The flight home left Philip feeling very confused. He had so enjoyed the time with Theresa, yet the attraction he felt to Anthea was undeniable. He could see them together for the rest of their lives, yet he hardly knew her.
Arriving home at his apartment, he was further confused to receive a call from Lisa inviting him to supper at her apartment that evening. They spent a convivial evening together, with Lisa admiring how well his foot had now healed.
Over the next few weeks, Philip worked on getting his foot healed, and various things at work that kept him busy for long hour every day. Lisa continued as his physiotherapist and they saw a lot of each other over this period. All the while Philip wondered how he could make things right with Anthea.
One day a piece in a local newspaper caught his eye. She was in the news, setting up a glass manufacturing facility in the small town near her family estate.
On a visit to the city where Anthea lived, he took with him one of the exquisite tiny glass bowls he had bought in Venice. He wrapped it and enclosed a note wishing her well with her glass venture. A brief detour between meetings allowed him to drop it off at the head office where she seemed to work.
An hour later he received a call from her, to thank him for the gift. He immediately took the opportunity to invite her out that evening. She declined with a laugh, “It’s my graduation ceremony, after tonight I can officially call myself Doctor. My whole family will be here for the celebration dinner tonight”.
That evening he decided to go for dinner at a rather upmarket hotel (not the one he was staying at), and was seated at a small table with a good view of the other tables. Just as he had placed his order, in came a large group, including Anthea, the old King, the current King, and various other people.
Anthea was seated with her back to him, and next to her was the King. They spent quite a lot of the time he watched with their heads quite close together in conversation.
Philip ate his meal hurriedly, refused dessert or coffee, paid and left.
He realised he still had not asked her what she meant by “Two years early” in reference to possibly marrying the King.
How was he going to overcome these obstacles?