Any Sensible Chap
by MelWil

You walk her her home in silence. You thought she would be floating, that the night's events would make her delirious with pleasure. But she's all business, her eyes hard and her lips pressed tightly together and you wonder how on Earth it could have gone wrong.

"Ruth?" You try to talk to her, try to break through the shell she's crawled into, but her lips tighten further and she looks away from you.

She doesn't understand how beautiful she looks. How the creamy colour of the dress brings out the richness of her skin; how her excitement brought a flush to her cheeks and made her eyes sparkle.

She doesn't understand that any sensible chap would fall in love with her the minute they saw her.

She doesn't understand that she's allowed to love him back.

You lead her to her front door and invite yourself in for a drink. You sit with her in her living room, a glass of port in your hand. You listen to the silence and wonder how you can break it.


She looks at you. "I'm sorry, Malcolm. For dragging you out like this. I'm sure you had more important things to do."

You want to tell her that she's being ridiculous, that she should have more faith in herself. You want to tell her that she's beautiful, that you're in love with her, that you've been in love with her for months now.

You want to sweep her into your arms and show her how special she is.

But the best you can do is a pat on the hand and a reassurance that it was no trouble at all, that you were happy to do it.

She would never understand the truth.


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