Updated: Feb 11
Midnight. She was still finishing reports and she let her hands hold her forehead, elbows propped on her desk. Maybe one day her procrastination skills would stop.
The radio shifted and the first few notes of a song came through, halting her heart.
It had been six years.
Without hesitation her heart delved deep down, swimming through countless other lovers and joy. Memories hidden deep in a cave with no light and no acknowledgement for years started to bubble, a homing beacon to her soul.
How quickly the heart can remember, how deeply it can hold on.
Letting her back rest against her chair, her body slumped. How good life had been and how lovely it had treated her. Since she let the goneness push him away.
He had seen her once after that night, about a month after she released him. He had been sitting at the bar they used to go to. She walked in with a friend. He saw her. He didn't see her see him. He slammed his beer. He left.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him look back and pause.
By the time she turned her head to smile, he had gone.
The goneness. It never left.
Months later she met someone new. He was a great man - a wild soul. They spent years chasing adventure and bringing it to their home. The love wasn't hard. It was the easiest love she had ever felt.
But it wasn't his love. It wasn't the same.
So eventually she dissolved because she couldn't give him her whole soul.
Without him in her life mountains moved and oceans surrounded her with success and love. She never felt that clinging trepidation of not knowing what would happen next.
Except right now. The song faded on the radio and she turned it off, grabbing her phone and finding the track, playing it loudly through the speaker.
Her dog sat up, staring into her, sensing the never-falling tears of missing her whole world for so long.
Rarely a day went by that she thought of him or wondered how he was. There were always snippets though. He hadn't found the happiness he said she couldn't bring. He was always searching, always filling his life with meaningless action to replace the intensity of her.
But those were just rumors. Ideas that found their way to her to vindicate her pain. She never believed them.
Her forehead rested back into her hands, a deep breath shaking every molecule. Pain fell across her caved chest, resonating through her rounded spine. Down to her stomach. Cracking her core. Again. She thought it was gone.
But all it took was that damn song.
She wasn't drunk, but her logic had fled.
Hand on the phone, contact card found, the block released.
Fingers hesitating, hovering, waiting.
Six years of goneness.
Ringing, ringing, ringing. Ringing, ringing, ringing.
A click. Then silence.
The goneness overwhelmed her into darkness and she deleted his number.
When the phone lit up with her picture, his body froze.
He hit the red button. His breathing was hard.
There was still tomorrow. Maybe he would finally call her then.
"I love you." He exhaled.
Forgiveness Reprise is the follow-up to the short story, Forgiveness, by E. Huntington. Read it HERE.