“Good to see you!” He said with a grin as he embraced her like an old friend. Her only response was a smile, “What’r the odds, huh? I thought I’d never see you again.” He continued with mirth.
Her feelings began to bubble from the dark recesses of her heart and mind. She thought these recesses were long forgotten but from them spewed familiar feelings and memories. Her stomach began to tingle, “…yeah. It’s good to see you too.”
There was a brief silence; the two of them basking in the past they once shared. From within a dusty tome lays their history. Within the silence they both turned the pages in their mind. After a short while the silence was broken.
“So what’ve you been up to?” she asked him nonchalantly.
“yeah…. Married yet?”
“Yes. Five years.” She responded eagerly.
“Congratulations!” His voice burst forward with genuine excitement.
The sound of his excitement jumped out at her like a jack from within its box, “Thank you” she said quietly.
“So, got any kids?”
The question seemed like a trap to her. She remembered how badly he wanted kids. She remembered the passionate arguments they had. She feared to answer his question honestly but couldn’t do it any other way. After a moment’s pause she answered, “Yes.”
Throughout all the times he had imagined this scenario he thought he could handle that response. He was wrong. Immediately his eyes began to burn, his throat felt as if it had a golf ball stuck in it, and his stomach became queasy. He shoved all the emotions deep into his chest and simulated a smile as best as he could, “I’m so happy for you!” he hastily replied.
She could see in his eyes that he was hurt by this. She looked at him with an expression of pity. She wanted to say sorry, but she knew there was nothing to be sorry about. She hated to see him in such pain. All she wanted to do was make everything better but she couldn’t. “Her name is, Jesabelle” she said through the silence.
He turned his eyes up towards hers as if a magic spell woke him from a thousand year sleep, “That’s a pretty name. How old?”
“She’ll be four and a half this April.”
There was a long silence, a cleansing silence. He looked at her and began to memorize all the beautiful detail; the flow of her long, silky, brown locks, as the sun danced on their surface, her strong earthy brown eyes, the casual way in which she sat. He remembered the first time they made love. From amidst his reverie he gently spoke, “I’m very happy for you.”
She looked at him and saw that his eyes were no longer heavy. His demeanor was no longer that of a defeated man but rather a man who has just achieved a victory. “Thank you.”
“I still love you, ya know?” he spoke smoothly and easily.
The words hit her heart like daggers, she began to clumsily speak, desperately reaching for words that go together, “…uh, David, listen-“
“I know, I know, I know…it’s…it’s just. It’s nothing. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that. But it’s the truth. I still love you.” He looked down at his hands as he anxiously rubbed them together. After a brief instant of self-realization he slowly put his hands in his pockets and said, "I missed you."
As he spoke her heart began to race faster and faster and her eyes began to well up. When he saw this he quickly became quiet. A long heavy silence filled the space between them.
Very calmly and systematically she spoke, as if reciting lines from a play, “David, we didn’t work out. I don’t know if you remember but we weren’t happy.”
“But I wasn’t.”
With only his feelings fueling his words he spoke with definiteness, “I love you. I loved you then, I love you now, and I’ll love you tomorrow. I’m sorry for all the pain I caused but that was then. Things change.”
“How can you say that?” Immediately she burst into tears, “I loved you so much! I tried so hard! I tried so hard…” she began to weep even more. “You never knew how much I loved you! I wasn’t even there to you!” Struggling through her tears she fumbled as she searched for the words, “It’s…it’s like – it’s like you would look through me. You wouldn’t even see me! How can you say you loved me?”
“Well I don’t care how complicated it is.” She looked up at a squirrel eating, and chuckled, “It was a different life….” She turned her head toward her feet, “I don’t think you even know how much you hurt me.” The words were spoken strongly and through dry eyes.
“I do know. I’ve had eight years to think about it.”
“Please don’t say that…” her face began to contort and tears began to stream down it, she found it difficult to speak, “please stop.” The words put a bookend on her tears.
“It’s the truth.”
Amidst a cacophony of feelings and thoughts she spoke with passion, “What do you want!?”
Calmly he replied, “I want to make love with you.”
Her eyes shot up to meet his and her stomach dropped.
He looked into her eyes softly and smiled.