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Lovelorn and lost...

He saw her at a distance and fell in love. Instantly; the attraction was so strong, so compelling and irresistible. You'd say he's odd, for it's bound to seem that way. Modern people don't just fall head over heels. No way. She was dressed all in black, this paragon of virtue and desire, bundled against the freezing rain. They did not speak - how could he speak, overcome with fear and emotion - but he consciously registered her at his heart. A perfect specimen. He fell in love. What else can a grown man do but follow his heart?

She was walking the dog, and he followed, maintaining a practical distance so as not to lose her. All the time practising his opening lines, but whatever he came up with seemed inadequate. So much depended upon the right note, the right tone; the right approach. Raindrops fell as the gloomy day deepened into twilight. Despite this she moved slowly, almost ambling with the dog tugging her along. For one second he thought she was anticipating an approach, but she gave no sign. Indeed she appeared completely oblivious to his presence. And as he followed, drifting in her wake now, his heartstrings tugged, his head pounded from the sheer effort of will required to maintain distance and keep impulse under check. He didn't know why he was hesitating, but he did, with the compulsion to call out growing stronger. He felt like a teenager again, hesitant, afraid. Terrified she would turn a corner to disappear from his life forever. And then she did, in the blink of an eye she was gone.

He felt devastated, running towards the vanishing point as if she'd been a figment of his imagination, but he knew otherwise. Kicking himself for not speaking up. She had to have entered one of three terraced houses along the street, and he stood before them feeling like a fool. He waited on the street with the rain dripping down, settling on his shoulders momentarily. It felt ironic; it felt like a trial of courage at which he was a failing candidate.

The houses remained silent with no outward sign of life within, front windows masked by drawn curtains and with the light failing he felt certain there would be no further movement on a cold evening such as this. By now he was shivering with fear and apprehension, shaking to the foundation of his boots.

 A front door opened, revealing his angel, his vision of loveliness arm in arm with another man. He felt blow after blow strike against my chest, knowing he'd lost her long before they ever met and might never possess her. Exhaustion crept over him as he fell against the hedge. And then his darling's companion slid into a car with a breezy "See you later tonight", driving away at speed. In that instant his distant beauty closed the door and he was once again on the outside, feeling cold gnaw into his bones. He made his way home a wiser man.

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