13 years

He said he still had feelings for her. Not exactly love, no. He had a girlfriend now. But something he couldn’t put a finger on. Something fluttering, lingering, haunting.

Yeah right, she joked, not without a certain dose of hidden sarcasm. 13 years isn’t just a long time. It’s a whole damn era.

I’m going to a seminar in a few weeks. On your birthday, actually, he muttured, not so much for her to hear, but more to give voice to the thought that had never failed to get on his mind every year around that time.

She shuddered. Maybe it was true. These odd feelings, the incomplete ones. The ones with open endings. The ones that weren’t exactly love. But something much deeper, a connection — no, a potential of such — between two souls. A longing. An everlasting wish.

But then maybe it wasn’t so deep. Maybe it was just a habit. Just the way an unfinished business always tended to stick around, in the nooks and crannies of one’s mind for much longer than anyone’d ever expect. A wish that was not meant to come true, because reality might forever ruin its beauty.

Who could tell?

And then she left. Just as before. What was there, was there. What wasn’t there, would never be. She went back to her life. He to his.

She thought to herself, I wish I could have another lifetime, a different page, a blank page, where we could meet. And he thought, she’s just the girl whose birthday I remember.

~h~

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