Overlooking the piles of worksheets and papers spread all over his working desk, he lifts his working spectacles and gently rubs against his sore and tired eyes, hoping to ease his eyes. He then places his spectacles at a visible place, hoping he could locate it easily when he needs it later on. As unorganised as the sheets and files on his desk, he feels the urge to look back at his past. Something that he could never forget, at least for now.
He disconnects his phone from the charger and tabs on the picture icons. He scrolls through series of pictures which he has kept in his phone and he finds the picture that he has kept with him despite it ages up to couple of years. He studies the picture carefully and soon his finger runs across the screen, touching through the gentle and beautiful face of hers. He looks at her face as if she were just in front of him now.
“Heh John! Come and take a snap shot with me! After all it’s our annual prom when everyone dresses in their best!“, she invited him.
“I reckon this is not a good idea…” John replied but he hoped that he was murmuring to himself then.
“Oh come on! Be a good sport!” she quickly interrupted his reply and dragged him to a snapshot with him. He has also offered the photographer to take one of the picture using his camera. “Heh you look gorgeous and awesome John! Thanks!” her gentle and affectionate smile radiated from her face and reflected onto his eyes.
Sitting on the swing on the parlour with few flower pots around it, he could smell the fragrance of red and pink roses on a full moon night. The roses smell as nice as perfume and the aroma seems to fill the entire parlour. He gently raises a pot which has aged and smell the roses. The smell has not faded yet, just like his feelings for her. He remembers she once tells him how much she dreams her future house to have a parlour. In the parlour she wishes to have a swing for two, so that she can sit in there with a love one. On a full moon night, she would love to share a glass of fine red wine with him; on a new moon night, she prefers to sit with him and enjoy cups of hot tea.
“Oh John. I wish I could find someone to talk to, so long the night would be and so long we can talk,” she shares a dream with him when their friendship begins to draw into something deeper. She knows she has fallen for John since she first see him in high school. She has hinted him so many times about the criteria she sees in her ideal partner and John’s friend has been helping the hopeless romantic to analyse and interpret her words.
As hopeless as it could be, John reminisces the way he replies the gossip, “Heh, you guys are just thinking too much. We are just friends… I mean… Really… Just ordinary friends…” Despite he feels that for the first time his heart beat increases rapidly when he sees her, he never has the courage to step out and utters few words like ‘I love you‘. He has grown closer to her, talking to her everyday in school. They ate together during lunch under the canopy of tree, despite the scorching sun during summer and freezing chill in winter. They revised their work and did almost everything together. He spent almost the entire last year of high school with her. By then, everyone thought their relationship is growing stronger as days elapses.
“Dear John, you are my breeze during my summer and my heat when winter comes. There is no words to say how much I love you. However there is something I must tell you. Meet me at the park at 5.” She slipped a note in his locker when John went for his swimming practice during a Wednesday afternoon. After he showered and opened the note, he felt the adrenaline junk gushing throughout his body.
Sitting now on the swing and crossing his legs with a glass of red wine, he lifts his face onto the moon and stares at it.
He ran to the park and saw her sitting there. She was sitting on a bench, waiting patiently for him to come.
“Heh, what’s the matter? You sound… So different today?” John approached her.
“I’m sorry John. Throughout these years we have been growing from ordinary friends to something beyond my expectation. But John, as a girl, I need someone to care for my feelings.” she started to talk. “Being together with you is definitely the happiest time in my life in high school. I give all my youth and time entirely for you but it seems that you…” All he could remembers is that by then the tears has been streaming down her cheek.
She paused a while and tried to gain control over her tears to make her speech and tone clear. “You never tell me something that I want.“
“I kiss you everyday and I never fail to do so. When you need a shoulder to cry on, I lend mine for you. When you scream in joy, I have always been your best company to share the joy. I have been with you all these whiles and I swear you are the only girl I have been with. I never fall in love with any other girls.” John finally burst out.
“But you have always missed out the most important thing despite all these actions. Don’t you see that? Some simple words is just mightier than any actions.” she raised her tone. “Anyway, today I am not here to argue with you. I am telling you something. I am leaving tomorrow. I am heading to Los Angeles to further my tertiary education. I have being offered the scholarship to further my education in nursing. I have to depart tomorrow. I have even booked my air ticket.” As solemn as the news sound, she announced the tragic news to him. She turned and left the park, trashing him into a sudden astonishment. He was still puzzled over the entire thing and did not know what to do.
For the first time that night, John flipped and turned on his bed. He tried to phone her but she was reluctant to answer the phone call. He has made several phone calls that night but he was directed to her voice mail instead. That night calling her was to no avail. He decided to ring up the airport to check out the time of departure for flight to Los Angeles the next day. After getting the information that he wants, he anticipated for the sun to rise.
The airport was crowded when he reached there. He could still locate her and greeted her parents. He dragged her away from the crowd and finally slip a letter into her hand and said, “Please do not open the letter now. I hope you could read it when you are on the plane when the flight duration is so long and bores you,” he kissed her on a cheek upon completing his words. “Have a smooth and nice flight. Please write to me when you reach LA.“
She stepped into the immigration check point with a heavy heart. Not because she misses her parents, for her parents would be moving to Los Angeles in a couple months of time but because even right until now, John has not uttered out the three words she has always been anticipated.
As John seeps his red wine, he regrets why he never has the courage to confess to her how much he loves her and never even whisper “I love you” verbally to her. Back then, he would rather choose to write them out in the letter which he handed to her before she departed. He overlooks the full moon on the sky. The moon is a lonely one this month for there is no star accompanying it. John sympathises the moon and feels sorry for it for such a beautiful night, there is no star to compliment such a beauty. Of a sudden, he finds the similarity between him and the moon that night.
From a far distance, John could see the moon’s reflection on a dark pond. He sighs for if he tells her his true feelings back then, he could have been sitting in the swing besides her now. She could now have been accompanying her during the lonely autumn night now with glass of wines, exchanging endless topics and when she finally decides to rest, she could rest herself on his body where she could find the warmth and love she has always craved.
He raises from the swing and walks to the rail on his parlour. He rests his hands on the rail and overlook the moon and muttered softly, “I love you and I regret I never have the courage to tell you that. I love you forever.” He remains motionless and stares at his lonely partner on the dark sky.
That night, from midnight to dawn seems like a very long time as John allows his past to drift him away…
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