Tuesday, March 2, 2010

stranger on the bridge

“OH MY GOD”, I gasped, staring at my computer screen in disbelief, could the address in my inbox be correct? Could it really be?

My mind flashed back 10 years, to when I was at camp lakeview. His face floated across my mind. The first sunny day of my stay there, when he had made a lonely stranger feel like she had belonged.. The long walks, the laughter. All that stopped one day and I frowned at the memory of a farewell .A memory I often nurtured with a sore heart. “Promise me”, he had said. ”Promise me that you will write to me everyday “.

I could still feel the pain. The birds trilling in the otherwise placid silence as we looked out on the lake , the yellow flowers forming a bright carpet on the soft ground , the waters of the lake , undisturbed and sparkling .” of course I will” , I had said , my heart heavy with emotions like never before. If only summer would never end.

I smiled at the bitter memory. He had promised to write too. I recalled my first day back from camp, when I had eagerly checked my mail , only to find none from the one who mattered the most. The same anticipation each day as I dutifully kept my promise , only to be let down by him. I had all but given up hope and immersed myself in writing poems of hate , bitterness , rage and ultimately , despair , And finally, I let go of it the next summer and put the better pat of it behind me.

Now it was back. I had half a mind to delete this. Ben had ignored me long enough , and now I would even. And then I thought back to the struggle I had gone through. My heart hammering, I opened it.

It read-

“Dear Amy,

I’m sorry for all the pain I know I’ve caused .Words cannot explain how I regret the fact that I broke my promise to you. I’m going to be in town for a week. Please meet me at lake tirian on Wednesday at 6 in the evening. Please forgive me. Ben”.

My heart skipped a beat. That was tomorrow. I would wear my faded jeans and… and I thought back to the hours spent questioning what went wrong… and the fear that maybe he was dead , which would explain why…and the ever darkening poems of hatred…but then, I remembered the fun and magic.

Five forty-five. I looked at my watch. Wednesday evening. I was there… I wore something casual.. I wanted it to be like it did not mean a lot to me. But it did.

As the awaited hour approached, my heart pounded harder and harder, against my chest.

Would he keep his promise this time?. I starred at the bridge aimlessly. And then I saw him. He was unmistakable. As I saw him walking towards me, I realized that he was a part of my past .A part I had to forget .I was not ready to forgive yet. As much as my mind was willing to, my heart was not. He was buried in memories. Memories that I could not, and did not want to dig up again.

As I turned to leave, I heard his voice. ”Amy?” he asked uncertainly. I turned, and looking up at him, knew that it would never be the same again. I did not know him anymore. “i…I’m sorry. D..do I know u ?” I stammered, and hurriedly brushed past him in tears .He looked confused but at that moment I knew it was over. I knew I had healed for good. I knew that the pain had gone forever and that I could look back at good times and smile, instead of cry in pain.

I looked back and saw him staring after me, dazed. But I kept walking. He was now a stranger to me. A stranger like all the others walking past me. I had left behind a stranger on the bridge.