by Danya Berger19 May 2020
“Can we meet?” she asked. It was already half-past-ten at night, and he lived an hour of driving, but she had nothing to lose that day, because she felt as if she already lost. “I could never say no to you. You know it…” – “But you’ll have to promise me you won’t try to do anything.”
It took her less than twenty minutes to get ready, but she wasn’t anxious or glad… in fact, she shut down all of her emotions, bought a pack of cigarettes and started driving. She seemed to know the way. The road was clear, but her mind was vague. But she drove as if it wasn’t strange enough to meet the guy whom she broke up with seven years before.
When she got to his house, he had already waited outside. He welcomed her with a big hug and asked her to come in. He immediately led her outside towards the gazebo. “So, wine, beer or whisky?” he asked her like a waiter, “wine please,” she replied. She sat in a chair; he chose the couch. It was warm. The summer was just around the corner.
He came back with two glasses of wine and a new bottle of “Tulip”. “You are the best birthday present I could ever ask for!” he said and a big smile rose on his face, “Yeah, right? I mean 28!? We are so old!” she said, shocked like she just realized it had been so many years. “I know you for almost a decade.” She continued. “I don’t think anyone knows me better than you.” He replied. This time his face was serious.
They both took their glasses full of wine and she said “Happy birthday!” and they took a sip. She lighted up a cigarette. “What happened?” he asked so directly. He’d always been this way. Always spills his thought out, but he always thought before saying anything, he was a fast thinker. Millions of galaxies were in his mind, and he knew how to navigate between them. He was sharp. She loved that about him, to her, this is how men should think. “No, you first!” she replied, “How is everything?” he started telling her about the party his friends planned, about his new apartment and his roommate, his everyday routines, job, school, family… Eventually, she asked “What about her..? it sounds like you two are no longer together…” he hushed. “We broke up, six months ago.” – “Really? Why didn’t you tell me anything?” – “Because I didn’t want to interrupt your happiness. I didn’t want to ruin your life, just like you did.” He answered. She was surprised. Not because of his answer, but because he remembered she said it. She used to be the one with the memory, he couldn’t even remember her birthdays. “So, what happened?” she continued asking… “She just couldn’t read me. I spent almost three years with her, and no matter how many times we tried, she just didn’t understand.” – “What? You are the easiest person to read, and you always speaking straight forward. How can someone not understand it?” – “You see! She always did the opposite. You know how people sometimes try, but they try too hard and eventually they do the opposite? That’s how she was.” He finally said. “Now tell me about you, what happened?” he asked again, hoping to get something out of her. “I don’t wanna talk about it… Let’s just say he made a huge mistake, and now, I’m thinking about it.” – “But you can tell me anything, you know that, I can give you my opinion…” – “I know, but I don’t think it would be fair for me to talk about him with you. You don’t know him, and this is only my part of the story.” – “I understand.” He said, he poured us another glass, “So what else, tell me more, how is life?” he changed the subject quickly. She told him about her family, life and school…
The hours went by like the wine from their glasses, their watches showed 2:00 A.M. but they didn’t care about it, they enjoyed each other’s company, they were amused from the fact that so many years flew out from the window and they were still the same. But they weren’t the same, they grew, matured, lastly, he said “Cone on over, don’t sit so far away from me…” She stood up and went to sit by his side, he hugged her, then tried to kiss her but she said she can’t, all she wanted was a huge. He grabbed a blanket and kissed her on her cheek, “We’ve grown so much,” she said, “Yes, but we are still to cowards...” he answered. “So, is it serious between you two?” he finally asked a question that ran inside his mind this whole time. “Yes, I wanna marry him.” She replied carefully. This was the first time she felt like she had nothing to lose. She didn’t have him to lose. He loved it. He took her seriously, not once he tried to convince her otherwise, as he used to do so many times. “You know what was the most meaningful moment I had in my life?” she said, “Do you remember that time when I wanted to save some money and go on a trip? You sat me down and told me I shouldn’t. you said that I needed a head start.” - “Yes, I remember, it was the hardest thing I ever did. I’m mad at myself for it.” – “No, don’t! I needed to hear those words. You were right, I couldn’t afford myself traveling around the world. That was the moment I realized that if I wanna be like everyone else, I need to backdown. This conversation built me. And now, I am thankful for that. I wouldn’t be where I am if you wouldn’t say that.” She explained. “I am so relieved.”
It was 3:45 A.M. they sunk in silence. “I don’t want this to end, us meeting every once in life”, he said, putting an end for the comfortable silence, perhaps it was too comfortable. ”I should go,” she answered, “Wait, you haven’t had any cake, and my sister made it!” – “okay, a cake your sister made sounds good. Can I get some coffee with it too? I need to wake up for the road.” – “You can stay here, spend the night with me, I promise I won’t kiss you, I just wanna hug you all night…” he said, hoping she might say yes. She always says yes. Their nights always ended in the morning after. “No, I want to wake up at home, I should go home.” She replied. “Okay, I understand.”
They had a cake, drank coffee, and she drove back home.