[Marv] The Lost Past — Zoe

[Through the good times and the bad, You were the best I never had
I know now, and I just can’t forget, You’re the best I never had.
- Oscar Isaac — Never Had]

Marvin entered the diner and spotted Zoe sitting at a corner booth. She was looking out of the window, and there was an untouched cup of coffee on the table. He stopped nearby the entrance and waited for her to look at him. Zoe turned and looked at him. Marvin smiled at her. He wasn’t wearing a tie but pretended to fix it and his hairs nervously. But Zoe looked at him frigidly, she neither smiled nor waved hello at him.

Marvin sat down opposite to her. She picked up a bag and placed it on the table.
“This is for you.”, she said and stood up to leave.
“Just like that? Can we at least have a cup of coffee and talk a little bit?”, asked Marvin
“Okay.”, said Zoe and slid back into the booth.

It’d been years since she last saw him. He hasn’t aged much, but his hairs have started to turn gray. Zoe’s father had died a year ago, and he had left a box for Marvin in his will. She’d never attempted to give it to Marvin, but last week her friend Jenny had told her that Marvin was in the town and she finally decided to pass that box to him.

The waitress removed the untouched cup of coffee from the table and took their order. They sat there in silence for a few moments trying to find words to start the conversation.

“So, how are you?”, asked Marvin
“I’m fine. What about you?”

Once again silence settled in. Zoe had moved to this town after they broke up. She married a local guy and had settled here. Marvin could see that she was expecting a child but refrained himself from commenting on that. The waitress returned with there order, coffee and sandwiches for both. Zoe didn’t take his eyes off Marvin, and he tried to find something to talk.

“How long has it been? Since we last saw each other?”, asked Marvin
“Almost five years.”
“You look fantastic as always.”
Zoe poured sugar into the coffee and stirred it. “But you’re different than what I expected.” 
“What? Sober?!”
Marvin laughed. “Well, now, there’s no woman in my life to making me miserable.”
“Lucky You.”, Zoe said sarcastically.

It was almost fifteen years ago when Marvin first met her in the final years of the school. She quickly became the part of their gang and one of Marvin’s closest friends. Marvin fell in love with Rita and Zoe moved to another city for college, and for a few years, they lost touch. Things never quite worked out with Rita, and after years of struggle, Marvin moved to England for some time, and when he came back, he’d a year old daughter in his lap and no sign of the mother. Zoe completed med school with distinction and came back to her hometown to start the practice. They run into each other once again in the engagement of Marvin’s brother Andrew, and after few more casual encounters, they started dating each other.

“How long were we together? Do you remember?”, asked Marvin
“Three years.” Zoe was staring at Marvin but she was still not trying to strike up a conversation.
“And we knew each other for what? Ten years?”
“Something like that.”, replied Zoe.
Marvin looked outside and for the first time smile disappeared from his face. “How did we end up here?”
Zoe sipped her coffee and ate her sandwich and waited before calmly replying. “You disappeared for a month, came home drunk and high. Hit me.”

Marvin stood in the corner, frozen like a stone. His senses were coming back to him, but he was too afraid to say anything. He couldn’t believe how things escalated over the thermostat setting and made him hit Zoe. She packed her clothes and walked out of the house with tears in her eyes. It was the last time they saw each other.

Marvin nodded in agreement. “Ten years were thrown away in one drunken night.”
Zoe scoffed and shook head. “No Marv, You threw it away bit by bit every day.”

[To Be Continue…]

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