I could’ve escaped. I could’ve smiled and walked away. But I was here, staring at him like I’ve been memorizing his face again. Staring at him like the first time we saw each other. Missing him so much that it hurts like hell to know that we can never be together again. With a sudden stab of pain, I gathered myself and prepared to leave.
“Is that you, Shammy?” he asked as he came closer and closer to where I am standing. My feet froze and my heart races. I don’t know how to respond. The only thing that runs my mind is the fact that I miss this damn guy.
“The one and only Samantha Charlotte,” I heard his mom say at my back.
“H-Hello there. Nice to see you again.” I tried to show my sweetest sincerest smile to him. I think I succeeded ’cause he smiled back. “I might be a year late, but congrats on your business. The menu is great.”
“Thanks, Sam. You going now?” He placed his bag on one of the tables and came near me to open the door.
“I have to. I still have to report to the office. Just dropped by to ask about the book you borrowed from the antique shop. Tess of d’Urbervilles, remember?”
I can’t take my eyes off him. He looks more matured, but his blue eyes reveals how young he is. He seems so happy and contented with his life ’cause you can’t see any wrinkles in his forehead. He still has a fair complexion, taller than me by an inch, and has a fair body built. I guess he’d been working out ’cause of the muscle forms that I’ve been seeing in his body.
“Oh yeah. I’ll return that tonight. I promise. You’re the one who’ll be buying that, right?” he remained his gaze at the door, may be thinking if he’ll open the door for me or if he’ll ask me to stay.
“Yes. I was supposed to buy that today, but I guess I have to wait until tomorrow. As much as I wanted to catch up with you, I really have to go.” I walked closer to the door and held the door handle. He immediately opened the door for me and waved goodbye.
I was already enjoying the breath of fresh air when I heard his sweet voice calling for my name. I faced him, with a questioning look.
“My mom wants you to take this,” he handed me a box of mango cheesecake. His mom still knows my favorites.
“The free meal is already enough, and this is too much. But I don’t want to offend you mom. How much is this?” I asked, while I searched for my wallet.
“No need to pay for that. You know how my mom loves giving you your favorite sweets.” he smiled.
I can feel my face blushing. I never imagined talking to him again, even reminiscing some facts from our past. “Tell her I am so thankful for this. I’ll visit her when I have free time within the week. That’s a promise.”
“I hope you’ll visit me too.” he whispered.
“I beg your pardon?” I asked, pretending I haven’t heard what he just said.
“Oh I just said take care. I’ll relay your message to mom. Gotta go?” he waved goodbye again and walked back to the store.
I used all my remaining strength to gather myself and walk swiftly to our office. I was out of breath when I reach my working station, and I slumped myself at my chair. With hands on my face, I tried to compose myself, while the memories of what happened a while ago flooded me.
Is he glad that he saw me again? Isn’t he mad at me when I left him before? Is he looking forward to catching up with me? Is he thinking of the things that I hope he thinks?
Those questions and many more were lingering in my head until the end of my shift. I forgot to text the store owner about what happened, and I’m just reminded of our deal when he texted.
The book’s been returned. Thanks for your effort, Sam.
“No problem, sir. I’ll be picking up the book tonight. Is that okay?” I replied.
“Sure. I’ll be waiting for you.”
After organizing and cleaning my station, I visited the store again.
“I’m sorry for coming this late, sir.” I immediately told him as I enter the store.
“No worries, my dear. Looks like you don’t want to miss the book. Isn’t it?” I nodded in response. The smile on his face tells me that he’s glad for the upcoming sale he’ll be having soon.
“How much is it? Including Jane Austen?” I was thinking it would amount to $50 or more. But I was shocked with his next statement.
“It’s already paid. Marius also asked me to give this to you.” He handed me a piece of paper and I already noticed his beautiful handwriting.
I immediately held the letter when I came home. He’s fond of writing notes and letters, and I was shocked ’cause he still sent me one. I guess that’s one of his old habits that he can’t break forever. I closed and opened the letter for so many times before I finally decided to read it.
August 10, 2012
My heart was shattered when you left. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. Your parents won’t talk to me, probably afraid to tell me where you are. I know you’ve given up on me ’cause I’m awful. I might be the most annoying guy that you’ve ever had. I’m really sorry for neglecting you and for taking you for granted. You’ve been a nice lady and an awesome woman. I miss you so much.
September 1, 2014
That’s the last letter I’ve written, Shammy. A week before you left. I always new you’d pursue your dreams abroad, and I don’t have anything against that. I was just sad that you never talked to me before you were gone.
I should be mad at you for doing so. I should be furious and I should never wanted to see you again. But, after seeing you at the cafe a while ago, I saw a sign of hope that I could win you back. All I wanted to do was hug you and kiss you like we used to do. All I wanted was to say how much I miss you and how much I love you. If only I have enough courage to do so.
Yes, I’m still afraid. Afraid that you might go away again,and afraid that you might never allow me in your life for the second time. As I’ve said in that previous letter, I was devastated when you left. And now you’re back, I don’t want to lose the chance to be with you from this day forward.
I hope you feel the same. That look in your eyes, Oh goodness! I miss them so much. Give me the chance again, Shammy. Come back to me.
I’ll be waiting for you. Drop by the restaurant anytime you want. I’ll be always there to see you.
I woke up with a smile on my face. It’s been two weeks since I’ve read the letter. Two weeks of thinking and searching for the hope within me. Yes, I loved him three years ago, and that never changed amidst the time and the distance. Yet, I am afraid. Afraid that he might take revenge and leave me like I did to him. But, I will take the risk.
I dropped by the restaurant but I haven’t seen Marius nor his mom. I just left a note to their cashier, and also left my phone number. Maybe Marius could just call me when he’s not busy anymore.
An hour have passed and an unregistered number called me.
“Shammy, I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you came. We went to the hospital to visit Mom’s friend and..”
I cut him mid-sentence, “You don’t have to explain, Mar. I do understand. Besides, I can’t stay too long that time. What’s up?“
I heard his deep breath before he spoke, “Can I see you tonight? Just wanna talk with you.”
I can’t help but smile at his words. It seems like he’s been trying very hard not to mention about the letter. “There’s a park that’s near the antique shop. You know that?”
He didn’t respond for a minute or two. “I remember that place. See yah there?”
“Yeah. I’d be out of work by 5 o’clock. Gotta go. See you.” Then I hanged up, with a very excited grin on my face.
He was already sitting at a corner when I came. He’s wearing my favorite checkered shorts and gray shirt. Still the perfect outfit for his fantastic body.
“I’m sorry I’m late.” I said as I sat beside him.
“It’s okay. I just came here early. I got your favorite.” He handed me three red roses and I took it without any complain.
I smiled at the gesture. I never thought he could still remember much of my favorite stuff. Guess that’s a sign, I said to myself.
“I’ll pay you for the book.” I said after a moment of awkward silence.
“No need.” He answered. “Receive that as my peace offering.”
“You never did anything wrong, Mar. I must pay you.” I insisted.
He still refused to get the envelop. “I said, you don’t need to pay for that. It’s a gift.”
He’s still stubborn, I said to myself.
I decided to talk about the letter instead. “About the letter,” I started, but I can’t find the appropriate words to continue.
“I do hope you’d give me a chance, Shammy. I was thinking you’d be giving me a great answer today since you decided to see me. I was hoping my dear, but I’m not forcing you.”
I was speechless after that. I don’t know what to say, actually. I can’t find the right words to say.
“I miss you, Shammy. I know it’s weird and I should hate you for leaving me, but I’m stucked with our happy moments. I’m stranded at a world filled with your treasures and dreams. I wanted you back again, my dear. I’ve been loving you.”
Tears started to run through my cheeks and he noticed that too. He started wiping away my tears with his hanky, and he keeps on asking what’s wrong.
“Nothing’s wrong. I mean, I was wrong. I shouldn’t have left you. I should’ve stayed. But I was afraid that I might be a hindrance to your dreams and aspirations. So I have to let go. You don’t know how much I wanted to go back and give up on everything that I have just to be with you. I’ve been hoping and praying that I’d still see you again, and ask for you forgiveness.” I was saying those words while trying to stop crying. I held his hand, and he looks at me with teary eyes, too. “I’m sorry for leaving you behind. I’m sorry for not talking to you the day before I left. I’m sorry for ruining all our plans together.”
He just kept on hushing me, waiting for the next words that I would say. “I’ve been loving you, Marius. The feeling never changed through the years. I still long for you amidst the distance, though I thought it was next to impossible.”
I hugged him tight and he did the same. Well, maybe tighter than I could cuddle him. After a moment, he whispered in my ear, “Will you be my forever, Shammy dear?”
“I will.” I answered, and I know that’s gonna be the start of our happily ever after.
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