“So.. You come here often?” She asked. Swirling the straw in the empty glass.
“No not often. But yeah. I have come here a couple of times. Nice place. Peaceful.” He said. Fixated on the beautiful face in front of him.
She smiled and blinked. And curled her jet black hair behind her ear. Her lips, smeared with red lipstick curved into a simple smile.
“So…” She said at last. Her large eyes, a tint of brown, blinked and then shied away. He smiled, lost into her dreamy dusky face.
Words had dried. They had nothing to talk about, but a myriad to say.
“Want to eat something ??” He asked.
“No. I am full.”
“Want to go some place else?” She asked.
“No. I kind of like it here.” She leaned back, inhaling the ambience.
“Me too.” He smiled.
This was their first date. But it felt like they had known each other a lifetime ago.
“Thank you for meeting me. It means a lot.” He said.
“To be honest. You rescued me.” She said. “It’s been so long I went out like this.”
His face suddenly grew solemn, with a spasm of an inexplicable regret. She noticed that subtle moment. But remained silent. For a while they both remained still, lost in their own little world.
Finally she spoke. “You never came. You… You just left.” She choked.
“I wanted to. But I couldn’t. You know that.” He intoned, containing himself.
Tears welled up in her eyes. His eyes stared the wall hopelessly.
“She would have been eight today.” She said.
“I know.” He nodded. Still staring at the wall. Unable to look at the woman he once held in his arms.
“She would have pestered me to listen to her poems.” She said.
He smiled faintly.
“And she would have grown up to be so pretty. My baby.” She whimpered.
“The most beautiful thing in the world.” He said, tethering his surge of pain.
A silent tear trickled from the corner of her eye. He was crying like a child inside.
“I am sorry.” He said. “I left. I just couldn’t take it. I’m sorry. It hurt so much.”
“Is it better now?” She said. Nearly a whisper.
“No. It hurts just as bad.”
“It’s been two years.”
“It’s been a lifetime.”
“What do you want?” She said, with a sudden finality.
“Forgiveness. And us.” He said. As if ready for this question.
“Us?” She said. Mildly sardonic. But unintended.
” I love you.” He said earnestly and simply.
The phrase seemed so strange. To both of them.
“I will always love you.” She said. Wiping her tears away.
“What do YOU want?” He was restless. His emotions were overpowering him.
“To go back in time and live in our memories, those beautiful memories, again and again and again.”
A man trying to rekindle the fire from the ashes.
A woman living in the past, crying whenever she woke up.
United in their pain.
Divided in their ways of dealing with it.
United in their hopelessness, and love.