They invited her to their engagement party.
She didn’t have the strength of mind to refuse politely, so on a pleasant October afternoon she donned a cheerful party dress and a Cheshire smile and mingled with polite society in the way only the oblivious can.
Stifled from the warmth and their affection, she fled to the deck and didn’t turn when she heard the door shush open and closed behind her, already knowing who it was, who it could only be.
“Are you really happy for me?”
Forcing a soft smile to her lips, she touched his arm gently and lied.
“Of course I am.”
In the thready moonlight he could see the evasion clearly, frustration and something else forcing his brows together.
“Please don’t lie to me.”
Head lowered, she breathed deeply against the tears in her eyes.
He looked disappointed, and she couldn’t tell if he could see her wet face but he stepped away all the same.
“Goodnight,” he murmured.
She smiled brightly, watching his fiancée through the plate glass.