They went to the zoo together. A few years ago, they’d been here, on a school visit, and that was the day he told her he loved her. They’d walked the ground of the zoo together, talking, seeing, having fun and time had passed by so quickly for them both.
Elisa kept looking at him, praying against hope that something would trigger his memory. She took him to the bird sanctuary, where they’d fed the birds with some chips they’d bought. They’d sat underneath the big tree at the centre of the sanctuary, on a bench, and took photos. They’d also had a tube of ice cream at the cafe, and talked about nothing and everything at once.
This time, things were quite stiff between them. She could feel that his presence there was only half-heartedly. Silently, though she tried to be as animated as she could, she already knew it in her heart, that it was not going to work.
Finally, she took him to the souvenir shop, where he’d bought her the bracelet that she was wearing that day.
“Before we left this zoo, we stopped by here,” she began, as they both entered the shop. “I went to the counter to admire the bracelets there,” she pointed, and he hesitantly went to the counter. The girl behind it smiled encouragingly.
“I had no money, though, so I walked away. When you saw me so keen on it, you secretly bought it for me,” she smiled at the memory. “I was surprised. You didn’t have much money, too. Then you went from behind me and told me to close my eyes,” she closed her eyes, remembering, savouring the memories as they flow all over her, so powerful, that her heart was screaming at the unjustness of the world. Why, oh why did she have to go through this situation?
As her heartbeat accelerated, and she felt her chest heaving with the intensity of the memory, she took out her hand and showed him, “Then you put this on my wrist,” and she opened her eyes. They looked at each other for a heartbeat, with her, hoping that he would feel something, anything at all. His eyes seemed sad, so soulfully sad, that she knew what he was about to say.
She swallowed with such difficulties, battling whether to let him say it, and have her heart broken all over again, or not allow him to say anything, with the understanding that her time is already up.
She didn’t have to make the decision, though, because suddenly his phone rang, and the moment was lost. He flipped his phone out, his eyes apologetic, “It is Laura,”
Elisa nodded and turned away, back to her car. With eyes blinded with her tears, she drove off without another word.
To be continued...