They met after so many years. It seemed as if by accident. She had known him since she was a little girl. He had been so far above her. Those who knew him said he had great wealth and lived in a mansion.
They had drifted apart. She did not know quite why. Though she tried to forget him, his face was always before her. All the diversions she tried could not erase his memory from her mind.
They walked and talked together. It seemed as if the years melted away. She wondered if he had someone special. Maybe not, for he seemed to be so free and open with her.
Suddenly they stopped. Beaming at her, he asked, "Would you care to dine with me? At my place, I mean."
She readily agreed. Her old hopes returned.
"But before we do, there is something I would like to show you. It is a portrait of my wife to be. I really want you to see her as I do."
Her heart sank, though she tried to maintain a happy demeanor.
Soon they were at his manor, far grander than she had ever imagined.
"We will soon have our meal together, but first I want to show you her portrait."
Why was he so cruel?, she thought. He has no idea of my feelings. All he cares about is her.
He led her into a drawing room darkened with blinds and curtains. Dimly she saw a floor length gilt frame between two windows.
"Now close your eyes. I want to surprize you."
Woodenly she stood before the portrait, her hands over her eyes. She heard him lifting the blinds and parting the curtains. She sensed sunlight flooding the room.
"Now you can look," he said.
Suddenly she understood, as her tearful eyes took in her reflection in the mirror before her.
"You see, I had not forgotten you. I have loved you from the beginning."