Promise

“Why?”

“I changed my mind.”

“What happened?”

I didn’t reply him. His stare made me uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to continue the conversation so I decided to go.

“I need to go,” I said as I gathered my bag and phone and stood up to leave.

I walked quickly. He followed me. He didn’t try to stop me, though. He didn’t say anything.

But he held my car door when I reached there. “You don’t get to leave me hanging. You were earnest about your feeling to me before this. And I have a feeling that you’re hiding something from me. Heck! I KNOW you’re hiding something from me!”

He did not raise his voice, but he was firm. I was shaking. I could feel hot tears running down my cheeks. So that night I told him. And he listened quietly. He didn’t flinch. He didn’t interrupt. He just sat there and listened.

At the end of the night, he said he needed some time to process all that I just told him. He told me to take care as he waited for me to leave in my car.

A week later, he called. He made me a promise. Two years have passed and he have kept his promise.

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I still remember the night she rejected me. I was baffled. She was the one who confessed first. When she suddenly got up to leave, I was angry. I was so angry I couldn’t say a word. I still couldn’t find anything to say as I followed her to her car.

As we were walking fast to her car, that was when it dawned on me. How strange her reaction was. How she kept opening her mouth as if she were about to say something but stopped. How she abruptly left.

When she told me, she cried a little bit. But she was calm. She narrated the story chronologically, carefully. She paused sometimes, probably weighing how much she should reveal to me. I didn’t press. I didn’t interrupt. I just let her finished.

“Had I known this earlier, I wouldn’t talk to you. This is why I don’t think we should be together. This is why I changed my mind.” I remember those were the exact last words that she said to me that night.

I said I’ll call her after I process all that she told me. A week later I called her. I told her I was standing firm with my decision.

She was quiet for quite some time on the phone. I suspected she cried. But when she finally spoke, I heard no hint of that, only calmness. She laid out all the possible circumstances, all the treatments that she had to go through, how she would change towards the end.

I knew. I’d read it all online. But I still listened to her as she spoke through the phone. I stayed calm. And strangely enough, the more worst case scenarios she laid out to me, the more they affirmed my decision.

It is as if, my heart had known all along that she is the home I was looking for.

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I have kept my promise. I stayed by her side until the end. She lost to the tumor exactly 2 years 1 month and 10 days after that phone conversation. It was short. It wasn’t easy. But it was the most meaningful period of my life. And this person I loved have taught me how to be a good man. I am forever grateful to have her as my wife, though briefly.

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