And the sound repeated in her mind. Andrea hoped she had not slammed the door that hard that night. Lying on the bed and staring emptily on the ceiling, she wished she had not reacted so impulsively. She slapped on his face hard, turned around and stormed towards the door and finished it with a loud bang, louder than the gong. For the past few days, she had done nothing but lied on the bed and wondered why had she done that that night and what would it be if she had not done that.
“Honey can I get you something in the kitchen?” a soft gentle woman in her fifties walked into Andrea’s room with an affectionate smile.
“Hey mum. I’m not hungry,” she answered wanly.
“But you need to eat something,” she approached the bed and sat right next to her daughter. “Honey you haven’t eaten anything. You are not going to recover from your cold if you refuse to eat anything.”
“Mum. But I don’t have the appetite,” she stressed.
She sighed and rose from the bed. “Alright then, I guess I will have dinner all by myself. Let me know when you feel like eating something.
“Mum…” she uttered. “I’m sorry.”
She turned her head around and grinned. “Have enough rest honey.” She gently closed the door. She stared on the pin board on the wall in front of her. Pictures of him and her, from their first university prom date to their first summer spent together. She was still counting the days that they spent together. Spotting a picture taken when he brought her to a fancy French restaurant on their second anniversary, she could still recollect him proposing a toast to her that night, “To another two years my sweetheart.”
Justin had always stood by her throughout the years, through ups and downs. Andrea was a bright student in university. The university had offered her a full scholarship in biology throughout her entire undergraduate course. The day she received the amazing news, Justin had lost his uncle whom he was really close since he was young. He was still there, cheering for her and he hid away all his sadness. On days when Justin won his basketball games, she poured him cold water when she broke a fingernail coming to the stadium to support for him or wished he were Noah Coalhun from The Notebook.
Unconditionally he loved her with all his heart and she had taken things for granted. No relationship was perfect without any storms and rough waves. At low times, she wished for the sun without marching through the storm. She wanted a calm beach without surviving the waves. He weathered all these moments for her, all these while until that night.
Part of him died that night as she slapped him on his face. As she banged the door that night, little she had forgotten that night was his birthday too. Justin’s parents had always been busy travellers and business partners. They probably had spent more time in the air, flying from one country to another visiting their clients and attending business conferences than their time at home. They had missed his birthday every year since he turned ten. At twenty-two, all he ever wanted was to spend his birthday with someone whom he loved. And his girlfriend that meant the world to him had shattered his simple wish, his heart sank and died.
The next morning as Andrea woke up, she found an email from him. And all he said was:
I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I have led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I have loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
That was Noah Coalhun.
Sometimes I wish I was him too. But the truth is, I am not.
Every girl dreams for a beautiful love story like Noah and Allie. So do I. I wish you were the one who I could whisper the words of love every night before we sleep, the one besides me every morning I rise and the one I shall protect and shelter for the rest of my life.
I wish. I dream and I hope.
Perhaps, in the next life, we could be together and if you’re a bird then I’m a bird.
She abruptly made a phone call to Justin’s apartment only to find out that he had left the place. His housekeeper told her that Justin had set off to a journey to reflect upon life, rediscover peace and tranquillity. She asked the housekeeper when would he return home, he said he left the house without a word but only a message behind:
Thank you Alfred for everything. It is time to go out there for some fresh air and find myself again. Do not worry for I will take care of myself. Home is where the heart is, and I will return one day. Love, J