“I’m scared,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.

“I know. I’m scared too. But we will see each other soon,” he promised, hugging her tighter.

She looked him in the eyes. They were no longer sky blue, as she remembered them to be. They were shaded with the smoke of cigarettes.

“It is a shame,” she thought to herself. “Such beauty. To be wasted like this.”

He looked her back. Her eyes were the color of finest Swiss chocolate, with just a hint of milk. He always got lost in them.

He loosened the hug. “I’ll miss you,” he sighed, looking away. He no longer wanted to look into her eyes. He was sad, but couldn’t shed a tear. Pain was ripping him apart from the inside and he wanted to scream, but couldn’t produce a sound.

“I’ll miss you too. More than you will know.” She let go of him completely and looked away.

“I wouldn’t count on that,” he looked at her again, with a hint of remorse in his voice.

She smiled, but didn’t say anything. She looked him in the eyes again. They have changed. They were no longer shaded, nor were they sky blue. They were the reflection of those bright and hot summer days and dark and cold winter nights they spent together. She couldn’t describe their color. She saw her life in them. It was as simple as that.

“Hey, are you crying?” he asked her, worry upon his face. She didn’t realise she was. He cupped her face with his hands. “Don’t cry,” he whispered in a soothing voice and wiped her tears away.

“’m sad,” she mumbled and closed her eyes. She brought her hands up to his, wanting to hold them.

He let go of her face and hugged her again. “I’m sad too.” They stood like that for a very long time, hugging, holding on to each other for dear life.

After what seemed like hours, they let go. He ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her forehead.

“Cause there’s this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow,” he mumbled against her head.

“And I play it on repeat until I fall asleep,” she finished the lyrics, talking into his shirt.

“Call me when you land.”

“Of course,” she nodded, letting go of him.

“And skype me when you’re unpacked and settled in your room!”

“I will,” she promised, picking up her bags. She stopped for a second. “I have something for you,” she exclaimed, roaming through her bag. “Ah! Here!” She was handing him her black notebook.

He frowned. He knew what it was. She has told him before. She was handing him her life in ink. He paused for a second. He didn’t know what to do.

“Do I want to know?” he asked.

She shrugged. “It’s not finished yet. Still has a lot of blank pages. You can fill them out if you want. You can read it if you want. You don’t have to do any of those things if you don’t want to know. Just don’t throw it away. Keep it. And don’t talk about it. Kay?”

He nodded and took the notebook. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For letting me be a part of your life.”

“Thank you for being a part of mine,” she smiled. She looked around her, stepped on her toes, hugged him for the last time and kissed him on the cheek.

“Love you,” she whispered into his ear.

He closed his eyes and breathed in her smell. He could still feel her lips on his cheek. That spot where she kissed him was burning and that fever spread from his cheek to his lips, through his heart and stomach all the way down to his toes. He smiled to himself. He was happy. Not because she left, but because he knew. He finally knew how it felt to be happy.

She was long gone by the time he opened his eyes.

Published by Evelyn