I raced to the main gate. Questioning and not believing what she had texted me. She always joked around. I ran, missing a few stairs, tumbling over a bench, disturbing the tranquility of the night. Could she be serious, was she actually outside, at 2 a.m.? I could see a vivid impression rattling the locked gate. “What the…John!”
Half asleep, petrified, throbbing I rolled my eyes to her direction. Stella. She stood there. She glowed in her white dress, her brown doe eyes sparkled, her cheeks rosier than ever and her smile dimpled and perfect. She looked mesmerizing. I stepped towards her. A sudden rush of cold mid-night wind caressed her beautiful brown hair. Was I hallucinating? I unlocked the gate and she ran to grip me. I felt her touch against my stoned body. Her cold, soft hands moved gently over my biceps. This was no dream, no hallucination. Her warming touch made everything sane seem so vague. I had questions planned, things to say, arguments to start, apologies to demand; they all seemed such futilities.
I tried my best not to stare into her eyes, failing, noticing, I spilled. “Have you been crying Ella?” Her eyes were blood red. Something terrible had caused my Stella to ache. Before I could say another word, she hugged me. Her hold was warm and stimulating. I attempted with all my strength to hold back, making a fist. She cried, “I love you John!”
My heart skipped beats as my brain translated what those words meant. They echoed in my head. My knees grew weak. My chest thumped with palpitations when I saw a shadow move from the corner of my eye. The sudden gush of sanity. She couldn’t be seen in a boy’s dorm.
I pulled her and rushed towards the building. My room, no way, she can’t be caught in a boy’s room either. Mindlessly, holding on to her hand, we climbed more stairs. The terrace. It was cold up there. The stars gleamed, little peek holes from the heavens above. I gasped for a while. Stella walked towards the railing; she stood at my favorite spot, looking at Lahore as the town slept. I still couldn’t believe it. That text message, holding her, what she had said, it all seemed too much to digest for one night.
She held her hand out for me to catch. Standing next to her, overpowered, I mustered up what remained of my strength and asked,“What was that! Did you mean it?’’ Her sparkling eyes turned to me, she smirked. “And you think I’d be here, at this hour, to lie?” she winked.
Stella was my class mate, and we had been the best of friends from the start of sophomore year. I was a brother to her. She counted on me for everything; helping her with homework, being her emotional punching-bag, the shoulder she always cried on, the confidante who knew all her secrets. But deep down she meant more to me, much much more. She was the queen of my dreams. The chick I’d cry for, the girl I’d die for. She was everything to me. I dared not to confess my real feelings and ruin the relationship we shared. It was too special and it could never be anything more.
Then this dream of a night, lost in her intoxicating smile and what she had said, I found myself asking, could this even be real? That was it, right there, the moment of my life. The starfield above, the cold and gentle breeze against our skin, Lahore quiet and sparkling, and the two of us, together finally. Time stopped that night; we were soon in another dimension talking about life, laughing uncontrollably, sighing at the miseries that had happened, and confessing the unsaid.
As real as it all seemed, not once had she asked me how I felt about her. Maybe she knew. Maybe love lives, as they say, in the eyes. It might have been obvious all that time, but why tonight?
I sensed vibrations, it was my phone; 14 missed calls. Odd. I stood up to check it when Stella held me back. She eyed me deeply with an intense painful look, as if to burst into tears the next second. “What is it Ella?” I asked with growing concern. “I wish I could stay longer,” she said. “I promise, I’ll come back!”
I stood up to answer the phone. It was Naomi, Stella’s roommate. I guessed she was worried about Stella, so instead of a conventional “hello,” I said, “Stella is with me, don’t worry.”
“What?! No way John, Stella is here,” she sobbed. “She was really sick, she had leukemia. I promised her not to tell you”, she gasped. “John… she died!’’
Something ached in my chest; deep and pricking. I stood there as everything blurred. My body grew weak, I heard something drop, and it echoed, echoed in my head, ‘I promise’ … louder… ‘I promise’… heralding… ‘I promise’… was ripping my soul out… ‘I promise, I’ll come back’. The words thundered in my head. Turning, I could see her. She looked at peace, smiling, and all the more mesmerizing, she held out her hand. I ran to grab it.
When news spread the next morning, most people didn’t believe it. But I did. Love never dies, and neither does a promise.
Shade via Morguefile
Guest Author Bio
We live in worlds of our own, our imagination. It’s pieces from that world that i love putting on paper. Hope u like em.
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