If We Never Met

Part 1

She gazed loathingly at her husband, still unable to fully grasp how their once seemingly loving marriage had turned into such a cesspool of hatred, misery, and hopelessness. How could something so magical transform itself into such despair?

She remembered that fateful night when their eyes first met across the crowded restaurant. She, a beautiful, young waitress, barely twenty; he, a strapping, young sailor, home on leave. Their eyes never releasing their grasp, they walked slowly toward each other to the crowded dance floor as if some higher power had brought them together. They danced like nobody was watching. They danced after the music stopped. They danced the whole way home.

Two months passed. She couldn't believe that such a sweet, dashing guy was interested in her. He took her out every night to the most eloquent restaurants, theaters, and parties. These places were a far cry from her comfort zone of the Pizza Bowl and the softball park, but she figured that maybe she needed to change. After all, she had never been "girly." Living with only her Pop, she had never had anyone to show her how.

Then, he did it. He asked the question that she had been waiting to hear for her entire life. Without delay, she energetically blurted out her answer, and they were married the next weekend. Soon, she went to live with him on the naval base.

That was when it started to go downhill. Inexplicably, everything that he did suddenly began to grate on her last nerve, and he made it perfectly clear to her that he felt the same way. They started to bicker; they started to yell. She slapped him; he punched her. She couldn't take it any longer.

She began to grow restless. If there was one thing that her Pop had taught her, it was that true love did not exist. However, as true as her Pop's advice had proved itself to be, she couldn't help but wonder if there was someone better out there for her. Divorce was not an option for a Catholic girl like her and would result in complete estrangement from her family. Therefore, she decided to resort to having a secret affair. She began to scour the neighborhood for someone who she believed could make her happy.

Yesterday, she spotted him through her kitchen window. Knowing that this was the man for whom she had been waiting, she opened the front door with a smile.

"Good morning," he exclaimed cheerfully as he set two pints of milk on the front stoop.

"Hi!" she said flirtatiously, fiddling with a strand of her light brown hair. "I'm Laverne Malina."

His blue eyes twinkled. "Hi there, Mrs. Malina. I'm Joe Farruggio."

"Nice to meet you, Joe," she stated brazenly before asking, "Want to come in for a cup of coffee?"

"I'd like that very much," he replied, and the two of them walked into the house.