‘The days go by so quickly. Too fast, if you ask me!’ I exclaimed. I noticed your beard, ‘you now have a beard.’ I stated the obvious. You smiled at me and I smiled back at you, although my smile was weak. The years that have passed between us has weakened my smile. ‘I miss you,’ I heard you say, but I said nothing. I said I miss you too in my mind, but it was in my mind and there it would remain. All those years, eight years to be precise, that you set my heart to flames are etched in the sands of time. The days did not make me forget. How could I forget!
‘How long has it been now?’ you asked and I looked at you pointblank, careful not to show that the heart you set to flames still has little holes that enlarge once in a blue moon. But my heart has mostly been mended. Nobody’s heart should remain broken forever. Nobody should deny him/herself the joy of living again, of laughing again, of loving again. My love might have begun with you, but it shouldn’t end with you. Your leaving could be the death of us, but how dare I let it be the death of me and stop me from birthing a new love, a new song, a new life?
‘I can’t remember actually. But I know it’s been years,’ I lied and you hugged me. In Your embrace, I felt at peace for lying. Your embrace spoke a lot. Through it, I felt your relief. You were relieved that I couldn’t remember exactly how long, it means I have not being counting the days and reliving the joys and pains. It means I now have a life; a life devoid of my past with you. But my past is part of who I am. The hurt I went through is part of what shapes me. My history is important, maybe not as much as my future, but it is important. I wonder why you would be relieved at the thought of me forgetting a past that broke me and helped me find myself again. I wondered if that’s how you go through life now.
I changed my mind. ‘Actually it’s being eight years now. It’s hard to forget the year my life turned around. You left me just before saying ‘I do’ to you and broke me. So yes, it’s being eight years since I learnt what never to accept and who never to interlock my fingers with.’ The embrace became awkward. You pulled away slowly while I looked into your slipping eyes. There in, I found shame and guilt. You were lost. You were only trying to find yourself and in the process, you unintentionally helped me find myself. I could still read your eyes; just as I could your lips. So I did not let the words come out of the parted lips before I said, I know. I know you are sorry. You held my hand and we walked down the lonely road.
‘You should come to my house for dinner sometime soon. My husband and kids would love to meet you.’ ‘Hm. He knows,’ you said not bothering to phrase it as question. Of course he knows, I thought to myself. He is my present and my future. He knows about you, my past and he thanks you for helping me realize my happiness is my choice. Who I decide to journey with is my choice and somehow unknown strength seems to slip out of us when we think we can’t stand anymore. My Past should never be better than my future. There is always better.
‘You have changed,’ you said. ‘As have you,’ I replied. Our bitter separation was needed for our building up. Indeed, our blessings are often times disguised in the heart wrecking pain we experience. ‘My wife and I would be there next week Tuesday. My wife is excited about meeting you. She admires your tenacity.’ I blushed and halted. I hugged you again, this time letting you know through my embrace that you made me discover that I could be tenacious. You made me see life through fresh eyes. You were not a mistake. You were just the one the universe put in place to teach me lessons that would shape my future and influence the lives of others. What happened between us was an answer to a prayer I would have never prayed. God knows what’s best for us even when we think it’s the worst that could happen at the time and for that, I am grateful.
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