Life-altering Decisions, After a Bad Day by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own Cherry Marbles or any of its character; Cherry Marbles (c) Shukie Nkosana.

Langa gave a heavy sigh, her eyes lingering on the table for a long moment. Though she knew she should have been, especially now that they were engaged and would be married some day, but she honestly had moments when she questioned whether or not the love Richard and she shared was strong enough... strong enough to last the distance... and right now, standing all alone in her apartment with Richard off elsewhere - trekking in the bush - she was struck with a strong sense of unease for the future. Definitely one of those moments, then!

Rolling her gaze to the ceiling, she contemplated her troubled thoughts for a moment, her heart beating harder, suddenly loud in her ears. She love Richard, and he loved her. She could see how much he loved her when he looked at her and their eyes met, hear how much he loved her when he talked about her. They were in love, right? Surely they would make it, even if it was an uphill battle. It would all be worth it in the end. True love was worth it, after all.

I... I do love him, she told herself silently, then repeated the phrase aloud, to the ceiling (or maybe to God; and Richard, far away from her in body, but not so in spirit): "I do love him."

The clincher came when she felt her heart quicken and her chest gave a painful little pang that seemed to ask, "Do you?"

Was it truly love? Or was it more like the affection that which you felt for a good friend? Was it more like caring, tolerance and regard, than burning, consuming, life-time love?

Shaking her head to herself, Langa lowered her eyes from the ceiling as her stomach gave a growl, reminding her that it had been hours since she'd last eaten, and she gave a weary sigh. Did it really matter? Love could grow, after all. Why was it so important that they be wildly, madly in love with one another right now?

Heading for the fridge with inherently light, graceful steps, Langa suppressed another sigh. It would be nice, of course, but...


She stopped dead in her tracks, audibly gasping, and pressed a palm to her collarbone as a new thought struck her: a painful, hurtful thought. A thought that merely wanted to know whether marrying Richard was the convenient thing to do right now; the safe thing. Marrying Richard was what she'd planned to do; it was what everyone expected to happen. If she decided that what she felt for Richard wasn't strong enough, that it sadly fell short of what she wanted for the rest of her life, would she have the guts to face the inevitable first step, the inevitable ruffling of feathers and hurting of egos that would surely follow. Was she woman enough to say, "I'm sorry, but I firmly believe what I'm doing is for the best: for both of our best interests".

Placing a hand to her chest, her eyes now round and wide, she mentally shook off the mounting panic, the winding pow-pow-pow of her heart. Reaching for the handle on the refrigerator door, she calmed herself with a couple of deep, even breaths, telling herself that now was not the time for making rash decisions. When Richard returned... then she would see. She would see how she felt about him, how he felt about her, and she would figure out how hard she was willing to fight to keep this thing afloat, or whether it was a doomed venture, in reality, a Titanic-sized disaster waiting to happen.

Besides, right now, she wasn't in her best thinking frame of mind. She was hungry and she'd been irritable all day trying to juggle work and a thrush infection, and now she felt just awful for having been so rotten to those men at the pharmacy earlier. Not that it could be helped now, of course. What was done was done. The point was: she was in no fit state to be making life-altering decisions right now.