I knew my lies would catch up with me eventually but I wanted to live in the moment, for once. Leap into the unknown, even though it was all kinda built on a lie. My happiness, like glass, was fragile and promised to shatter. What seemed like a little, innocent lie at first, grew with time. Lies tend to feed on lies anyhow.
And when he found out, he was thrown into a maze of confusion. He couldn’t, for the life of him, wrap his head around it. It was a small lie, but it had the power to drive a wedge as wide as the ocean between us. So I thought it best to leave. Given I was the root of the problem, because of my feelings for him, I had grown greedy. I wanted more. I wanted forever.
Having never owned much all my life, my petty possessions filled a suitcase and a bag. I left at the crack of dawn. I had nowhere to go, so I wondered until I found a nice cozy spot near a hot spring in the neighbourhood. I woke up and saw a ceiling. White, with a yellow bulb. The walls had colorful wallpaper with stars. I thought of the moon. The mattress I lay on was warm, and soft with age. It felt like what I had always imagined home would feel like. Growing up an orphan, home was the one thing I never had but yearned for with all of my being. The old man beside me saw me stir and asked if I was awake.
I knew him. He owned a restaurant down the street from the apartment we had shared, until recently. I looked at him with confusion, and asked how I had gotten here. He told me how he had found me at the park, almost unconscious and cold, and how he had piggy backed me all the way back and figured all I needed was some warmth and time.
Two days had passed. My broken heart still felt heavy, though my body was rested. He made me oatmeal with cinnamon, which was drowned in milk. It tasted like life. He said I could stay as long as I needed. A ship without a compass, I had no direction. I wallowed indoors all day, missed work, I was a mess. I had lost my phone so even if Scott was calling, I had no way of knowing. I started helping Stan in the restaurant and he always said how he appreciated the company.
A week had passed. I was outside, standing in the sun, soaking in it’s warmth, when I heard him call my name.
My heart leapt into a broken rhythm. I turned around and there he stood, panting, trying to catch his breath. Tears prickled in my eyes and I stood there, almost paralyzed. He walked towards me and pulled me into his arms. His warm breath on my neck, his scent assaulting my senses, the tears my eyes had held swam down my cheeks.
“Don’t think I am here, holding you because I have forgiven you. I’ve been worried more than upset and hurt.”
“How…how did you find me?”
He chuckled, “If you really wanted to get away and hide, you could have chosen another neighbourhood, not the one I live in. Not the one WE live in.”
If it was even remotely possible for him to hold me tighter, he did.
“Come home, baby. Come home. Make me understand. I will understand. Then come home to me.”
I pulled away so I could look him in the eye and confirm what I was hearing. Tears were flooded there. They slipped down his cheek and fell onto my face.
“I am still mad. You lied to me. But I want to hear you out. And forgive you. And keep on loving you… Stay.. I love you, Song. Tell me the truth. Don’t make me a fool for choosing you, for loving you.”
I buried my head in his chest again and soaked his shirt with my tears. “I am so sorry Scott,” in almost a whisper. I said it again, in a louder voice and in a louder voice.
“I know you are, but that’s not what I want to hear…”
“I love you Scott, I love you so much! … Take me home!”
Stan stood at the door, smiling, watching me holding Scott like he was my life line and I was his.