He hadn’t changed a bit; I saw him before he did. He was standing before the checkout counter. I was on this side of the road waiting to cross it. I was so lost in his face that I even forgot to cross the road. He came out of the Supermarket holding a trolley and suddenly looked in my direction. I looked away instantly. “Thank God!” I muttered; “Did he notice me?” I asked myself. My heart skipped a beat.
Yes he did. Even though I didn’t look at him, I knew he noticed me. I pretended to look at the road, at the cars passing by. I started walking across the road towards the Supermarket. I could feel his eyes on me as if those eyes were still seeking answers from me. I knew what they wanted to ask for I was the one who had evoked those questions in his mind in the first place. I could tell he took a step back seeing me. “What is he thinking?…does he want me to look at him?…Or is he trying to hide from me?” I thought to myself.
I think he too was nervous like me; he had always been like that since our childhood days. We used to be best friends. Nobody knew him better than me. I shared all my secrets with him except one – that I loved his friend George. George and I was madly in love with each other. I wanted to surprise him with the news, instead one day he surprised me by saying – I love you. Neither I said yes, nor I could say no to his face.
My silence was interpreted as a yes. I didn’t know how to tell him the truth for I didn’t want to lose my best friend. But I did; I eventually lost him. I eloped with his best man George while he kept waiting for me at the altar.
The more time I spent with George, the more I missed my best friend Joe. The love soon turned into bitterness; the madness soon turned out to be a temporary attraction. Within a year I realized that my marriage with George was a mistake. We got divorced a year later.
I spent the next 3 years of my life trying to build a career for myself; I had shut every door inside of me on love. But still every time I closed my eyes at night, I would see his face, Joe’s face. I would open his contact on my mobile and stare at his picture for hours until I fell asleep. I would dial his number and instantly disconnect the call, not knowing what to say if he answered it. There hadn’t been a single day that I spent without thinking about him. I wondered why I couldn’t forget him.
Was it only guilt?conscience?
or was it regret? the dreaded wish to see him again? the fear of admitting my love for him; the love that I never realized.
I came back to this town a couple of months back; he had probably heard the news. I didn’t try to contact him, although that was the very reason I came back here. I wanted to apologize to him.
From the corner of my eye I noticed him duck into the bakery as I reached the Supermarket entrance. I passed by the bakery and entered the mall. A few seconds later, I turned around and silently watched him get into his car and drive off.
What if I had realized my love 6 years back on the day he proposed to me? What if I didn’t elope with George on our wedding day? What if a couple of minutes back I confronted him and said sorry?
What if we had a timely love? I think it’s too late…
SHOW vs TELL – do visit this link and give it a try.
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– Chirasree, a dreamer