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For The Daily Prompt: Tainted Love

Yes, it really happened. There I was, in all my splendor, dressed to the hilt in a three-piece suit, bathed in Aramis cologne and ready for a hot, Valentine’s Day date with the most sexiest girl I had ever met in my life.

I made the reservations. It was going to be in a little Italian restaurant called “Stella Doro’s” that had recently opened up in my neighborhood. It was an upscale eatery and one way above what I could afford, but I figured what the hell, the cost would be well worth an intimate date with Sharon.

She was beautiful. The way Sharon’s long, blonde hair fell down to her waist made me think of the fairy tale Rapunzel. Visions of Sharon letting her hair down so I could climb the tower to rescue her danced in my visions for days on end. Although we had already seen each other on a few occasions, kissed and began to call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend, tonight we would finally make it official – or so I had thought.

I went to the restaurant earlier that day to make special arrangements. There would be three violinists assigned to our table. It was a nice, cozy, dim-lit table off in a back corner of the restaurant. The maitre’d was a little old Italian man named Geno. Geno and his wife owned the restaurant together. He said to me earlier that day “Don’t worry Giuseppe…I take a care of everything for you.”

Old, Italian people are like that – they love romance, especially between two, young people in their early twenties.

I went to Sharon’s house early that evening to pick her up. My 1976 Cougar XR7 was waxed to the max and smelling of coconut air freshener. My friend told me the day before that the aroma of coconut is sexually arousing to a woman. I was more than eager to put his theory to the test.

I parked the car, took a deep breath, and grabbed the dozen roses I had brought for Sharon on the way to her house. As I walked up to her front door, my heart began to beat rapidly. This was it, and this was the night that the magic was finally about to happen.

Nervously, I knocked on the door. As it began to open, I put a great, big smile on my face. I could not wait to see what Sharon looked like. I was ecstatic about kissing her and running my hand through her hair. The door opened slowly, and then…her little sister appeared.

“Hi,” she said to me, rather awkwardly. “My sister, Sharon, told me to give this to you…bye.” She handed me a note then quickly shut the door.

Surprised and disappointed, I slowly opened the note. It said:

“Dear Joe. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, especially on Valentine’s Day, but I’m afraid there is no other way. I have another boyfriend, and I’m pregnant with his baby and we are going to get married soon. I’m so sorry. I hope you understand and will not be mad at me. I hope we can still be friends.”

For a moment, I just stood there flabbergasted, and I did not know what to do, or how to react. I had never been dumped by a girlfriend before and especially on Valentine’s Day. I did not even think that such a thing was possible, but there I was, standing on a porch step with a dozen roses in my hand reading a break up letter.

I was devastated. I was so happy all the time when I was with Sharon. I did not understand why this was happening. Was this a joke?

I looked at the door, then threw the flowers at it…and the note.

At first, I thought about knocking on the door and demanding to see Sharon. I wanted to ask her why she had done this to me. Why did she lie, deceive and play me for a fool? Was is something I had said, or something I had done, or did not do?

I changed my mind. I was heartbroken, yes, but I wanted to get away from that door as quickly as possible and get back into my car and drive away from there.

Just as I was pulling away, I leaned down and looked towards Sharon’s house. I saw someone peering out from behind the curtains.

It was Sharon.

I often wondered to myself, for years, what Sharon was thinking back then behind the curtains. I never saw her again after that until a few years later when she came walking out of a grocery store in the neighborhood with two, small kids. There was a guy walking beside her and fighting with her about something. I could hear their argument from across the parking lot.

She turned and looked at me. She just stopped and stared at me. I could swear I saw her smile.

That night, after the break up, I felt heartbroken and alone. I drove around for about an hour or two then drove to the Italian restaurant. When I walked in, the owner, Geno, and his wife ran over to me.

“Giuseppe, what a happened? You no come before. We had everything ready for you.”

When I told them the story they made me come over to a table and sit down with them. We talked for about an hour, had dinner and then a few drinks. I think I learned their whole family history in that hour and that of all their ancestors. We talked about love, life, Italy and everything else that makes the world go around.

The three violinists also came over to the table and played for us.

Then Geno and his wife introduced me to their daughter, Maria. She was young, beautiful and very sexy. I quickly forgot about Sharon when I saw Maria, but that is another story.


Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer, book author and an Opinion Writer for 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.


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