I was in another world, you were in mine, and you brought me back.
I hope you remember that fair day as clear and as beautiful as I do. I was reading the last book of that trilogy I have been fangirl-ing on for months, and you, apparently, had read it.
“They won’t end up together,” someone spoke, and suddenly I was back in reality.
I turned around, and saw you for the first time.
You were looking at me as if you are seeing my soul, and when your eyes found mine, it stayed there for what felt like a long time. I held on to your gaze the same way you did to mine, and it felt like I was seeing you more clearly through your brown eyes.
I felt a knot form in my stomach and a shiver run down my spine.
“Hi, I’m Kevin,” you said, reaching your hand out to me.
And the moment my palm touched yours for a handshake, I knew what was coming, and the look in your eyes told me you knew it, too.
I was walking along the busy streets we used to pass by then. I walked past our favorite ice cream parlor where you’d always order a double vanilla with sprinkles and marshmallows and additional chocolate syrup for me. I also passed by that old bookstore where you bought me that last signed copy of Pablo Neruda’s collection of sonnets. The coffee shop where we used to spend hours and hours just talking and staring and admiring each other was also still there. And then finally at the end of the street, where all is calm and quiet, I saw that tall, old sycamore tree where we used to lay under, just watching the sun during the day and the stars and moon at night. And just as I was about to keep walking, I saw you there. I saw you with your hands in your pockets, with your eyes on me and with that look like it was seven years ago. It was so sweet and sudden and just euphorically nostalgic.
One day you asked me to meet you at the nearest Starbucks. “I want to have coffee with you,” you said. But I know it is not just coffee that you want.
You said you’ll meet me there at three. If that was not what I thought it was, you would have picked me and we would have gone together.
I arrived at four. I saw you sitting with two coffees. You were more than halfway through with yours and the other one had the whipped cream already falling. Just like how we were almost through and falling apart.
“I am sorry for taking so long,” I said. I was thinking of not going, you know.
“It’s okay,” you replied. No, baby, it was not okay. We both knew it wasn’t.
You kept bringing that up, but I would always brush it off. You kept saying we grew apart and that we have been so lost. You kept saying how we were too young and too dumb, and now we knew better.
“I’m sorry,” you told me very sincerely.
“Please,” I said. Please don’t go on. Please don’t say it.
I picked my purse, and left you. I just cannot let that end. I just cannot let us end. Please.
I looked at you, and you looked back straight into me. With that look, you were speaking. I knew what you meant. I knew what that meant. I forced a little smile, not knowing what else I should do. You just kept looking. It was like you were trying to memorize every curve of my face, every edge and end of my bones and where my joints connect, every move of my muscle when I blink and smile and swallow. It was like you were memorizing every inch and every bit of me. It was like you wanted to remember me the way I looked at you that night. Like I did not want you to say what you were about to say. It was like you did not want to forget me. Like you did not want what you were about to do either. But you did it, anyway. You told me, anyway.