His coffee already feels cold, as he wraps his hands around the cup. He's barely had a sip since they've sat down a few hours ago. She's been doing most of the talking—laughing at her own stories, shaking her head, and sighing with a hint of nostalgia. She says she misses the old life, the carefree days, the times they've spent together. He smiles at this last comment but quickly hides it by pretending to be very interested in the writing on the side of his cup. CAUTION: Contents may be very hot.

"It's really great to see you again." she says with a smile. And he could see that smile sparkle in her eyes. It made him miss her even more. Did he just see a flicker of sadness in her eyes, too? He clears his throat, opens his mouth, and closes it again. After all these years, there was so much he wanted to say, but he couldn't find the right words or the right moment.

"Yeah…" he manages to croak out.

They take in the silence and stare out of the window next to them. Drops of rain slam against it. It had been raining for what seemed like an eternity, and dark grey clouds had engulfed the once clear-blue sky. A low thunder rumbles ominously, followed by an even louder bellow of a brewing storm.

"I think that's a sign for me to get going," she chuckles. He notices that there was always some sort of happiness laced in her words. Even now, after all these years, she still had the "glass half full" sort of mind frame.

He offers to walk her to the train station. For a second, he sees a flash of hesitation in her eyes and in the way she bites her lip. But she smiles and gladly accepts the offer, as she quickly wraps her dark purple scarf around her neck. He puts on his thick trench coat, as they exit the coffee shop and out into the pouring rain.

They huddle under the single umbrella. Three blocks, two turns, and one staircase later, they arrive at the station. He shakes the wet umbrella and makes a comment about how much he hates the rain.

"Really?" she says, "You used to love the rain."

"I only told you that because you said you loved the rain." he confesses. "That's how we met, wasn't it? In the rain. And it was the first thing you said to me."

"Was it?" Her brows furrow, as she tries to capture that lost memory. "I thought we met in the sixth grade, when you were being a little brat and wouldn't let me play freeze tag with you and your friends."

"Yeah, but doesn't my version sound much more romantic?" he says with a smirk.

She scoffs and rolls her eyes playfully. "As if we had any romance between us. Really, you're like family, and you said I was like a younger sister once."

He winces at the word "family," as if it were a knife that had been stabbed into him. Salt was poured on the wound with the words "younger sister."

"Besides, you were too busy with other girls anyway." she continues. "How many times did I have to pretend to be your girlfriend when you were tired of other girls?"

She laughs as if it were just another funny memory, just something they promised at the time to look back on and just laugh. Nothing to regret; nothing to long for. It's all in the past now, stored away in a dusty box of memories. He wants to blow away the dust and open the box again. He just wants his chance back. That's it. That's all he ever wanted, really.

"I was so stupid…" he mutters.

"You were a teenager, who thought he could be cool by breaking girls' hearts." she says. "Don't worry about it."

"No, I mean, about us." He blurts out before he can stop himself.


He stares at the ground, even though he could feel her astonished gaze piercing into his skull. What is he thinking? Why did he say it now? Why now? Had he gone completely insane within the last hour? What can he say now?

"I…" he trails off and sighs. He looks up from the ground and stares into her eyes. She waits for an explanation. "There was never a day that went by that I didn't think of you."

"I missed you, too—" she begins.

"No," he interrupts her. "I messed up. I mean, I had so many chances to tell you…to tell you…and I didn't because I just thought you'd always be there, you know?"

"Tell me what?"

For a while, he doesn't say anything. For once, she's at a complete loss for words. She tries to understand the situation. He sighs and closes his eyes.

"If it weren't for him, would you stay?" he says.

"I love him." she says quickly and almost defiantly.

"If he didn't exist, would you still give me a chance?" he says.

The shrill sound shrieks from the dark tunnel followed by a loud horn. The metal wheels scratch against the railings as the five o'clock train comes to a complete halt. A monotone voice calls all passengers aboard—the train will be leaving shortly.

"But he does exist, and you can't just bombard me with all these hypothetical questions," she says. "It's just not fair, especially after all these years."

"After all these years, it's always been you." he says desperately. "Just you. Only you."

The monotone voice comes back again. One minute until the train leaves.


"I can't…"

"Why not?"

"This isn't fair. You can't possibly make me choose."

30 seconds.


She picks up her bags. He can see tears well up in her eyes, and his heart ached with every beat. "I'm sorry,"she whispers.

"What can I do to make you stay?" he asks quietly.

She shakes her head. Nothing.

20 seconds.

She steps onto the train and turns around to say goodbye. Without a second thought, he kisses her. He tastes the salty tears that streamed down her cheek, the regret, the lost hopes, and the pain of finally letting go. She had loved him once. And maybe she still did, after all these years. But he had been stupid enough to let her slip away.

10 seconds.

The doors close. He watches her sit down. She tearfully waves goodbye but with a smile. Always with a smile. And he could see that smile sparkle in her glistening eyes. It made him ache for her. He forces a smile and hopes that she, too, could see it in his eyes.

The train begins to move. For a moment, he sees a flicker of regret in her eyes. For a moment, he sees her gaze avert to the door. But only for a moment. The train picks up speed, and he watches it disappear into the dark tunnel.