In this place

By Eva

All her life, or for as long as I can remember, she had believed she would meet her soul mate in Trafalgar Square, next to one of the lions, at the exact place where you had this beautiful view of Big Ben. She had received a postcard picturing this when she was still a kid and, though it had taken her years to finally reach London, her hopes had never faltered. She knew it. It had to be the place. It was, after all, the most incredible place in the world.

For years, I heard her story, always the same. She would be sitting there and he would come to her. He'd smile, they'd exchange a few words and she'd know he was the one she had been waiting for. He would take her by the hand and they'd walk away together, possibly in the sunset but she did not insist on this last detail. All she wanted was Trafalgar Square, the view and him.

When she turned 21, she moved to London. I missed her, but I couldn't go with her at the time. We had different ambitions, different lives. But we were best friends and a lifetime of friendship wouldn't be broken by any distance. She would call me, tell me about her adventures, the boys she'd meet, the places she'd visit. I'd listen and answer her questions about my so-called love life. Everyday, I knew, she'd go to Trafalgar Square and sit next to the lion. She'd look at the view she had dreamed of for so long and wait. But he'd never come.

Nearly a year after she moved away, I finally got the chance to go and visit her. It was the summer holiday and I had worked hard enough during the year to allow me a little trip to England. I was thrilled… But I decided to keep it a surprise. I booked my flight, packed my suitcases and crossed the ocean for the first time in my life. I arrived in London Heathrow early in the morning. I was dead tired, but I was so excited I could have run all the way to Trafalgar Square if you'd have told me it was the quickest way to her.

I dropped my belongings at my hostel and headed straight to the place. I had no idea as to where exactly I was going, but I figured making my way across central London could not be that hard. I was right. I found Trafalgar Square right away. But she wasn't there yet. So I waited.

I waited a long time. I had to go around a bit to find something to eat and I almost fell asleep on my bench, but my wait did not turn out vain. At the end of the afternoon, I saw her walking in. My heart did a leap and my stomach knotted. She headed straight for one of the lions and sat near it. I saw her take a look around. I was nervous. Slowly, I rose from my seat and started walking toward her. Had she noticed me yet?

I was five meters away when she finally spotted me. I saw her eyes widened before a gigantic grin appeared on her face. The next few seconds passed in slow motion. I ran the distance between her and me and wrapped her in a tight embrace. She was laughing; I wanted to cry.

"I hate you." She said, wriggling out of my arms, and the thought of saying 'I love you' crossed my mind. But all I could do was smile. "How could you do this to me? How come you did not tell me?"

I explained to her my devilish plan; she laughed again. I had never been happier in my life. We stayed in Trafalgar Square for some time, enjoying each other's company. I joked about her still missing soul mate.

"He will come." She assured me, reassuring herself. "You'll see."

And I didn't have the heart to contradict her, so I smiled again and took her hand in mine. She smiled back, something twinkling in her eyes. And together we walked off.