How long has it been?
You picked a night with a barely there, waxing moon and a sky streaked indigo. I can see the stars above and reflected in the water all around. You picked a night warm enough to sit outside and not feel cold, the first night like this in forever.
It feels like forever.
You always did that, chose the right place and the right night, or perhaps we were always lucky. It used to feel like magic, like the time I started the car and Liam Gallagher sang, ‘I don’t believe that anybody feels the way I do about you now…’ and we just sat and grinned at each other. Those things always happened when you were there with me.
How many years then?
How many years since we last walked this place, sat next to this very lake? It hasn’t changed much, but it isn’t the same. We catch up with each other’s lives, like long lost friends, reminiscing about those perfect, magical times. We laugh about nose twitching and fireworks in Blackpool. You sing to me, like you did in Devon, when you made me drive your car and scared me silly. And you hold my hand.
How long have you been gone now?
I don’t want to count those years. We walk.
A new house, you tell me, a new start. You ask me to hear you out, and I will. A new start that could finally be ‘us’. You’ve made me dinner. You remembered the last time I cooked for you and made me the same meal. You’ve even chopped the vegetables as I did so long ago, even though you laughed at me while I did it… ‘regimented veg’, you said back then.
‘You’re so lovely,’ you say. ‘You haven’t changed at all. Still so beautiful… still my angel.’
You’ve brought me back to reality now. You’ve made me angry.
I’m not the same. My life has gone through so many changes since you last held my hand, so many trials. You broke my heart and disappeared, because you didn’t know how to be brave. You left me alone and hurt, and you broke every promise you ever made me. When I needed you more than anything in the world, you were gone. In your absence, my world fell apart and it was one hell of a journey to put it back together again. I have been braver than you have ever been, and I did it all without you.
How long has it been since I loved you?
I don’t know when that changed, but it did. I used to pray for the day that you would be there again, to help me rebuild myself… I used to think that you were the only one I would ever feel safe with, certainly the only one I would ever love like that.
But I was brave enough for both of us, and I started over. I made my own peace and found my own happiness. My new start came a while back now; yours is not mine, and I am not your angel.
How long will it be until I see you again?