A hasty farewell, an abrupt parting. A sad ending, perhaps, to what was a wonderful fairy tale.
"See you," she said, in a dull, monotonous voice, as she headed for the tram.
"Yea...see you," I reciprocated, in an equally empty and languid tone. A sharp turn to the left on the sidewalk.
And I was on my way back home. No parting glances. No endearing smiles. No turning back.
"I'm really sorry about today...," I said in a text message to her later on, "...but I guess not all stories have happy endings."
"That's OK, I guess it's better that way."
A choice that had to be made. A step that had to be taken.
Perhaps, it was never meant to be in the first place. Perhaps, it would have been better if we had never met. Perhaps, it was time to let go.
Of all things. The sweet laughter, the delightful memories, the florid smiles, the colourful times, the wonderful journey.
That night in the Docklands under the moonlight, facing the magnificent waterfront.
Pounded by the cold, chilly winds. Shivering and writhing out in the open air on a winter night.
Yet, there was something warm and delightful about her presence. We popped the cork and poured some sparkling wine into our glasses. A toast to one year of friendship.
Sipping the wine, savouring its flavour. A delightful tinge in the mouth.
"You know, I really do like you, I really do. But I know that I am not prepared for a relationship. But no matter what, you will always be a really special friend to me."
"Do you like me?"
"Yes, I do."
"Do you think I like you?"
I was taken aback by her question. "Umm...maybe?"
"Yes, I do."
"So, what do you think of our relationship now?"
"What do you think?"
"I really do like you, but I guess I'm not ready for it. And I believe that going for it now would not be the best thing for the both of us."
"Don't get me wrong. I really do enjoy being with you. But right now, I'm more concerned about seeing you grow in your walk with God and I don't want our relationship to be a hindrance to the things that God has called you to do."
"Then I'll wait. Do what you think is best..."
Looking back. Did we really like each other? Does it even matter now?
Were those words lies? Empty syllables from a well rehearsed skit, excerpts from a fantasy story that was never meant to come true.
Perhaps it was all never meant to be.
But surely, it can't end here! There has to be more. I really do care about her. I really do treasure her.
A faint glimmer of light in the distance. A small gentle voice whispering in my heart.
"I know you're annoyed. I'm really sorry for today. I guess these things do happen, and perhaps we shouldn't make too big a deal out of it. I really do treasure our friendship."
Her reply startled me.
"What are you apologising for? By the way, what colour do you like?"
I could not withhold a smile. With laughter in my heart, thinking to myself, "What in the world is this crazy girl thinking?!"