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Angelique closed her sketch pad and stretched lazily. Her cat, stood up and arched her back in a stretch of her own. She walked to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee and paused, like always, gazing at the faded photo framed in the hallway.

It had been 20 years and still she ached.  She lived that day again and again.

She had gotten up a little earlier than normal and took her routine run on the beach.  Tony had been in London for a month working on an IT project and she couldn't wait to have him home.  He had proposed a week before he left and they were getting ready to move in together.

Angelique had planned the perfect welcome home dinner. Reservations had been made at The Boulevard, trendiest new restaraunt in town.  His new Tag Heuer wrapped in white paper with a gold ribbon.  He had been salivating over it for a year.  She smiled to herself, feeling the warmth in her chest as she thought of the look on his face when he opened it.  How was she going to make it through the day?

Fortunately, she had a major project to work on and had a deadline.  Angelique adored her mentor and working on the new line for the spring season was thrilling for her.  A gifted prodigy, she had been designing clothing since cutting and pasting scraps of magazine pictures for her paper dolls.  Graduation was coming and she had a position with a major design house in the city.  The future was bright and when Tony popped the question that night, it looked like every dream was coming true.

Though it was hard to concentrate, she did get her final sketches in to the director on time and ran out to her car. As usual, she had scheduled every minute leading up to the dinner.  Tony was planning to come to the restaraunt directly from the airport and she only had two hours to get her mani/pedicure and get home to get ready.  The beautiful blue dress, one of her own designs, had been hanging on the closet door for a week, her new gold pumps sitting prominently on the dresser.

She had missed him terribly.  They were true soul mates.  Tony was perfect.  She knew from the moment they met that he was the one.  They did everything together, when they were together.  He was ten years older and had a successful IT business.  World wide travel was a part of his life and when she was finished with school, she planned to travel with him to the fashion capitals of the world.  She adored him.

When she finally arrived at The Boulevard, she looked perfect. The wait staff knew them well and had given her the corner table where he had proposed just over a month ago.  She placed his gift in front of his place and ordered a bottle of their favorite Cabernet.  The sommelier poured her a glass and heart pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to relax.  He was due in half an hour.

8:30 came and went.  Angelique nervously looked at her watch.  She picked up her cell phone and called him again. No answer.  He always called when he was going to be late.  Her stomach ached with anxiety.  Where was he?

"Miss Martinez?"  She glanced up and her heart froze. Two police officers approached her, hats in their hands. "No, no!"  She screamed.  The other diners fell into silence as the officers began to speak to her quietly.  Helping her out of the restaraunt and into their car, she collapsed in tears.

The next few  days were a blur.  Angelique, numb with grief, couldn't process all of the details.  Small plane down.  No survivors.  Tony had missed his flight and wanted to be with her for her birthday and had hired a private plane to get there in time.  So like him, not wanting to disappoint her.  She had no memory of the funeral and no idea how she survived.  A part of her died that day.

Stroking his cheek in the faded photograph, her heart still squeezed tight when she thought about him.  Lonely as she was, she couldn't imagine another man filling his shoes.  Sighing deeply, she mindlessly measured the coffee into the filter and poured the water in the reservoir.

Now, at 42, Angelique had been thinking about having kids again. Dreams of being a mom were happening regularly and she wondered if it was still possible for her.  She had no shortage of men who had been interested in her.  Five broken engagements were scattered throughout the last 20 years.  No one was like Tony.  No one could ever touch her heart like that again.  Sighing deeply, she carried her coffee out to the deck.

*******************************************************************************************************

Bless our romantic hearts.  Why, I don't know, but  many of us carry fantasies of love for years and those fantasies can control us if we are not careful. I believe that we have more than one soul mate.  In fact, I am sure of it.  My first soul mate, my college sweetheart, was the light of my life.  We were ridiculously attracted to one another.  Both under twenty, those feelings of love were not to be denied.

We married, as did most of our friends, right after college and had many happy years.  Our children became our focus and we went through the steps of life the very best we could.  I adored him.  When things started to fall apart, I was devastated.  Now, years later, I am remarried and deeply appreciate how life has unfolded with this second chance at love.

What do you think?  What would you say to Angelique?



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