Sometimes I look at you, through the glass walls of the office, and wonder how it is possible that we have come to this.

Being fellow workers, it all began slowly, very slowly. After meetings we began talking about our lives, exchanging information about our children, our families, our respective divorces, and we began building that trust and friendship that ultimately grew into passionate love.

At first, we kept it a precious secret, only for ourselves. It was exciting, exhilarating. I remember that glorious Spring Day, just before Easter, when we met at a cliff above the sea. When you saw me, you just opened your arms and I ran into them… how happy we were then, and for a long time too! And how did things get so bad, how did we let them get to the point of no return – I’ll never be able to answer this question, because I don’t know how two people who love each other so much can afford to lose something as precious as we had. But the fact is – we did.

After our break-up, for a time, we still made some pretence of friendship. We even went out to dinner for a few times, and we talked of everything and nothing, but never about us, or the reasons that separated us. I always knew this was taboo for you, as you never wanted to discuss serious matters, even when we were still together. Like an ostrich, you’d bury your head in the sand and make-believe all problems had disappeared. But they didn’t, they came back to us inexorably, until they were too much to bear.

Then you withdrew into your shell again. No more long talks about nothing much, no more dinners. Sometimes I think you’re afraid of me, afraid of whatever emotions I may still stir in your heart; emotions you don’t want to feel. Maybe you feel comfortable with a life that has no complications, that doesn’t bring you excitement or heartbreak, a life where you control your emotions. Because you were hurt, and you don’t want to be hurt again – or so you’ve told me.

And now you are on the verge of retirement, and I’ll probably stop seeing you in the only place where our paths cross – that same office where they came together for the first time. Soon I’ll look through the glass walls and I won’t see your tall figure, your familiar way of walking; I won’t hear your voice or your laugh. If not for a rare, occasional meeting at some mutual friends’, I’ll probably never see you again.

Maybe, I think, it’s for the best. If I don’t see you, who knows, I may stop thinking about you. I’ll probably stop looking at your arms and how they used to hold me, stop thinking how I ran my fingers through your dark hair, see your hands and remember how you held mine in your strong grip, distinguish your silhouette among a thousand different ones… I always end up thinking how special you were, and how there will never be anyone like you in my life.

Now that I know I won’t be seeing you anymore, I hope those thoughts will wander away from my mind, so they won’t hurt anymore. I hope the memory of you fades away in the mists of time and I will stop being sad over you, and our love story. And then, only then, maybe I will smile at life again. 

Photo by Digvijaysinh Rajput on Pexels

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Streets of Lisbon

Oh Lisbon

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