Look, A Prompt! (aka Crying in Private)

I happened to come across this prompt on @fuckinprompts and it made me think of a scene I was writing for a book I haven’t finished but swear I haven’t abandoned. I polished up the scene and this is the result!

“Mr. Gibson,” Lily said, forcing a smile onto her face that she couldn’t imagine looked natural. “Congratulations on your marriage.”

“Thank you,” he said with a broad smile. “I’m glad you came.” He took her hand and kissed it briefly. Lily saw his eyes dart toward his new bride, who was busy talking to a small group of extremely well-dressed women and didn’t see it.

“Oh, I wouldn’t miss it,” she lied, enjoying the warmth of his hand on hers for the moment. He was wearing some sort of cologne too, a kind she hadn’t smelled on him before, and her chest began to ache. Even that was fading away. “Congratulations,” she managed again, closing her eyes against the tears that were threatening to spill, and pulled her hand away before anyone noticed.

“You said that already.” Anthony smiled at her and lowered his voice so he wouldn’t be overheard. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

“Yes, I know.” Lily looked away from him. “And I won’t be seeing you again. At least not without your wife present.”

“Come on now,” Anthony said, his smile turning rakish. “Let’s not be hasty.”

“I’m sorry,” she replied. “It’s just not right.”

“You didn’t seem to mind before.” His smile had disappeared when his voice dropped even lower and Lily finally looked up at him.

“It wasn’t right then, either.” Lily stepped away from him toward the church. “I’m sorry,” she said again. “Please give Mrs. Gibson my regards.” Before he could say anything more, she was hurrying toward the gate with her lips pressed together so tightly it hurt.

She knew it had been a mistake to come. Not only was she out of place with the well-to-do guests that Anthony had invited, she should have known it would be too difficult for her to see him with his new wife after everything that had happened between them. Even so, she had wanted to talk to him but the one thing she wanted to tell him most had stayed resolutely behind her lips.

I won’t cry, Lily told herself firmly. She had a decent walk ahead of her and the last thing she needed was for people to see that she had been crying and start whispering about her. The proper thing to do would be go home, excuse herself to her room, and do all her crying there.


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