Fifteen years of knowing him and another ten of forgetting. It was a long long time for someone to endure love.
It was a soft summery night when they had decided to go their seperate ways. It wasn’t a choice after all. He had become besotted with an heiress and she had been left with her one room, five girls apartment to go back to.
“But I thought we loved each other unto death,” words she could never bring herself to say that night.
And now watching him stand only a couple of feet away from her, she felt a strange sense of relief. Yes relief of closure, of finally saying it out loud, you don’t affect me.
But just when she decided she had firmed her emotion, he turned.
Greyed hair, wrinkled sides. An emotional appeal of forgiveness in the eyes and a lopsided grin.
The sheer audacity, she thought. The open challenge of knowing all will be forgotten is what got to her. And then seconds later the first fifteen years of knowing him returned.
“And hello,” he said.
“Hello to you too,” she replied with a quick smile.
And the silence dropped low.
Clearly the discomfort was all hers, she thought. Because his smile had nothing to hint the same.
The audacity, she thought. Some things take a while to fade away. A good twenty five years while too not enough.
“It’s my marriage next month,” she had no idea why on earth she spoke those words.
He only laughed and spoke an incoherent, ‘congratulations’.
* * *
“Aren’t you too old to wonder all this,”Betty was amazed to hear her best friend talk.
“I am not wondering about anything. Only appalled by his guiltless behavior even after all these years,” because Samantha could clearly not get over her morning encounter with the man of her nightmares.
“I believe this will all pass and you shall become Mrs. Waters in exactly thirty days. And today will look like a tiny speck of aberration in times to come,” she replied, moving on to the next set of dress in the shop.
“As my maid of honour, this is your duty to ensure he comes nowhere near me up until my marriage. Is this clear?” Samantha spoke with all her seriousness.
“Yes madame, now please go ahead and pick up the cocktail dress for the last time this month,” she replied.
* * *
It was the 25th. A day she had been looking forward to ever since that diamond studded ring sat tight on her finger.
John was her classmate and then over the last few years her closest friend. When that friendship decided to turn serious, she could never say. But well it was true they never quite dated each other. The status went from friends to engaged and she was not the one to complain.
Standing at the window she watched the car pull in at the church entrance. Out came the man she had always thought would never say the right words. She was damn right, he didn’t. He only pulled out the perfect ring.
Standing at six feet, two inches clad in a sharp black suit, he looked every bit of the choice she had decided to make.
And seconds later he looked up, knowing fully well he would find a peering Samantha at the window overhead. The look they exchanged had a sense of mockery and jest, but above all it had the finality of the emotion they felt.
They had reached the day after months of discussion.
But right behind him stood another man. Greyed hair and wrinkled face. His smile intact and the matching black suit augmenting the outlook. He meant some serious business in the wedding.
She almost couldn’t control herself today. She instantly ran down the stairs to stop what she now felt was fast getting out of hand.
A rather shocked family and friends quickly moved forward to stop her from going further. But without wasting another time she out sped them.
“Why are you here,” she asked the man who shouldn’t be in the black suit in first place.
But her question was met by someone else’s voice.
“I called him,” he replied. The look of deciseveness clearly stumped her.
“But why? After all the things he has done to me,” Samantha screamed.
“Because even after everything he did to you. There was something I could not ask him to let go,” John continued.
“What,” she screamed again.
“The right of a father to give his only daughter away for her wedding. The right of walking her down the aisle to the man of her dreams,” and with these words from John, the two people standing opposite to each other broke down.
Maybe in hearts of hearts, John gave Samantha something she herself couldn’t demand.