I wrote this story in response to The Daily Post’s Writing Challenge for the week. It’s a fun challenge. I first learned about their Weekly Challenge last week and decided to join this time. As someone who loves reading and writing, I find it difficult to write a dialogue in quotation marks. I remember using a colon whenever my grade school teacher tell us to include dialogues in our narratives. Colons don’t seem quite right for this entry. I hope I did the quotation marks right this time.
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“It couldn’t have been on for long,has it?” I asked wryly.
I swore I wouldn’t let my voice crack, but my eyes betrayed my composure.
“No..maybe not,” he answered gently.
Don’t be gentle on me now, I thought as I felt my knees weaken. I turned away and walked towards the window. Staring out into the open sea, I prayed for the rushing waves to lend me its strength.
That was a strange answer for a question so concrete. Then I realized I asked the wrong question. How ‘long’ was long for something so important to know?
“Gave myself quite a surprise, ” I said, still not facing him.
It was a heartbreaking matter to talk about on a lovely fall afternoon. But there isn’t really any point in choosing the time of day or year to settle things and mend patches.
“The stew’s burning,” I blurted out, steering myself back to reality.
I heard him stand from his chair, and the spicy aroma filled the air. It reminded me how things are perfect in his cozy kitchen, and the thought made a sharp pang deep in my chest. His kitchen was now a far outcry from our relationship.
“So he batted his lashes at you in your restaurant,” I went on. “Then, you kissed him passionately in the foyer.”
“It’s not just like that,” he tried to reason.
“Oh, that’s how it is to me,” I turned to look at him this time, “and I know full well it’s something more for you. I get it, okay. I really do.”
No matter how hard, I owe it to both of us to look at him straight in the eye. It’s painful, but it’s the least I could do. This was the man I love.
“Please don’t cry,” he said, eyes reflecting pain.
“Oh I’m not crying,” waving my hand in the air, “just the sea breeze.” Damn, I thought, I’m not just going to cry; I’ll weep my whole life. I leaned on the window sill for some more strength.
I thought of the times I heard this phrase from him, and how they all ended with a well-meaning hug, a beautiful kiss even, as if to seal forgiveness. I thought of the trivial arguments and silly pranks which would start this phrase. It was a sweet phrase.
Was. There would be no more of those times, and now it’s just a painful phrase.
“I’m sorry, too,” I said, my voice cracking.
This time I let the tears fall freely. With it goes the beautiful memories we’ve shared and the plans we’ve made. I cried to relieve the pain in my heart so I could, somehow, find it in myself to be happy for him. There would be no more of him after today, or at least of the man I knew. He has found his self and a new love.
As much as he hurt me, I hurt him too. All I have now are regrets. Regrets for flying off to London for that stupid play and stupid character; for joining the play in the first place with his encouragement; for the times I didn’t call back because I was stupidly tired from rehearsals; for not coming back home when I said I would because of stupid commitments; for stupidly not caring too much when he said he had found a good friend. Everything I did now seemed stupid. Perhaps, the only good out of my adventures was his reawakening.
A gentle wind passed by, making the chimes dance to a lovely melody that drowned my bitter sobs. The path I took in pursuit of something I’ve loved my whole life now looked like a mistake, and the price I had to pay was a future devoid of his love.