A girl stood at the edge of the road, hands tucked into her jeans pocket to keep out the cold. It was a cold winter's morning and it had only just stopped snowing an hour ago. She searched her surroundings for a certain brown haired boy, but there was no sign of him anywhere. She glanced at her watch.
He was late. But she wasn't worried. He was always late. Again, she tucked her hands into her pockets to keep warm. She watched the cars zoom past her. She watched. She waited.
"Hey! Sorry I'm late!" She turned to where the voice was coming from and smiled. Finally. The boy enveloped her in a big hug and she sighed as his warmth seeped into her, keeping her safe.
Again, she stood at the side of the road, waiting. Waiting for him. Sometimes, just sometimes, she wished that he would arrive on time. She knew he loved her, just as much as she loved him. But she couldn't help but think that maybe she wasn't that important to him. That he had something better to do than meet her...
She knew he was academically gifted. He receives nearly all A's for his projects and she was proud of him for that. But she had projects to hand in too and she always seemed to be making the effort to be punctual.
"Hey! Sorry I'm late!" Those same words, every single time. Again, she smiled and accepted his apology. Because that's what you do when you're in love.
"Come on then Mr Tardy. If we wait any longer, it'll be dusk."
He smiled sheepishly and mumbled something about a project. And then he leaned over to place a chaste kiss on her lips and all her insecurities melted away.
I love him. And he loves me. That's all that matters.
A young man with brown hair dashed through the city streets. The lights turned red and he waited impatiently at the pedestrian crossing, glancing at his watch every few seconds. The light finally turned green and he dashed across the road.
Of all the days to be late, today was NOT the day. He knew he probably shouldn't have been in the library for all that long. But once he started researching, he lost track of time. And now he was late.
Every time he arrives at their meeting place, she would always be there waiting for him. He would run up and apologise and she would smile and forgive him for being late. It had always been like this since they had started seeing each other.
He loved her. There was no doubt in his heart about that. And it would hurt every time he saw her standing alone – waiting for him. He kept telling himself to be early for once, but somehow, he always lost track of time.
But today. Today was special. Today he couldn't possibly be late. Because today was the day he was going to propose to her. He would relish the glee on her face as he says his words and he would tell her just how much she means to him and how being late all the time does not diminish his love for her. He was planning to be early for once. But somehow, he had lost track of time and he was late again.
Just around the corner.
He turned the corner and stopped dead in his tracks. His eyes were wide as he took in the hectic surroundings. Ambulances were screeching and policemen were yelling at everyone to keep back. His heart leapt into his throat as a sudden horrific thought entered his mind.
He pushed his way to the front of the crowd, searching for her angelic face. But she wasn't anywhere to be found. Maybe, just maybe...He dared to hope.
"Excuse me, can you please tell me what happened here?"
"Oh. Some reckless driver drove too close to the curb and killed a girl."
Andhis heart stopped.
"Hello. I've brought you some fresh flowers today. Your old ones are already wilting."He pulled the dead flowers out of the vase and replaced them with fresh ones.
Two months since that horrible accident.
Heguessed it was lucky that she even survived, but what good was that when she was in a coma? What good was it ifhe couldn't see her radiant smile again? What good is it if she never wakes up again?
He pulled a chair up next to her bed and took just a few moments to look into her face. Forever devoid of emotion.
"I got a C for my project today, but I guess that doesn't really matter anymore does it. Nothing seems to matter to me anymore. Not since...I miss you. I just wish that I had arrived on time. Maybe then, you wouldn't have been standing there all alone. Maybe we would've been in the park together and you would never have gotten hurt. I just wish I could turn back time. You don't know how much I'm hurting right now. I'm thinking about you every damn second of the day and...god...why'd have to go die on me like this? Why were you stupid enough to be standing so close to the curb? Why were you even waiting for me? You should've just left after 5 minutes!"
He took a few deep gasping breaths before finally controlling himself. Her face had not changed. "I was going to propose to you that day. I was going to make it the happiest day of your life, but somehow I messed up. I..." He looked into her face. It still had not changed.
He quickly stood up and ran out of the room. He couldn't take this. He couldn't look at her lying in that sterile hospital bed. She should be out in the park or at the movies, enjoying her life. Doing anything but lying placid on a hospital bed!
He felt a single tear make its way down his cheek and angrily wiped it away. If only he was there for her. If only...
Another tear streaked down his face, but this time, he let it fall. Soon, many tears would join that one.
He made his way to the same room and stopped short as he saw that his path was not clear.
"You've got to stop coming to see her. You've got your own life to live. Who knows when she'll wake up? If she wakes up. Just let her go. Stop coming to see her. You've done the most you can."
"But," he started to protest, but was cut off harshly.
"Just leave her alone! You've done enough!"
The harsh words tore through his soul and he turned and ran back out of the hospital.
Her father watched the boy go and closed his eyes in defeat. He hadn't meant to sound so callous but it seemed the only way to make the boy stop coming. He had his own life to live. He shouldn't have false hope that she would wake up someday.
Pain. The boy sat up and found himself lying on the road. Where was he? How'd he end up here? But then the events of last night flooded back and he clutched his head as another wave of nausea overcame him.
"She's dead," they had said.
And he had stumbled into a bar and tried to drink himself to death. Except, somehow, his plan backfired and he was now only left with the most pain wracking hangover. Painful but not deadly.
He slowly stood up and stumbled across the city streets. It was still early in the morning and not many people were about.
He kept on stumbling, with no direction in mind. His life had spiraled out of control and without her; he knew he would never be able to find his way ever again.
A hand suddenly grabbed the back of his shirt and tugged him back. A car zoomed past and honked the horn. "Watch where you're going you drunk bastard!"
He barely registered that he was being sworn at. He turned to look at his saviour and blinked.
It couldn't be. She was supposed to be dead. Wasn't she?
She stood in the shadows and watched him. Watched over him like a guardian angel. It had been three years since her accident and she still loved him. She should've been angry at him for being late on that day. But the truth remained loud and clear.
She still loved him.
Except, he seemed to have forgotten her. She watched as he walked up to the girl and placed a chaste kiss on her cheek. That should be me she thought grimly. Some part of her just wanted to march right up to the couple and yank him away from that woman. But another part of her coaxed her to just accept that she wasn't part of his life anymore.
She had woken up from her coma just a few months ago and had been happy to see her parents and friends fawn over her. But as she looked at all the faces, she immediately noted that he wasn't there.
Of course, she had asked where he was and her parents just looked at her with their haunted eyes. Her father had burst into tears and had apologised profusely.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. There really wasn't much chance of you ever waking up and he was in so much pain. He was in so much pain."
As she gazed at the couple, she felt herself wondering just how much pain he was in. Not a lot. He watched the girl smile and take his hands into hers. And together, they walked away.
He gazed into her eyes. He liked her a lot. He was very fond of her. But she just wasn't the same. He'd never forget his first lover. Never.
As they walked hand in hand, he forced the negative thoughts out of his head and tried to focus all his attention on her. She had saved him, helped him when he felt his world was falling apart. And for that, he would be eternally grateful. Eternally grateful didn't mean he loved her.
But as he gazed into her eyes, he could see that she loved him. And he just couldn't bear to tell her he didn't love her in return. In a way, it was penance for his past sins. To be a girl that reminded him so much of her. He still remembered the shock he received when he saw her in his drunken state. His hopes had soared but quickly dropped back when she had asked him if he was alright. Her voice just wasn't the same. It lacked the sweet melody that she had.
She had helped him back home and after that, entered his life. At first, he wasn't willing but his parents had told him to get on with his life and he grudgingly accepted her, hoping that she would help his pain. She had to a degree, but there was always a deeper part of him that she could never reach.
The part of his heart that belonged solely to her. He would always remember her smile, her voice, her everything, but most of all, he would remember how she always stood alone on the streets, waiting for him.
He's happy, she told herself. He's happy, but why is he happy if I'm not there by his side? He loved her back then. She knew it, but now? She wasn't sure. She followed the couple on their date and continually berated herself for being so idiotic.
Stop it. He's finally moved on and you should let him. He's finally happy now. Just let him be. Don't be selfish. Don't be selfish.
But she had followed them until the sun set and now she was standing outside his apartment, gazing up. She remembered every touch he bestowed onto the other girl and every smile she graced upon him. Hell, she looked too much like her and it was unsettling.
She kept on gazing into the lit room until the lights finally went out. The girl had not left the apartment.
She smiled bemusedly. It was finally time to let go. It was obvious that he was fine now. According to her father, he wasn't stable after her supposed death, but he was fine now.
He was happy and she was content. Content but not fulfilled.
The kiss was long and sensuous. He didn't even know when she had pressed her lips onto his, but he was kissing her and it felt so weird. When was the last time he had engaged in such intimate acts?
She shifted her position and ran her hands through his hair, rubbing her thighs against his. It was obvious what she wanted, but was he willing to give it to her? She deepened the kiss and he soon found himself screaming for oxygen. Their lips broke apart.
"I'm sorry," he gasped, "I'm sorry."
She looked at him worriedly. "Are you okay?"
"I can't do this?"
"You know what I mean. I can't do this. I can't hurt you." He meant that he couldn't do this with her because his heart belonged to another and it was unfair for her. But somehow, she took it a different way.
"It's okay. I'm ready for this." She tried to lean in for another kiss but he stood up to escape her seduction.
"I'm tired. I need some sleep. You can stay for the night if you want. I've got a spare guest room."
She was disappointed, but she didn't show it. She merely nodded and left for his guest room.
That was close. Betrayal was the last thing on his mind. He walked to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of water. Again, he thought of her. How he wished she could be with him right now. They would've been married already.
He poured himself another glass before he made his way to his bedroom. He locked the door behind him – just in case. One could never be too paranoid.
He pulled the blankets over his head and willed himself to sleep. He tossed and turned in the shrouded night, but sleep finally overcame him.
And in his dreams, he dreamed of her.
She chanced one last glance to his window, before whispering, "I love you."
Her tears blurred her vision and she glanced at his window for the final time.
And as the moon shone bright in the night sky, she made her way down the street for the last time.