The Burial of a Long Lost Lover

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 22, 2016

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Submitted: August 22, 2016

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She sat across the table, face to face with the boy whose presence she once felt in everything. He remained still, eyebrows knitted, assuming a silent exterior while playing with his coffee cup. His gaze was fixed on some unknown object in the horizon, an act of silent protest she had reluctantly come to terms with. Any other girl would have felt disrespected at being ignored by this passive-aggressive boy. They most likely would have been put off by his cowardice, his inability to forgive, to forget, and his naive notions of human relationships. In her case, however, she merely felt exhausted. Her words were short and to the point, riding waves of exasperated air. Even her breaths now attested to her inability to deal with the boy's insecurities. Many a time in the past few months she had attempted to breathe air into their strange yet endearing relationship, but the boy had resumed his senseless crusade. She had apologized to him for her actions. She had made love to him, told him that she was in love with him, opened herself up to him, opened her legs for him, crossed her boundaries for him, trusted him with her insecurities, and yet this was how he behaved - childish, bitter, and unable to cope with the past for which she had already paid the price. She knew naught if the boy would go on behaving this way forever; if that was the case, then their relationship could not, under any circumstances, continue. A girl her age must focus on facing life's challenges, is what she thought. Now more than ever she needed to rely on her confidence, the same confidence that allowed her up until that point to immerse herself in life's guilty pleasures, and no matter what mistakes she'd made in the past, regarding herself or others, her perceptions about the beauties that surrounded the soul continued to remain intact. She never lost faith in herself, and she was not about to let an immature boy change that perspective. She deserved a man who understood her search for happiness, and would in turn aid her in that search rather than bringing her down, causing her to crash at every turn, and refusing to grab her helping hand. Whether this boy saw her hand or not was no longer her concern, for how could she help someone who himself didn't want to be helped, who questioned happiness even when it stood before him? 

Thus they sat like two statues, two subjects for people who desired to study the unexpected nature of human relationships, until the girl put her fork down and said, "Okay, I think we should just get the bill." To this the man-child across from her only nodded, offered no response. Few moments of silence passed in anger and disappointment. The waiter came to the table with the card reader and the bill, ready to go, wearing a professional smile. She paid for her food and he paid for his drink. Meanwhile, the waiter engaged her in some friendly chit-chat, which turned out to be a welcome change of pace after spending almost an hour with a contemptuous man-child. The waiter said goodbye. They were left alone again. Right before the awkward silence of before took hold of their souls, the boy excused himself and went to the washroom. She sighed in relief. With him gone it was easier to think, as if his presence always put a stop to her natural stream of thoughts. But now that he was absent she could breathe, if only for a moment. Then she realized that this moment could turn into an everyday reality. All she needed to do was tell him that it was over, that she was tired of trying to understand what it meant to live up to his unrealistic expectations of a relationship. In her mind she imagined a scenario wherein he would get angry with her, brining up for the millionth time one mistake she had made in the past and how it had hurt him. But what did he expect her to do? To go back in time and change history? If that was what he wanted, she was the wrong person to turn to. In short, she no longer was in love with him, no longer felt the desire to play cat and mouse games with the weak. This was, then, what she decided to tell him upon his return. She heard his footsteps. He came to a halt by the table. When he said he was ready to go, she instead invited him to sit down. He did. She sighed. Then she told him all that was on her mind, which would have been much more articulate had she been better at expressing her emotions. She spoke. He nodded. He understood, or pretended to understand. And then silence. She suddenly felt the need to leave, to let him sit with his new reality for a moment or two. He could take the bus home. She said goodbye. He nodded, still refusing to make eye-contact. She stood for a few seconds, waiting, and then left. 

On her way home she cried. She watched the sunset and became unsure of how to feel, of her own existence, of humanity's fragile nature, of people's unpredictable behavior, and of the tragic paradox of wanting another's company despite the inevitable suffering it brought. In her life this had been another phase. This perspective made her smile and brought her closer to her own centre. She felt at peace knowing that she had at least tried to be there for someone, in this case the boy, and that the only person standing in his way now was himself. 

As daylight sank deeper behind the western mountains, the girl's car engine's puttering ceased and she stepped inside her house, ready to cook for the family and play with the dogs, encouraging another lover from overseas in his studies - a lover who had traveled across the world to be with her, whom with each passing day she could grow to love even more. This, too, was another fact that comforted her disturbed soul. 

She smiled and kissed him. 

(It is said that the next day, they found the body of the man-child at the same café, his face buried in his coffee cup. He seemed to be alive, but drifted off into a comatose state from which there seemed to be no awakening.)


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