You expected a decisive moment when you would have known love left you. However, love said goodbye when you were paying attention to something else.
Years later, without warning, suddenly, just like that you figure out without trying to figure out, ah that was the final goodbye!
You don’t remember what was the occasion you met. It was years ago. Maybe it was the last day of college, the last day of project submission, the last day to check your final result… Not many students had come. You came only because he was going to come.
You had created your whole life around him. You abandoned your plans to meet everyone else. He was going to come.
You sat and talked in the empty classroom. Just the two of you. It felt awkward. But you didn’t know then. You were talking endlessly about all the trivial things that happened during the day. He was listening to you and laughing at your silly talks.
Your glasses slipped a little on your nose, and he pushed it up with his index finger to adjust them properly. Just like he always did. It was getting late in the morning. Almost everyone had left. It seemed time was going on but also, it seemed time had stopped and you kept talking. He took your hand in his and scraped the polish off with his nails. Because that’s what you always did. You paint your nails one day and the next day you remove it with your hands. And because he had a habit of helping you do it.
You kept talking. It was not important what you talked about as long as your lips moved, sound came out and he nodded and laughed. He talked about moving to a different city for a job. You thought it was outrageous to live in a different city than him. You said it was great to grow as individuals. He smiled, adjusted your glasses on your nose again. You laughed and talked more.
The day was passing. You knew he had to go. He knew he had to go. But you wanted to see his face a little longer. So he waited. Waited for you to finish whatever it was that you wanted to say. He waited and listened to you as if there was nobody else in the world except you. Without you asking to stay, he wanted to stay as long as you wished. He waited. He didn’t complain about the late hour. He didn’t complain about the last bus he would miss. He didn’t complain about the long walk he’d have in the scorching heat because you kept him there. He didn’t complain.. he never did.
You didn’t realize then but now you know. He waited for you to leave first. Because he knew it was the last time he would do it. You wonder if you he knew things would not be the same after that day. You just wanted to keep talking to him about the latest addition to your books and how it was a great buy, and how you didn’t like your lunch, and how your scooter had a flat tire that day, and how you thought pizza tastes better cold, and how your little brother was fighting with you all the time, and many more useless things that you probably did not want to talk about, but did.
After all the years together, you still wanted to impress him; with books of all things! You told him about a new book you had got. He said it was a good book. He said you would be a great writer someday. You felt so great whenever he said that. The silence between each story is increasing. You felt it was time to go home. You would meet him after the break anyway.
It took 7 years and 4 different cities for you to realise, that was the day love said goodbye to you. While you were talking about your lunch. While you were getting annoyed with a flat tire. While you were scraping the polish off your nails. While he was adjusting the glasses on your nose. While you were planning to meet again after the break. While the time moved on outside and stayed still inside that empty classroom on a hot afternoon, while you were not paying attention. Because, goodbyes don’t happen as clearly as they show in movies. After years of heartache you would know, as you know now that love will leave when you are not paying attention at all.