Part 23: Tony Finds Out

Tony has bought a ring. He has a reservation in a fancy restaurant that sits on a lake. His doubts and fears have vanished. Now all he needs is a new tie, and he will be ready to propose. He goes to the mall to buy himself a new tie, and as he is thinking whether he should get a blue one to match Jill’s eyes or a green one to match his own, he sees a familiar face.

“Melissa” he yells, “what are you doing here?” The familiar face lights up at the sound of his voice and replies, “I never thought I would run into you at the mall. I thought you hated shopping.”

“I do, I do, but sometimes certain things are unavoidable.”

“Yeah, that’s true because right now I have to bid you adieu. The hubby and kids are waiting for me in the car. But, hey, tell that girlfriend of yours to give me a call sometime. I haven’t seen my cousin in over two months,” Melissa exclaims, as she walks fast towards the mall exit doors.

Tony’s body seems to be stuck in place after Melissa leaves. At first he feels numb, but then an awful realization hits him. It’s like the time he learned his favorite uncle died. At first his brain could not comprehend that something so awful could happen; however, about five minutes after he had gotten that phone call, his body had become flooded with unbearable sadness. So when Melissa had told him that she had not seen Jill in two months, his brain could not immediately remember (or maybe did not want to  immediately remember) that Jill had told him she was hanging out with her cousin at least four times in the past two months.

Now there are many reasons why Jill might lie to him, but Tony is an analytical and honest man, and he knows the only reason Jill would keep the truth from him. As the first feelings of shock fade away, he wonders if the guy Jill is with is taller than him.

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