I had known Miriam for seven years now and I had made the mistake of introducing this sensitive creature, my best friend, to the clutches of this figure before me.
A hard stony faced man who I had worked with briefly in my assortment of forced casual jobs.
I will not forget the day of the engagement. Miriam made to feel guilty for looking forward to her marriage by Dave coupled with her wretched mother pawning over the accomplishments and beauty of her childhood friend Angela until Miriam was left to cower in the shadows as the unworthy competitor but worse was to come.
I tried to console many of our friends about comments made by Miriam’s mother not to mention the discomforting stares between mother and fiance. I had seen that Dave spent considerable time lodged between Miriam and Angela with Miriam’s mother directly facing him. I kept my distance. The mother had done all to push me aside telling all how Angela was Miriam’s best friend even though they had not seen each other for twenty years.
I had arranged the engagement party with Miriam and we were very pleased with the simple elegance of it all. Not something appreciated by all but then I did not live for all. I lived for myself and my dear friends. Dear Miriam was there with her mother, the woman who had worn her down to absolutely nothing. All that was left inside was the fragile musical voice that could spark supernovas. But this sensitive soul singer did not sing anymore, she wondered about the feelings of other people. If so and so was Ok, if she had accidentally offended, if she had only… these ifs had left her prey to the dark fog that clung to her every day.
At the engagement, Dave chatted in his rather abrupt style carefully giving equal attention to Angela and Miriam. However, foolishly I did not suspect anything until he grasped Angela’s arm and there was a glance. It was only a momentary glance but I felt something shift inside my gut.
I was relieved to be invited to lunch the day afterwards. Miriam was concerned about Dave who caught me alone in the kitchen and grasped my hand. I involuntarily flinched and fell backwards and my eyes replete with terror. He looked outside and quickly referred to me as our mutual friend to assuage me. He seized my state of paralysis and began to tell me a story of how Angela had forced fellatio on him while Miriam was asleep. I was so angry and nervous at his audacity. I began to laugh at him. Dave’s wishful thinking was an affair with Angela. He told me to calm down as if I was mad and how he could not bear to hurt Miriam but he had to tell someone, me being that someone. Dave appeared to have no feelings as they could never be penetrated in the ever shifting sands that were his eyes.
Outside, I watched Miriam with her mother and ‘best friend’. All the while we watched. A cold dark abyss that even Hades would shrink from. I wanted so desperately to shout out loud and tell Miriam everything but I crumbled. I had played the most despicable part in this marriage. Miriam was not fit to understand who or what I had introduced and she never had been. An affair that had made me complicit in a deceit against my friend.
I looked at Dave and all I could see was myself. I felt sick.