Firstly, I suggest reading Part 1 before this. I noticed a plot hole and smoothed over it just now. And I know I promised to post this three days back, I’m sorry.
She looks so different. Beautiful as ever, but then I’ve always noticed that she looks more beautiful every day; but she’s changed. Her demeanor is different, she’s thinner, looks exhausted and also wary as I approach her. I couldn’t not recognise her, but I wonder if I knew her any less, would I have?
Her hair is shorter and plain, without any highlights and most surprisingly, it’s held together with an elastic band and not let down. She’s wearing a plain top and jeans, no heels, I notice.
When I first found out that she didn’t live in the same place anymore, I thought it might be because she got into an university elsewhere. When I asked further, her family refused to answer. Everyone I asked whispered with pity and I didn’t get any real information about her whereabouts. Finally, I managed to get her new number from her friend.
I was surprised to know that she had work on a Sunday morning. I knew something wasn’t right but the exhaustion and cautiousness in her voice only feeded my suspicion.
So here I am, touching her cheek and whispering hi. I don’t know what I expected, an enthusiastic hug? But I was the one who broke off things, I guess I don’t deserve it anymore. I plan to deserve it again, deserve her again.
“When did you get back?” She asks.
“A couple months back.”
I wasn’t sure if she’s living alone so I booked a room in a hotel before flying out. It’s just next to the airport so I drop off my bag, fresh up and come back down where she’s waiting in five minutes. Our conversation doesn’t flow easily, despite my efforts. Its like something is holding her back, making her hesitant. I figured out that she works as an assistant in a company. I was surprised when she said she wasn’t in college. She quickly changed the subject before I could ask anymore questions. We only made small talk about this and that while walking around a bit.
She kept checking her phone and texting, and I became more irritated by it every time. I finally had enough and stopped her:
“Do you have somewhere else to be?” I ask angrily, “If so, tell me now and save me the humiliation of not being with me here.”
“I.. I’m sorry Aaron” she replies, almost dejectedly, “but my life has moved on since we broke up. I have other important things and I would have told you not to bother flying over if you had let me speak.”
I am taken aback. She moved on. I wanted that, yet deep inside I hoped she wouldn’t; I had enough faith in our love to believe that it wouldn’t come to that. My shoulders slump in defeat.
“I’m sorry. I should have asked. Let me drop you home, at least?” I couldn’t say goodbye just yet. She nods, turning towards the bus stand.
“Do you travel by bus all the time?”
“No, its only because I’ve given my car for some fixing right now.” I nod, satisfied that she doesn’t depend on public transport all the time.
We sit in silence the whole way, not meeting each other’s eyes. My heart breaks a little bit every minute until I have nothing but pieces of something that I cannot remember properly any more.
I drop her off in front of her apartment building’s entrance. I look around, it looks to be a decent place. At least she’s living somewhere fine, although I thought she would be living somewhere more posh. What happened Riley? Why won’t you, anyone, tell me anything?
We each say goodbye, sadness and resignation lacing our voices, and I give her a tight hug. Last time. I watch her go inside and turn around, walking away. Memories and pictures flit through in my mind, us being happy, sad, fighting, making up, being in love. I slow down to a stop.
Like hell I’m letting her go. She’s all I have and no one can love her more than I.
That’s all for today, folks. I don’t want each part to be too long so I’ve divvied them into more parts. Next part will be up tonorrow. This time, I’ll really post tomorrow. Thanks for reading! Any views appreciated 🙂