Part IX: Shattering
It was not an easy thing to convince Mr Watson to let Michael take Laura for a walk around the street, but it did happen, thanks to his wife.
Mrs Annalise Watson was a gentle and humble creature despite her high status in her employment, and proved quite resourceful in the matter.
Michael sighed in pure relief as he and Laura emerged out of the front gate. “That was one heck of a show,” he muttered under his breath, not really wanting his companion to sense his frustration.
He was astonished to find that Laura had in fact heard him; he realised this when she chuckled!
“Yes, Papa can be scary sometimes,” she sympathised with him, “especially when Mama or I are involved!”
Both had their fingers intertwined, although they perhaps did not realise it.
“So, were they in love even before they married?”
“Yes!” she cried, turning shining eyes towards him. “In fact, when she’s talking about their engagement, Mama gets so red in the face and slips off into the past – just as though it were all happening in front of her all over again!”
“That must’ve been quite romantic,” he remarked, a kind of wistful smile on his face.
“I just hope I get that, too!”
Just then, they spotted a girl on the sidewalk blocking their way. She wore a black jeans and grey t-shirt. Her arms were crossed, feet apart, and she was glaring at them.
“Is she staring at us?” Laura asked Michael in whispers, a little intimidated by what she was seeing.
When he did not reply, she glanced at him and was most bewildered to see a hard, unreadable expression on his face. She turned back to get a good look at the girl.
That was when she realised that the girl blocking their way was in fact Michael’s former girlfriend, Jenna Samuel, the very girl he had broken up with a month after he renewed his friendship with Laura!
’God, I hope this goes OK,’ she thought, trying her best to stop the shivers that began inside her body, thanks to her agitated nerves.
“What now, Jenna?” Michael’s harsh tone of voice spoke up.
It scared Laura to think that he might be slipping into the fierce zone, the very place from which she hoped she had been successful in keeping him…
That is, till this evening.
Jenna was saying, “I just wanted to take a look at that fool who snatched your heart from me!”
Michael knew exactly who Jenna meant. When he felt Laura tighten her grip on his wrist, he wondered if she knew, as well.
Jenna seemed to have noticed this subtle exchange, for her gaze shifted momentarily to their linked arms before tracing it to level with Laura’s.
“So, that’s the one?” she said, voice quieter than Laura had ever heard.
Michael knew that tone quite well, having been in a relationship with her for a year. He put an arm around Laura protectively.
However, he did not expect the little red head to back away from him…
Which was exactly what she did!
He turned in the utmost astonishment to see Laura backing away from him, an expression of horror on her face – although it was some comfort to see that he was not the reason, but Jenna was.
Michael gazed into her eyes and saw her heart shattering into a million pieces – as did his…