Susan Fales-Hill

ONE FLIGHT UP

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     India made her way down the brightly lit corridor, the thick carpeting muffling the sound of her steps so that she moved quietly as an angel. She looked up, admiring the moldings and the bas-reliefs of pseudo-Grecian revelers in diaphanous togas. She sensed someone had stopped right in the middle of the hallway and was staring straight at her. She looked down from the crown moldings and saw Keith Wentworth, her former fiance. She gasped and froze in her tracks. Keith's mahogany locks framed a chiseled face completely unchanged by the hands of time. Beneath his tux, his six-foot-three frame was still a V-shaped marvel of anatomy. Once India resumed breathing, she tried to read his expression. Was that shock? Had the color truly drained from his cheeks? He had never had much to begin with, much to the delight of his light-skinned mother.
"No doubt I've turned him to stone with my middle aged office Medusa grooming,"India thought with despair. "The closer he gets, the luckier he'll feel that I called off the marriage."

     Keith started to walk toward her. Through the fluid wool of his bespoke tuxedo, each slow and deliberate step suggested the outline a different perfectly defined leg muscle. India's heart pounded in her chest. It was too late to turn and run in the other direction. Perhaps she could pretend she was someone else, a homely India Chumley look-alike.

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