She felt her chest tighten and the breath that normally flowed so freely felt like it had been stolen straight from her lungs.
Every hair on her body stood on end saluting the presence it felt enter the room. There was a cool breeze at the nape of her neck sending a conflicting flash of heat through her body.
Even in death, she could not forget the way he made her feel in life.
She took a deep breath, closed her eyes and shook her head vigorously as if this would shake every thought, memory and image of him out of her head and into an abyss never to return. If only.
'Adelaide?'. She snapped to attention, she knew that voice. 'Julian', she tried to happily return, 'what a wonderful surprise to see you here, are you here to see mother?', 'No..
um no I was here to see you actually Addy..to see if you'd thought about taking me up on my invitation?'.
Her eyes glazed over, 'Oh blazes', she thought,'what in the devil am I supposed to say, that my heart still belongs to the man that nobody accepted or supported,
the man whose presence is no more and who i'm expected to simply forget and dismiss as easily as everyone else has, who not only has my whole heart even in death,
but who will also always possess my virtue, my most elated and equally as shameful secret.'
She cleared her throat, 'Julian, I don't know if i'm quite able too, I- ', 'Adelaide, I know what he meant to you, I'm not blind. However, he's not coming back and I..
I'm here, standing in front of you just asking for a chance to accompany you, to be seen in the presence of a woman as beautiful, sweet and as full of grace as you'.
She could hear the attempt at empathy mixed with frustration in his voice.
Was she not being fair? Had she been brooding for too long? Was she letting life pass her by? 'I would love too', she managed to squeeze out.
She felt Julian's relief wash over her as if he himself had released and directed a wave as strong as the oceans current through his exhale of satisfaction towards her.