Dear 2021

I was excited to be back in Colombo, even though it was just a two-year contract. Time and money hadn’t allowed me to return to the city of my youth and time flew by real fast. It had already been 3 years since my graduation and the day I moved back home. And now I was back. I was excited, nervous and everything in between.

After church service was over on my first Sabbath back, I went around, greeting the people who had become my family while I studied here. I saw a number of new faces, it was nice meeting new people, especially within the church. Aunt Emma, the Pastor’s wife, came out of nowhere and gave me a mighty warm hug that made tears sting my eyes. We stood there, catching up on the things we hadn’t talked about during our email correspondences. It was then that I noticed a pair of piercing eyes that held my gaze.

My heart was thrown into turmoil. It was R. I hadn’t seen him since 2017. Then I remembered how I had sober-drunk dialed him 3 weeks before I left in 2018, confessing how I had liked him for 2 years. Poor guy was flustered, didn’t even know what to say. At that point, I was focusing more on making sure I was breathing, and less on what Aunt Emma was saying about her radiant grandchildren. When I looked up again, he was walking towards me. I took two steps back, only to be cradled by the cold wall. I told Aunt Emma I needed to use the restroom a bit, and all but ran into the ladies room.

I walked into a stall and closed the door. I couldn’t believe this was happening. Yes, I had thought of him from time to time. Yes, I had wondered if he had met a good woman and gotten married. And yes, I wondered if he had forgotten about me. I heard a sweet voice calling my name. I opened the door and it was Mitali. Mitali was a cute 5 year old when I left and she had grown into a beautiful 8 year old girl, with brown bouncy curls. She just threw herself into my body and hugged me. I held her and asked how she had been. She replied all my questions with her body still aligned to mine. My heart swelled. Then she said she was going upstairs, to Gretzen Hall where everyone was having lunch, but I couldn’t come with her cause someone wanted to see me.

Unsuspecting me walked out of the ladies room with her, hand in hand, when I saw who the someone was. She smiled up at me and told me to come up as soon as we were done talking. All I could do was nod. No words at my disposal. We walked towards each other, briefly hugged then exchanged slightly awkward pleasantries.

R: So, how long are you here for?
C: It’s a two year contract.
R: So just two years?
C: Yeah, and if everything goes well, it will be extended.
R: You came alone? No spouse?
C: Yeah, not married. Are you?
R: Married? No. No spouse.
{I nodded my head, trying to think of something to say that will change the subject…}
R: No long term boyfriend waiting at home?
C: No…no, long term boyfriend… actually, no boyfriend… Girlfriend?
R: No. Waiting.
C: Waiting?
R: I was waiting for someone who never said they’d be back…
C: Faith?? 
R: Or foolishness, I am not too sure myself.
{He chuckled and looked at his hands.}
C: Well, she is one lucky woman, I’ll say!
R: Will you marry me?
C: WHAT???
I mean, after dating and all. Then will you marry me? 
C: You just told me you were waiting for…
R: For you… That night you called 3 years ago, I couldn’t tell you how I felt cause I taken aback, but mostly because I didn’t have my life together enough to tell you I liked you.
C: YOU liked me??
R: Yeah, I did, actually. But I’d always figured you had someone to go back home to. I never thought you saw me…
C: I never thought you saw me either!
{They both chuckled}
C: You never said anything that night though. Why?
R: I was shocked, actually, and thought just how much braver you were compared to me… Then I couldn’t say anything because you’d said you were leaving. What could I have said when I was still trying to sort my life out, living with my parents… I couldn’t ask you to stay for me, with me.
C: … fair enough
R: But you’re here now… It feels like a chance, a do over… Just one date, that will maybe lead to another hundred dates and maybe, I hope… a wedding date?
C: Okay, a date… then maybe a hundred more…
R: Really? What are you doing tomorrow? {He said, enthusiastically}
C: {Chuckling} Tomorrow?
R: The sooner the first date, the sooner the 100 dates will be right?
C: {Chuckling again} Eager beaver

The alarm went off. I was startled awake. I could hear the soft tapping of the rain. Ah, the weather was perfect for my mood today. The bluest shade of blue. I got out of bed, turned on music and ironically, it was Roy Kim’s You Don’t Love Me.

Dear 2021…


13 thoughts on “Dear 2021

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