They sat beside each other on the swing, barely an inch between them. Their fingers brushed lightly, once or twice on occasion. Fireflies danced in the distance. The night was clear, dotted with the brilliance of the stars. The moon was full, shining brightly, bathing the world in pearlescent moonlight.
It's been 10 years since they graduated from high school. It wasn't coincidence that they'd meet on a night like this.
There is no such thing as coincidence in this world.
It was their first high school reunion.
They gazed at the night sky; stargazing had always been their mutual passion.
"Why haven't you married yet?" she asked him, genuinely curious. They had lost contact over the years, and from what she heard, the playboy he once was returned with a vengeance.
She once played the female lead in the drama we call high school. She was his equal, the queen to his king.
"Just because," was his only answer.
The light was dim, no matter how bright the moon seemed to shine on them.
She couldn't see the expression on his face.
Camrynne playfully punched his shoulder.
"Come on… tell me…"She couldn't help but whine. And when he didn't answer, she chose to tease him just a bit.
"I want to be invited to your wedding you know. A bride's maid perhaps?" Never the bride.
Once upon a time, as all young ladies in love are wont to do, she had already envisioned her fairytale wedding with him by her side. As her groom.
The picture-perfect ending for the picture-perfect couple.
If only dreams could become reality.
Sometimes it happened, most of the time, it never did.
"Haha. Very funny, but I'll have you know that I haven't been thinking that far ahead yet. " It was a lie. He was lying straight to her face. He had been thinking about it. He did think about it. When they were still together anyway.
All his dreams had been shattered.
They were supposed to have a happy ending.
"Tell me…" If this had been some other time, she would have tried to force it out of him. She would have waited for him to tell her on his own time.
But this was different, she wanted to know. She needed to know.
All the what-ifs, all the if-onlys. All they whys and all the maybes.
"Fine. I'll tell you," he paused dramatically, looking around them and then nearing closer as if about to share some dark secret.
"It's because I want to enjoy my most eligible bachelorhood for as long as I can." He stage-whispered, face serious.
Camrynne couldn't help it, she laughed out loud. It was the first time she had truly laughed in a long time.
She missed him, she missed her Andy.
Andrew watched her laugh like there was no tomorrow, it wasn't even that funny.
But they both needed it.
He grinned, he loved the fact that he made her happy. He always had the ability to make her smile, to make her laugh, under any circumstance.
He put his arm around her shoulders and brought her closer to him.
"You always were the ladies' man, the charmer. Girls always chased after you, they were all too willing to do anything you asked. You never had to do the chasing, they came to you." She sighed wistfully, memories rushing back.
Those were the good old days, when almost everything was picture-perfect. Those yesterdays seem so far away, a dream, an unreachable dream.
A life once lived, a love once had.
"You're the only exception. I changed, for the better. From the start I was attracted to you because you were different. The only girl who wouldn't give me the time of day. That's why I went after you. And the rest is history." This was the first time that he had told her this.
She was glad for this.
She laid her head on his chest, listening to the constant beating of his heart.
It comforted her now, just as it did then.
They were two parts of a whole; they completed and complimented each other.
As cheesy as that sounds. But it was the truth.
He let all pretenses drop at the sound of her voice, at her question.
Didn't she know just how many times he had cried out that same question to the heavens?
He treated her like the princess he thought she was. He looked at her as if she was the only one he saw. He felt, he was sure that she was the one meant for him. No one else could ever take her place.
Why did it have to end?
She is his everything. He loves her and she loves him.
She was one in a million. She was special. She was supposed to be his.
"Because of you," How could he say it so calmly? Like it was nothing.
I love you.
She felt the guilt gnaw at her heart.
She gulped, and somehow her hand found his.
Their fingers entwined a subconscious act of faith.
She knew what she wanted to say, what he wanted to hear.
She knew what she supposed to say, what neither of them wanted to hear.
Mind over matter. Logic over love. Head over heart.
"I'm sorry. But I did it for you; you should be able to understand. Life goes on. But I want to keep being friends with you, just friends." She knew she sounded unconvincing. Her tone was hesitant, uncertain.
It could never fool anyone, least of all, Andrew.
"Just friends." He echoed her words. And then he laughed a hollow laugh.
Andrew moved to remove his arm and hand.
They seemed to be miles apart.
"Is that what you really want? Tell me the truth. Don't you know that one of the worst ways to hurt a guy is to tell him that you want to be just friends?" He stared at her, hard. His eyes were burning, his tone bitter.
Memories from long ago.
"Do you think that I wasn't hurt? I had no choice, Andrew. I did what I had to do, it was for you. All for you. Not a day goes by when I don't regret what had happened but I don't regret my choice. It was for the best, for you." Camrynne's voice was soft. Her eyes were wet with unshed tears, she had a faraway look.
No more words were said; they let silence fill the gaps.
Time heals all wounds, so they say, but the scars will remain. The pain is still there.
"I love you," she told him, eyes to the stars.
Her words rang true, her eyes shone with all the love she held for him.
And him alone.
"I love you too. We both know that but it wasn't enough to keep us together and it isn't enough to make you stay." And that was the truth.
She tried to forget that she was no longer his, and he tried to remember all the good times and just how much they loved each other.
The night was still young and so they continued to sit there together.
Contentment. A slice of momentary bliss.
Cherishing what time they could have together.
Reminiscing on the past long gone, wishing for a chance at redemption.