She finally accepted that she did not love him. She cared for him very much and he was kind to her. Undoubtedly, she had married a good man. He loved her. Her life was good. Sitting back in the seat, she stared at her friend.
Ella felt her stare and sighed. She, on the other hand, had loved her husband from the first. For two years she had chosen to see the good in him. He treated her badly and she was forced to admit that he might be wrong for her. She deserved better. He didn’t deserve her, and he had said so himself many times. Sadly, it was true. She lifted her gaze and met Janice’s stare; her eyes filling with tears, she choked out the words: I love him but I have decided to leave him.
Janice reached across the small table, covered in a faded pink plastic sheet, and took both of Ella’s hands in hers. Slowly she whispered, I don’t love him, but I have decided to stay.
By this time, both women were crying. They sat together, still, for a long time; oblivious to the goings-on around them. At some point a waiter intruded upon their peace, demanding if they required anything further. Unable to speak, the friends shook their heads and he left the bill on the table. Some time later, the two friends stood, linked arms and walked out of the quaint busy diner in the heart of a city they had grown fond of. At the corner, they embraced for what might be the last time.
Ella would be moving back up north to start a new life on her own. She cried easily but had such a deep strength inside. With a supportive family & good friends the world over, she would be alright. All arrangements had already been made, and this weekend she would break the news to AJ. Ella loved a man unable to show her true love.
Janice turned and walked away. She would stay and make the most of her life with Charles. She was loved… in spite of being unfulfilled. In the end, love had not been enough.