A Lonely Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Julie Park gets promoted at work and will be sent to New York. While sorting her belongings, she stumbles upon a photograph of her biggest regret— Max Sanford, who happens to be living in New York as well.

Submitted: July 16, 2016

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Submitted: July 16, 2016

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June 08, 2016: Present Day

I'm finally being promoted and being sent to the New York branch of our law firm. Without a minute to lose, I packed my clothes and readied all the needed documents. While I was checking my passport, I saw his picture paperclipped. 

 

"... I'll place my picture here so no matter where you go, I'll be with you."

 

March 12, 1998:

"We had to talk about this sooner or later. You know that, Max. I can't do this anymore. Law school has been so stressful these past few months and I feel I can't keep up anymore. I can't get side-tracked anymore." I did my best to make him understand that it wasn't because of him that I wanted to break off our relationship. He was the kindest, the coolest, the most awesome guy I knew. I also knew that he cared about me and loved me the most, even during those times that I was being petty and unreasonable.

Crystal tears fell down his face before I even said the words "let's break up". We were so young back then; too young to know what love really was. I had plans and dreams for my future so my part-time jobs and studying were always on the top of my to-do list. 

"Julie, Julie... Why? Did I do something wrong?" He smiled, holding back his tears. "Can't you give me just one more chance? I won't make you cry anymore. I won't interfere with what you're doing anymore. Please don't do this to me-- to us..." He held my hands so tightly that my pale skin turned red. 

"Max, it is not your fault." I shook his hands off mine and looked him in the eyes. "I realized that I don't have time anymore. I don't have time to have feelings like this or a relationship. I hope you understand me." I smiled and left before he even replied.

 

June 08, 2016:

I guess that was the last time we saw each other and the last time we talked to each other. He never visited me at law school again. Before I knew it, a frown was appeared on my face.

"Oh dear, now's not the time to be remembering him..." I got on a cab and headed for the airport. 

 

Little did I know that something had started to stir up in my heart.

 

June 10, 2016:

I had a few days to rest and set up my things in my new apartment. I decided that I'd spend my day in the park.

As I was walking in the park, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath through my nose.

I'm finally here.

I opened my eyes and looked at the bright new sky over my head... "I'm finally h"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there, miss." the man removed his earphones and paused his music before he continued talking. "Julie? Julie Park?"

My eyebrows furrowed, confused. "Sorry, do I know you?" I plastered a smile on my face. I was already rude enough to not know who he was.

"It's me, Julie! It's Max! Boy, this brings back memories", he smiled at me and laughed. "I really missed you Julie." He looked at me with the most honest and earnest eyes. 

I was speechless; I didn't know what to say. He missed me? Did he really? 

He was about to embrace me then stopped all of a sudden. 

"Sorry, I forgot that I'm drenched in sweat right now." He took a step back and asked for my phone. I was still dumbstruck about meeting him that I handed it to him without a second thought. 

After a few minutes, he returned my phone and his rang. "I have to go now but don't hesitate to call me!" He smiled and started jogging.

 

Later that day, I saw that he saved his contact number on my phone and even took a picture... Should I just delete his number? I won't call him anyway...

 

June 15, 2016:

It's my first day at work and I didn't expect it to be hell. From the seniors I had, to the kind of cases I was given, everything was difficult. Through sheer hard work, I finished organizing and reading through all the materials. 

I made a friend today though. Clara was a real angel showing me around the firm before getting started. It's thanks to her I managed today.

I got home early evening and wanted to call back home, but I didn't have people I could call my family. 

"Call me..." I heard echoes of Max's voice. Should I call him? Should I call Clara instead? But what would I say anyway?

Before I knew it, I had pressed the call button already.

Julie: H-hey! Have any plans today? This is Julie. (Oh god, I'm so awkward)

Max: Nope! You finally called. Let's meet at Z Mall. 

Max: Are you familiar with that place? Should I pick you up?

Julie: No need, I know where it is... I just badly needed someone to talk to. *Sigh*

Max: Well, you called the right person! Let's talk over dinner. I have something to tell you as well.

Julie: Yeah, sure.

 

June 15, 2016: Z Mall

After eating dinner...

"You look so tired, Julie... What happened to you?", he asked me worriedly.

"It's my first day at the firm and it's so different from where we were from." I just started talking.

"Are you finally a lawyer? Congratulations, Julie. I'm really happy for you! You finally reached your dream." He smiled at me.

"Yeah, this is what I worked so hard on... All my hard work finally paid off, huh?" I smiled as I remembered the reason why I worked so hard become a lawyer. "Thanks a lot, Max." You made me realize that this is where I really want to be... Thank you, Max.

He looked confused but it was fine.

"Oh, you wanted to tell me something right?", I smiled at him. 

"Hmmm, it's nothing. I'll just tell you some other time. It can wait."

"Which reminds me, I found this the other day." I reached for his picture I kept in my wallet, wanting to return it to him.

"Oh! It's the picture I placed in your passport. You only saw it now?"

"Yeah, I also saw that you wrote down an address at the back of the picture." I pointed it out.

"Ah, this is the address my mom and I lived at when we got here. We moved here months before you took the bar exam so I wasn't able to visit you anymore. Sorry."

"So that was the reason? HAHAHA!" I laughed so loud that the people around us glanced at me. It was silly of me to think that he didn't visit me because he started to hate me for leaving him.

"W-what's wrong, Julie? It's been so long since I've heard you laugh like that." He laughed, confused.

"It's nothing. I wanted to return that photo to you." I smiled.

He stared at me before speaking. "Keep it. So that you have someone by your side when you're lonely."

 

Max knew that I didn't have any family; that I had no one to talk to about pain and sadness. He knew that I had to work to pay for my living expenses and tuition fee. He knew everything there was to know about me. 

 

"Okay, I'll keep it. Thank you, Max." I held the photo tightly in my hands and smiled to myself, thinking: 

 

 Maybe— just maybe, we can return to how we were.

 

June 16, 2016:

"You look great today, Julie. It must've been hard yesterday, adjusting to a new environment right?" Clara told me, very concerned. 

"Thanks for worrying about me, Clara. Just having you as a friend really keeps me energized." I replied. 

"Do you have any plans later?" she asked me.

"No, not really. What's up?" She probably saw that I was lonely and homesick.

"I want you to meet someone. I'm sure he'll be a great friend." Her eyes sparkled as she was talking about him.

"I can't wait to meet him." Whoever he is, he must a great person. I just felt it.

 

June 16, 2016: Later that evening...

"Julie, meet Matty. He's my brother." Julie introduced us to each other.

"Nice to meet you, Julie. My name's actually Matthew. The only person who still calls me Matty is Clara." Matthew was such a fresh character.

"It's great to meet you too, Matthew." I smiled at him. 

We headed to the lobby to get some drinks at a downtown bar when Clara's phone suddenly rang. While Matthew and I were talking and she told us,"I'm really sorry, guys. My boyfriend made dinner at home. I'll make it up to the both of you." She rushed going home.

"It's fine, Clara. Enjoy your date." Matthew smiled at her and I agreed with him. Clara left excited and happy.

"So, which bar are we going to, Matthew?" I decided to enjoy my evening with a new friend.

 

One day, will Max surprise me with a dinner...?

 

June 16, 2016: 11:15 pm; DRUNK

"Hellooooo, Matthew. Why is your skin so rough?" I said as I placed my palm on a tree trunk beside the bar.

"Julie, you should've told me that you didn't drink..." Matthew replied. "I'll carry you home. Where do you live?"

"Up there! With the airplanes and the stars! Yay!"

"This is so bad, Julie. My first impression of you is completely destroyed." Matthew sighed. "I'll bring you to Clara's place instead, okay?"

Matthew carried me on his back and took me to Clara's place.

 

June 17, 2016: 1:15 am: Depressed Drunk

Everything was blurry. I don't remember what happened after Matthew and I started drinking.

I woke up with my head as if it were about to explode. I started crying because I didn't have anyone or any place to call home. For the past years, I didn't have anyone to lean on, anyone to call when I was sad or sick.

 I reached for my phone and called Max. I heard a phone ringing somewhere near then it stopped.

"Hello? Julie? It's 1 am, why are you still awake?" I could hear that I woke him up with my call.

"Max. Max. Where are you?" I was sobbing. "I'm so sad Max. Why don't I have anyone beside me? Why is no one here for me? It's so dark here, Max..." I started crying. 

"What's wrong Julie?", Clara rushed from her room to see me crying on her sofa. 

"Max! Max! I need him now..." I cried out his name so carelessly.

From the same room, someone else came rushing with a phone in his hand.

"Julie, what's wrong? I'm sorry I took a while." His whole face was in panic and worry...

 

What... wait why are Max and Clara in the same apartment...?

 

"What... Why are you two both here?", I finally snapped out of it. My head was still painful but everything was getting clearer. 

"Well... Max and I..." Clara tried to explain.

"I-it's not time for that. What's wrong, Julie?" I saw that Max was trying to stop Clara from answering.

"Max. Stop it." I said firmly.

"Clara and I... we're together. I was really planning to tell you..." He looked me in the eyes and told me the truth. Clara probably knew as well. 

I got my purse and quickly wore my shoes. "Thank you both for taking care of me", I said before leaving her place. 

"Julie! Julie!" Clara called out to me but I couldn't look back. 

 

What was I thinking "being able to to go back to how we were". It was too wishful of me to think that he still felt the same way after all these years; after all the hurt I put him through.

 

The tears finally stopped and my mind was clear as day. My feelings were in a mess and I was hurting so much but...

... I guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing...

 

-- 2,028 words --

-- Song: Need You Now, Lady Antebellum --


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