As the weeks went by, John helped Gloria fix leaky faucets, squeaky doors and other odds and ends. They met for breakfast frequently and he looked forward to their time together. On one of their breakfast get togethers, Gloria seemed more animated than usual. “John I have the best news, wait until you hear,” she blurted out.
“Out with it, you look like you are going to burst if you don’t tell me soon.”
“Well, I didn’t tell you but I met someone a few months ago, his name is Paul. We’ve been dating pretty frequently lately and he asked me to marry him.”
John put his coffee down slowly. His heart was hammering in his chest. He understood now why people used that expression. He tried to stay calm as he answered her. “Why that is wonderful Gloria,” he said. “From the look on your face I’d say that you said yes.”
“I certainly did, he’s a wonderful guy John and I know you are going to like him when you two meet. I want you both to be friends, just like we are.”
“I’d like that also, when is the big day going to be Gloria?” John’s heart was still hammering but not quite as much. He might be able to pull this off and not say anything foolish like, “I thought you and I might be thinking of doing the same thing, like getting married Gloria, what do you think of that?” He managed to keep his thoughts to himself.
John’s appetite had strangely diminished and after Gloria left, he sat there sipping his coffee and gazing into space.
Gloria and Paul decided to get married right away and John found himself wishing he hadn’t agreed to attend the wedding. He had met Paul and liked him well enough but considered him an interloper. He knew it was silly to feel this way but couldn’t seem to help himself. He rarely saw Gloria anymore except occasionally at the laundromat and then she usually rushed off afterwards not wanting to go for coffee as they usually had done.
After arriving at the church, he paced nervously in the vestibule while waiting for the ceremony to begin. Just then, a pretty blonde woman came up to him and asked if he were John, Gloria’s friend? “Why yes,” he was a bit startled.
“I’m Gloria’s Mother, Alice, why don’t you sit with our family?”
“That would be nice.” John was struck by her resemblance to Gloria.
“Gloria’s told me so much about you and all the help you’ve given her.”
“I was glad to help, she is such a great person.”
“Well, I hope she’ll be happy with Paul, they haven’t known each other very long.” She sounded anxious.
‘Funny I was thinking the exact same thing’, John kept these thoughts to himself.
John wondered where Gloria’s Father was but hesitated to ask. Gloria never talked about her family much in all their time together. And as other relatives and friends started arriving Alice was swept away in a maze of chiffon and chatter.
To be continued.