A Story – part 55


Philip took the news that Anthea had cancelled their wedding and broken off their engagement very badly.  His family tried to calm him down, but he kept saying, “I love her, she’s mine. How can she not feel the same?”

Eventually they had to return home, party clothes unworn and feeling rather worried about Philip.

He returned to work and was very subdued.  David, when he saw him, also worried about him.

Every morning Philip phoned Anthea, and if she didn’t answer, kept trying off and on all day until she did. He begged and pleaded, but she was adamant. “If you could do that to me just before our wedding, how much worse could it get afterwards?”

He ran every morning and evening, and at lunch time always went for a walk.  He found the repetitive movements gave him more peace of mind.

One weekend he drove to her home city and stood outside her apartment waiting for her for several hours, but there was no sign of movement at any of the windows, nor did she come or go. He returned home very dispirited.

He tried sending flowers to her office, but the florist told him they had been unable to confirm she was there.

Another weekend he drove out to the city where she had the glass project.  Walking down the street he was annoyed to run into Lisa, walking with a large man who was pushing a pram. He gave a quick greeting, showed no interest in the baby and walked on.

Then the formal invitation to the King’s Birthday ball arrived at the embassy. He told the Ambassador he did not want to go, and this was accepted. His apologies were tendered back to the palace.

The day of the ball he was out for his normal lunch time walk when he saw Anthea. Walking along carrying a bag with some shop’s name on it. Then the man next to her put his arm around her and bent over, apparently nuzzling her in the neck.  She smiled up at him. Philip’s temper exploded, and in a blinding rage he rushed at the man, to get him away from Anthea.

Only when some passers-by pulled him away did he realise he had attacked the king.  The king took it all remarkably well. When the police arrived the king said he’d deal with it elsewhere.

Back at the embassy after his walk, he received a phone call from the ambassador.  Both the ambassador and David had been struck down by a stomach bug, and Philip was to attend the ball in his official capacity as the number 3 at the Embassy. There was no getting out of it.

Philip decided he would show his face briefly, and then pretend he’d been taken ill and leave quickly.

The formal reception line was over when he arrived, so he managed to avoid a face to face encounter with the king. He presented his credentials at the door, and went in to mingle briefly.

He was standing at one side hoping to be inconspicuous when he turned and there were Anthea and the King. He froze; this was not going to be good.

The king said something to Anthea, and walked over to Philip.  He asked him to please come with him and led the way to a private room. He closed the door and turned.

“You have demeaned my cousin enough” the king began. “In future please ensure that you stay far away from her and from our family”.  Philip began to protest. The king walked over and punched him in the face, then swung very fast and punched him in the stomach. Then he said “And that’s just the sample of what I will do to you should you harass her or any of us again.”

The king turned and walked out. When Philip had recovered his breath and stopped his nosebleed and emerged from the room, he was not surprised to find two security men standing each side of the door. They politely escorted him out.

When Leo found Anthea she enquired with one lift of an eyebrow. Leo said, “I spoke to him in a language he seemed to understand. I think he will leave you alone now.”

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