She hesitated for the briefest of moments
An imperceptible beat. The sweep of a clock hand marking a second. The folding of a butterfly’s wings. The delayed first clap of applause at the end of a recital. The reluctant closing of a child’s eyes, surrendering to sleep.
The silence hung in the air between them as if frozen, Solid, tangible, impassable. She wanted to reach across it for his hand, or touch his cheek, or stroke his hair, But the emptiness was too dense. An impassable barrier
He made the faintest movement with his head. His expression didn’t change. And yet something of him vanished from his face. But his features remained as immobile as mask. She could read nothing. His eyes were dead. Empty.
She was filled with longing for him. To be held as if she would never be released. To be hugged until everything was better.
It was the longing one has for something forever lost.
She could feel the tears rolling down her cheeks. Leaving sad, wet, first tracks for many more to follow.
She wanted to plead, to beg, to fall upon her knees and beseech him. Yet the awful finality of the moment paralysed her and made her mute.
He had known, from her pause, from that briefest of uncertainties, what she had done.
He would never forgive her.
Without a word, he turned on his heel, and walked away.
He did not look back.
© the author writing as Romantic Dominant
Photograph stolen from Tarasov