A few days earlier Lewys had placed a solitaire ring on her finger as he knelt on one knee. He wasn’t one for the big romantic gestures so the whole proposal had taken Heidi by surprise. He had revelled in the happy grin that lit up her face as the light flashed on the diamond. The girls at work had been right when he had asked them to help him choose the ring.
As he went to leave his flat he noticed a card that had been slipped under the door. Probably another junk mail offering cheap double glazing, he thought as he picked it up. In an untidy scrawl was the message ‘Don’t Marry Her’ and a phone number. Lewys tore it up and threw it in the trash can outside the apartment building. He didn’t give it a second thought.
That evening as he returned from work, another card with the same message was waiting for him. Again, he threw it away, obviously some joker’s idea of fun, he thought. Lewys didn’t even mention it when he talked to Heidi that evening.
Heidi was some 10 years older than Lewys and had been married briefly in her 20s. She had been so shy of that, thinking it would put him off. He hadn’t pushed for details as he thought it would be too painful for her.
Later that evening as Lewys was getting settled for the night he heard a noise at his door. He went to investigate and there was another card. He opened the door and saw a woman walking towards the lifts. ‘Hey,’ he called.
She stopped. ‘Hey Mister’
‘Have you been putting cards through my door?’
The woman nodded.
‘You can’t marry her!!’
‘Of course, I can marry her. I love her, she loves me = what more reason do we need’
‘Yeah, figures you don’t know the truth’
‘And what is that? Tell me’
‘You want to come in and talk then?’
She nodded. Lewys showed the woman into his sitting room. She sat awkwardly clutching her bag like it was the crown jewels. ‘Would you like a tea or coffee or something?’
Lewys made tea and sat with the woman. ‘What’s your name?’
‘Meagan, and I know you are Lewys’ she said. ‘I live on 1st. I have seen you with Heidi many times. I have to stop you before it gets bad’
‘Bad? What do you mean?’
‘You know about Erik I take it?’
‘Heidi’s first husband, yes, what about him?’
Meagan then told the story of Heidi and Erik. How they had met and married in a little over three months. It hadn’t taken long for the cracks to show and the abuse to start. ‘My brother is a broken man, Lewys.’
‘Heidi abused him, I can’t believe that. She is so sweet and gentle’
Heidi opened her bag. She took out an envelope. ‘I thought you would say that,’ she said and handed him the envelope.
Inside were photos of a man beaten and bruised, covered in cigarette burns and one with stab wounds. Lewys stared at the pictures. ‘You are telling me Heidi did this.’
‘I’m sorry I can’t just take your word for it’
‘Call her then, tell her to come here’
‘It’s 1030 at night?’
‘Please, you seem like a nice guy, I don’t want to see you hurt too’
Lewys could see the concern on Meagan’s face and gave in.
Heidi appeared twenty minutes later and took one look at Meagan ‘what is that miserable, interfering cow doing here?’
Lewys bit his tongue and handed Heidi the envelope ‘she brought me these, your ex-husband so I am told?’
Lewys had expected some sort of reaction of course, but not Heidi launching into an attack on Meagan. He grabbed his fiancée and pulled her back ‘Heidi what are you doing?’
‘I’m not letting her get away with it,’ then she slapped Lewys across the face ‘why are you taking her side?’She continued slapping him but when the slaps turned to punches he grabbed her wrists. ‘Heidi, I think you better just go, I think you have proved Meagan right, don’t you?’
Heidi left slamming the door and shouting abuse at both Lewys and Meagan. Meagan was in tears ‘please don’t marry her, Lewys?’
18 months later, Meagan attended a wedding. As she entered the building she looked up the short aisle at the waiting groom. Lewys turned to look at his bride as she stepped closer holding the arm of her brother.
©JG Farmer 2018