So many years have passed; almost seven. Seven years and I’m still counting. Isn’t it the best thing I can do? To count.
I can sense her presence around me but my senses betray me all the time. I’m sure she still think about me and she is with me but will she be with me after this? I do not know and I do not intend to know either. I clearly remember her promising me the future, assuring me she will be with me till the end. What if tomorrow is my end? Will she know about my death? And if she does, will she know the cause of it? I’m being paranoid or maybe I’m over reacting. These thoughts keep prying my mind, frightening my lonely fragile heart that I have surrendered to her as long as I remember.
The first time I saw her was in my school playground with pigtails wagging on her head. To be honest, she never looked attractive in those. Who did, anyway? The time when I had fallen for her when we were incidentally at the same party. The moment I laid my eyes on her was the moment she became my reason to live. That red piece of cloth just above her knees and her brown hair which were in pigtails were now let loose. How could I forget? She looked stunning. I lured her into my friendship and then into my love.
Two thousand five hundred and forty one days have passed. I’m sitting on this unfortunate bench in this peaceful park where the strings attached between two souls were broken. She walked away from me and never turned back. Birds hummed along with the trees and the wind caressed my hair as if trying to show me it’s support.
I had promised her I would be waiting for her however long she took. I did. I visited this place every weekend the way we used to when she was mine. She still is, I hope. I knew it was my mistake but how could someone humane like her take so long to forgive me? Wasn’t I her best asset? I ‘ve tried to contact her ever since, never losing hope for once, but it was to no avail. If she was so stubborn in holding on to her ignorance, then so was I. I had become a recluse keeping myself away from the rest of the world always wishing for a day when she will realize my importance and come back running to me.
Today is not an unusual day yet I feel gauche, something is stirring inside me. The silence looks like the one that before a storm. I see a chubby boy around the age of three playing at a farway distance engaged in his little ball without a care of what’s happening around. He reminds me of someone. Seeing him makes me feel of my own children. It makes me feel happy. He kicks his ball and it lands on my bench. I pick it up and examine it. He comes to me asking me to return his toy. I hand it over to him inquiring, “what’s your name child?” He snatches the ball from me and runs away muttering something in shallow breaths. From what I depicher, it sounds, “Mama said don’t talk to strangers..” He goes to a woman and holds her tightly in an embrace. The lady turns around. I stare in disbelief! The same brown hair. The same arcadian eyes. The same rosy complexion. The same garden. But with a different man. I saw her. She saw me. Our eyes met. Her eyes didn’t reveal the slightest hint of recognition. How could she? Was I so changed after she left? The answers lie within herself. Gathering my thoughts I stood and walked away. The child was right,
“I am a stranger in a strange land.”