“Henry, I really hate to break this to you, but she’s dating someone and has been for the last month.”

He stared at his friend. “April’s dating someone?”

“Yeah, a guy by the name of David something. I don’t know his last name. I’ve seen them together. He picks her up after work. It looks pretty serious.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about this before?” he asked.

“You never asked.”

“I care about April, and you didn’t think to tell me that she was out there dating someone.”

“Henry, this is not my problem. I told you what would happen if you left it too long. Guess what? I was right.”

Henry shook his head. “I’ve got to go.” Standing up, he shook Marcel’s hand. “Thank you for keeping an eye on her.”

“I’ll never stop, Henry. She seems happy.”

“I’m going to go.”

“You’re not going to stay for dinner?”

“No. I need to go and see this for myself.” He left the restaurant without a backwards glance.

Without any thought to his actions he drove toward her apartment. He was knocking on her door before he stopped himself.

What are you doing?

No answer came to his own question. April’s apartment door opened, but she wasn’t the person staring back at him. A tall man with sandy colored hair and hazel eyes opened the door.

“Can I help you?” the man asked.

“Yeah, I’m looking for April. Does she still live here?” He checked the door wondering if she moved elsewhere.

“David, who’s at the door?” April asked, appearing behind him.

She wore a pair of short shorts and a white vest top. Her clothing revealed more skin than he’d seen on her in the years they’d known each other.

“Henry, what are you doing here?” she asked.

“It’s been a long time since we last talked. I thought I should come around and make sure you were okay.”

“Do you know this man, baby?”

He hated David instantly.

“Erm, yeah I do. Henry dated Julia when she was alive.”

“Oh man, I’m so sorry. April told me all about that.”

Henry didn’t look anywhere but at April. Her gaze was focused on him.

“Yeah, it has been a hard time. Can I talk to you?” he asked, looking at April.

“What do you want to talk about?”

“April, baby, he clearly needs to see you.” David touched her cheek. “I’ll go and make a coffee.”

David was gone in the next second leaving them alone.

“What do you want?” she asked, folding her arms.

“You’re dating him.”

“What business is it of yours?”

He struggled to think with all of her dark skin exposed. Seeing her body through the sheer nightgowns she wore was nothing compared to this. Henry wanted to reach out and touch her, pull her against him and simply hold her close.

“You didn’t call.” He spat the words out through gritted teeth.

“Why are you so angry? You’re moving on, and so am I. Do you even go to Julia’s grave?”

“Yes, I do.” He went every Sunday for a chance to see her. God, he was such a fucking pussy. What the hell had happened to him in the last few years? There was a time when he first saw her, when he’d have gotten rid of Julia and taken her. From the moment he saw April he’d been floored by her beauty then later, angry at himself for not laying claim.

“We’re friends, Henry. I appreciate everything you did to help me.”

“What do you know about this guy?” Henry asked.

“I know that he makes me laugh. I like being around him, and he’s sweet.”

He shook his head. “You’re making a mistake.”

“And you know that how? You don’t even know him.”

“I know people.”

“You’re acting like a crazy person, Henry. Stop this.” She reached out and touched his arm. “Please, stop.”

Henry couldn’t do this. Turning on his heel, he left the apartment to try to clear his head.

****

April watched Henry walk away feeling her heart pound. He looked so strange that she couldn’t point to what he was feeling. She rubbed at her chest trying to relieve the pain that had suddenly gripped her.

“Baby, what’s the matter?” David asked. He squeezed her shoulder, and she leaned against him.

“Nothing. I don’t know what got into him.” She closed the door hating the echo throughout the room.

“You’re sad.”

She shook her head. “I’m just going to the bathroom. Do you want to set the movie up and I’ll be back in a moment.” April kept her head lowered as she moved toward her bedroom. Closing the door, she entered the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Resting her head in her hands she focused on the floor.



----