There are so many incomplete love stories in the world. They are scattered all around us. Our family and our friends and the people we cross on the road. They’ve all been engulfed by some sort of emptiness. For some, this emptiness arises from a love story.. or sometimes, the lack of it.
“Oh, goodbyes are so tough.” I had come home for my father’s funeral and am leaving. But, the customary goodbyes are only sugar coated fake promises further dipped in chocolate. “Keep in touch”, you shout out to the others but deep down, you know that it is not possible. Nobody has the time. You’re so busy running a job and a family; you don’t have time for your loved ones or worse, for yourself.
As I drive down the road, I see a handsome man get out of his SUV and glance towards my car. He smiles. Do I know him? Of course, I do. I know him too well to ever forget.
He is Peter, my first boyfriend. He was the man I adored and loved with all my heart. And the best part was that he loved me back too. We had been best friends in high school when he proposed me. We both knew we were made for each other. But, fate had something wicked in store for us.
We had been in a car accident around 10 years ago. We had had a fight that evening over a very petty issue and Peter, being the short-tempered person that he was; he stormed out of the café towards his car. I was scared he wouldn’t drive safely in his wrath and I accompanied him. As I got in the car, he gave me a queer look and snorted. “Get a cab, lady”, he ordered. I flinched at the sound of his voice but didn’t budge. I’d heard this tone before. Soon after, he drove off. The entire journey was filled with awkward silence. We had been dating each other for three years then.
I knew his anger would pass away in an hour or so if I would keep my cool. Halfway through, we both had been so busy with our thoughts that we had failed to notice an oncoming speeding truck coursing its way down the highway. By the time we noticed it, it was too late. We crashed into the truck and injured ourselves badly.
After the accident, nothing had been the same. We never blamed each other for it but we’d begun to fall out. In and out of the hospital, we had called our relationship quits.
Now, as I see him waving at me, I remember all the good times and the very rare bad times. I miss being in love and maybe, I miss being with him. We both have moved on and gone our separate ways but, I still long for his presence in my life. He had been my best friend and boyfriend, my support and my strength. I have never loved anyone like I loved him and maybe, I will never. I guess we fall in love just once. And sometimes, once is enough. For me, it was. It was enough for me to have loved a man and be loved in return.
A honk from the car behind me knocks me back into reality. As I pick up the tattered remnants of my past, I wave at him and smile.
“Who was that Mommy?”
“Just an old friend, sweetheart.”
I have been married for seven years now.