He walked in front of her — his stride, purposeful. One, two, three, she counted in her head to distract her from thinking about what was going to happen in a few minutes. Although streetlights aligned the pavements they were walking on, the night seemed darker than before. Maybe it was because her eyes were cloudy with tears, she thought. She rubbed her eyes — rubbing the tears away. It was still darker than before. Her eyes were fixed upon his back, still counting. 38, 39, 40..
She quickened her pace, so she could walk beside him. 55, 56, 57. She looked upon his face — he didn’t seem to notice that she was looking. His eyes were fixed on the pavement in front of them. She felt a lump on her throat as she gazed upon him. She remembered what happened earlier at the playground.
“Why are you looking at me?” He asked her. She fought back tears and cleared her throat, “Because this might be the last time that I can look at you like this.”
By now she had lost count. She wanted to cry so much but she didn’t want him to see her crying again. She wanted him to see her smiling as she bid him their last farewell.
It was unfair, she thought. They were in love. But what is love when the situation didn’t allow them to be in love? She knew that she had no place in his future, but she wondered if it would be different if he were to fight for her. She hoped he would, because she would fight for him if she was in the same situation he was in.
At that moment, she wished time would stop or that the day would start all over again. It didn’t have to go back from the first time they met, she just wanted one more day with him. That one, last, special day that they could be in love with each other while being in each other’s presence. She wished that they weren’t already nearing the subway station where they would separate but each step they took was a step closer to their separation.
Stop. Don’t go. I can’t go on without you. I.. love you.
They stopped walking. He turned to her.
“Yeah..” She cleared her throat. “Take care of yourself alright.”
She flashed him the brightest smile that she could managed. He smiled and her heart shattered knowing that that would be the last smile from him, to her. She waved, still wearing that smile “Bye.”
He turned around, and continued walking. One, two, three, she counted. She watched his back as he walked away from her, half hoping he would turn around and see her tear stained face. Hoping that he would walk back towards her and wipe her tears away. Hoping that he would let her bury her face in his embrace for one last time.
Hoping that things were different.
“I’ll wait for you.” She said to the disappearing silhouette of the one who had her heart.
He never turned back.