“How many years has it been?” She asked him as she stood by him, holding the rails of the side of the ship.
The wind was blowing and the evening sun was setting in. The cool breeze was playing with her long hair and that moment took him to a distant memory of the past. He remembered so clearly, still, how her hair used to play with the wind. Really, how long had it been since he had touched her brown rich locks? Ran his fingers through them and played with them? It flashed right before his eyes. That white long sleeved dress she was wearing when she first came home, with white roses in her hands that she planted in the vase, jumped into his lap playfully and told him all about her day with her eyes sparkling while he ran his fingers through her long hair. Such was the power of long lost love.
She was looking straight ahead at the horizon where the last rays of light were kissing the sky for the last few moments. He didn’t say anything. All he could do was look at her and the fact that she had appeared as if out of a dream, not-so-real and just as enchanting, was quite shocking. Maybe he was just in denial.
She might have been waiting for his answer. She turned to him with a smile. He looked away without a trace of amusement. He could feel the side of her left hand grazing the side of his right hand and it sent shivers down his spine. They were right he realized. The spark of true love never dies and the pain… the pain of true love never dies too.
“I know I never gave you that proper goodbye you deserved. I know should have given you the chance to hold me one last time. It was wrong. I know.” Her smile disappeared. She looked away.
He contemplated her words for a few seconds and smiled inwardly. How do you give someone the right to a goodbye when all you have been trying is to get rid of that person? What did he deserve? Did he deserve that after all these years she was standing next to him and he had nothing to say? All those times came crashing at his feet when he used to fight with her in his head, say things to her that he couldn’t say out loud. Was it fair that all those months of planning about what he was going to say to her if he ever saw her again, had vanished in a snap and now he was totally numb in the mind to utter a coherent response to anything she said? Was this what he deserved? That she was here after all this time just when he was on the brink of healing? Just when he had packed away his sorrows and was shifting to his own self?
“You left me.” There wasn’t a sense of rejection in his voice. It was resignation.
“I know. I am sorry.”
“You left me.” He said with finality.
She put her hand on top of his. The same warmth that used to give him peace was now breaking his resolve. He knew that if he stood there longer he will succumb to her scent, her lips, her eyes and most of all her touch. He’ll succumb to her like he always had. And she? She will destroy him. She will destroy him again.
“I won’t hurt you now.” She whispered as if sensing his fear. She might have been choking on tears. He didn’t notice. All he remembered was how long it had been since he had heard those words with the exact same emotion she was saying them with now.
He caressed her hand with his thumb for a fraction of second, looked at her for one last time, turned around and walked away leaving her amidst the cool breeze air and a torment of rejection.
He had read somewhere “When the heart refuses to hate you, the mind plays the last memory of us.” He kept repeating this to himself without looking back.