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Speed of Light

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You walked in the door; all dressed up in that black suit that makes everyone turn their heads at you. You’ve always looked dashing in a suit, like a prince straight out of a fairytale; I won’t deny that.

How does a person look as beautiful as you do? I had to pinch my hand just to know I was not dreaming and that you are real. I can’t even believe this is happening right now.

~~~

We’ve known each other since I was in the 10th grade; you were in college then. Saying you showed me the world would be an underestimation because you did far more than that. You gave me so much more than that.

You showed up when I needed you the most.

I scored badly in one of my exams and locked myself in my room. I wouldn’t talk to anyone because what do they know? I am going to lose everything because of this; I wouldn’t be able to get the grades I need to enter the college that I want. I felt like my entire world was crashing down.

It’s been days, and I wouldn’t eat because I felt like such a failure. My parents didn’t know; I have not told them yet; this is the advantage of being in a boarding school, you can keep everything to yourself.

My friends have given up on me; they’ve decided to leave me alone.

But then, in the middle of the night, there was a knock on my veranda door.

It startled me, made me stop crying because it scared me out. Who the heck knocks in the middle of the night? I thought to myself that it was a ghost and was trembling as I got near it to open the curtains.

And when I finally had the courage to, there you were smiling at me, hands filled with food. It was only then that I felt hunger come to me.

I wanted to leave you there and go back crying, but for some reason, I found myself opening the door so you could come in.

You didn’t say a word; you just set the food on the table and motioned for me to come to sit in front of you. And when I ate the food that I knew you cooked yourself, my tears came back.

You went behind me and put your hand on my shoulder. That’s all you did, and yet it felt like the whole world to me.

It felt like we stayed that way forever until you said, ‘It’ll be okay, and in that very moment, I believed you and hung onto your words.

~~~

You were walking near me, almost steps from me now, slowly, painstakingly slowly.

One…

Two…

Three….

And as you do, I almost cried.

~~~

Remember when you told me how your professor called you “Mr. Speed of light”? You told me it was because you were sitting at the back of the lecture hall, but when he called you out to answer the problem on the board, you were there in a second.

You were walking me back to my college dorm after we ate dinner when we had a brief conversation about it that still got me speechless until now.

“You really walk fast, don’t you?” I blurted out of the blue.

“Yeah, I do.”

“Serves you right to be dubbed speed of light by that professor then.”

“Well, I just do; it’s really nothing special.”

“So, why is it that when we walk together, you walk slow? I guess I’m slowing you down, eh?”

“No. It’s just that I prefer to walk slow when I am with you, so we can spend more time together.”

“Okay, Mr. Speed of light.”

I don’t know if you noticed since it was already dark out, but I was blushing all the way home.

~~~

You were in front of me now.

Four...

Five…

~~~

It was my college graduation, and you never failed to amaze me. You came with a handmade bouquet and handed it to me. No one else has ever done so much for me; it was quite overwhelming.

You congratulated me and told me that you will always be there, that I can always count on you.

What was I supposed to do but be thankful that the universe has allowed all of this to happen?

It was a chance meeting by a friend of a friend, and yet now we’ve been friends for some time, and I can’t be any happier.

During the after-party, I found you on the rooftop of the building, staring at the sky.

“Hey….thank you for today.”

I was twenty-four years old then, and you were twenty-eight. You slowly turned to me, the glimmer of the moon behind you, and that’s when I knew I’d been in love with you all this time.

But how do I tell you?

I wanted so badly to tell you then.

“You’re are always welcome. I will always take care of you.”

And for a moment, it felt like it was just you and me in the world or, well, on that rooftop.

I took my time walking to you as if my life was hanging on a thread.

And yet, you always knew what to say, as if you were reading my mind.

“If I told you I like you, would you believe me?”

It must have taken everything of you just to say that to me.

“If I told you I like you, would you believe me?” I didn’t know what to say, so I uttered the words you told me back at you.

I was right next to you by then and couldn’t quite figure out if you understood what I meant.

But then you put your hands over my shoulder and knew that you did.

And with the moon and the stars as our witness, you closed the gap between us.

And we kissed.

~~~

You walked past me.

I was just another guest at your wedding, after all, someone you used to be with, but it’s all in the past.

I guess I never got my head around the idea of you falling for someone else besides me.

I lost my chance when I said no.

~~~

You had your mother’s ring in your hands, and you were down on one knee.

“Mix, I have loved you all this time, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

“I—Earth, I’m sorry, I don’t think I’m ready for this.”

“I understand.”, you said as you got up, broken-hearted.

I knew you were close to crying; I understood that I was broken-hearted too. I was blaming myself because I couldn’t find it in me to say yes, even though I love you.

~~~

I told you I was not ready for it then, but honestly, I don’t know if I will ever be ready for it.

You were exchanging vows by now, in your black suit, with someone who gladly took my spot and was more than willing to marry you.

You really were Mr. Speed of light; you were just too fast for me. I could never catch up.

I’m so sorry I broke your heart then, but I’m also very happy for you to have found someone you love and commit to.

I wiped the tears from my eyes as I watched you kiss the new love of your life.

I walked to the door, glanced back to see the happiness in your eyes once more.

And then walked out and decided never to see you again in this lifetime.