
The familiar smell of my brother’s aftershave broke my stare. My heart hammering hard inside my chest, watching him scoop the woman up into his arms, kissing her passionately.