I sit here on the park bench at sunrise. I can listen to the small birds chirping, perched on braches of trees over my head. I don’t understand their language, but then I hardly understand anyone anymore.
Fallen leaves flit through the ground, affected by the soft wind as I lean back and gaze on the sky. Why is it so easy to forget some good memories and really hard to block out these painful times? I remember a couple years back, when my family and I laughed without conviction. I don’t remember why; I should because that was the last time I laughed without any weight over my shoulders. We laughed until our cheeks ached and breaths became fast. That was all before.
I take a deep breath and start walking towards the bus stand, to hail a bus to the airport. It’s been almost two years, but will he be the same? Being a soldier was his dream. He didn’t want to leave with strings attached, he said. He didn’t want to keep me from experiencing something beautiful or moving on, he said. Who knows if he would even come back, he whispered, holding me tight for the last time.
At the airport I warily look around and make sure that my family (who travel a lot), or anyone from my old life aren’t around. I’ve moved to a different city, but I still look behind my back. I’ve left those sympatetic looks and gossipping whispers behind, but I still remember how it felt. I can’t seem to forget one bit.
When I received the call from Aaron last month, I was surprised. He said he badgered my only friend from my old city for my number. I was rushing to work then, I told him as much, apologising. I hoped and dreaded that he would say he wants to meet me. He did. “I’ll be there next month,” he blurted and didn’t wait for me to argue before he said goodbye and hung up. I would have argued vehemently; I don’t know how he knew.
I stand outside the arrivals section now, my sweaty palms on the cool metal fence-bar separating us from the travellers. Many people hold placards, it didn’t even cross my mind. What if he doesn’t recognise me? I have changed so much in the past year. I should have made a placard.
People start coming out with bags, some calling out to their loved ones waiting and the others heading towards transportation. With my heart beating fast, I stay still.
I finally spot him, now leaner with more muscles, carrying a duffel bag. His black hair and those striking dark blue eyes still making me wonder what he ever saw special in me.
My heart now pounds so loud it drowns everything else. He comes around the metal barrier and walks towards me. I turn and wait, clenching and unclenching my hands. My heart races, my limbs are numb, my voice doesn’t seem to work and my mind is blank as we stare into each other’s eyes. He steps forward and cups the side of my cheek gently, and it’s like a bucket of cool water has washed over me. I instantly feel calm, confident and assured. I breathe more easily and smile.
I clear my throat. “Hi.”
“Hi,” he replies.
This is part 1 in a short series. I would type the other part too but I’m really tired and would like to go to sleep now. I hope you liked it! I will post the other part tomorrow.