The Look of Love


Alan looked tenderly over at Gail and smiled, ‘Well come on then, it can’t be that difficult’ he pushed his fingers gently into her ribs in a joking fashion. ‘I asked you to explain our love in just five words, it can’t be that hard, surely!’

She hoped her face didn’t give her away, she tried to look pensive, thoughtful and stared off across the room into the dwindling fire. Pensive, that was the look she needed, she wanted to appear as if she was deep in thought, looking for just the right words to express the emotions she felt about their love. In truth, she was screaming inside, she didn’t know if she loved him anymore, in fact she didn’t really know if she ever did. She was in such turmoil, inside she was a million pieces that wouldn’t fit together anymore.  She focussed on the butterflies in her stomach and willed them all to settle down nicely on a branch.

She thought back to when they first met, he was queuing behind her at the canteen and she took the last vegetable lasagne. He let out a large sigh and then immediately laughed and excused himself. ‘I’m sorry’ he laughed ‘ did that actually come out?’. That was the beginning of their relationship, they settled for the lasagne, a portion of chips and salad and two plates. It had been easy, they went to the same university and lived a couple of blocks apart. They settled, like they did for the lunch ten years ago.

Alan was solid, he didn’t give her the rush she was used to but that she thought was because she was growing older and wiser. He was safe, he had a good job and they enjoyed the same things, both loved photography, to dance and to sleep in on a weekend. Alan would look after her into her old age, he would hold her hand still when it was covered in wrinkles and sun spots, she knew that for sure, but was that enough. It was last week anyway, before Brian came to stay. ‘Brian the bum’ as Alan called his brother.

Alan was out of town and Gail and Brian opened that extra bottle of wine after dinner. Brian got his guitar out and played some of the songs he had written. Later that night as she turned off the light, she realised she had been waiting for someone to knock her of her perch. She needed the wake up call to show her not everything in the garden was rosy. She did regret sleeping with him in his brothers house but not the good slap around the face it had given her.

She felt her cheeks redden, her heart beat frantically and knew she couldn’t keep the pensive look up any longer.

‘I don’t love you anymore’

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