” Life is unpredictable, we all know that but what we fail to see most of the time is the journey that takes us to our destiny”
The morning after looked more like a tragic accident with a couple of deaths that you would see in the morning news than a lovers picture.
All the unexpressed feelings locked inside was a major problem for both of them; neither knew really where to start but they agreed on one thing: “last night was a mistake”. They both were looking for closure after so many years and this was a desperate attempt to achieve that.
John was feeling confused between anger and attraction, he wanted some real explanation why he wasn’t good enough to be her only choice. He hated the fact that after all these years she still had a hold on him and just a simple touch could drive him crazy addicted to her.
“ You choose to leave …” she suddenly said, looking out onto the street.
“What?, he seemed confused.
“ Eight years ago, you decided to leave and for a long time I didn’t know how should I feel about that. I wasn’t ready to leave London, I was afraid of what I felt for you, scared that you might change out there and …” she couldn’t finish saying what she wanted. Amanda turned her head and took a deep breath.
The truth was that she didn’t trust her feelings for him, they were too young, she was not ready to leave everything behind for the unknown. He was more adventurous than her since they were little, she remembered being afraid of everything; most of the exciting things she did as a child was because he made her or challenged her. Amanda saw herself as a normal, boring human being without loads of crazy courage, more into reading than sky diving, relaxing on the beach than mountain biking.
“ I wanted you to come with me!”, he said with an angry tone.
“ We never really talked about it, you just couldn’t see yourself here and that’s fine. We both made choices that affected us in a negative way then, but now looking back I think it was good for us to experience different lives. John, we were too young, what we felt then was a child’s notion of affection for one another”, Amanda was trying to close the conversation, she felt closure and even if what they’ve had, was more than friendship, they are two different people today who are still living the past.
“ I loved you and I still…” she stopped him. There was no reason why they should hurt anymore; he might loved her then but that was not enough for him to stay and deep inside she blamed him for that.
“ Don’t, please…, I think you still love what we could have been, you still see me as that girl you left in tears on the train platform. That girl does not exist anymore and we both know it; we are two different people now who reconnected hoping to close a chapter in our life that was lingering above every major decision we’ve made. That ‘what if’ has to go away, John; we can move on and stop questioning what could have been” she was trying to make him stop talking about feelings he thinks he has or had.
What was the point of it all? Only a fool can think they will pick up from where they left; too many things happened since, they grew up and the only thing they now share is childhood memories.
“ Maybe you’re right, I don’t really know. For so long after I left, I was confused, very angry that you’d choose to stay. It became reality that you didn’t feel the same way about us as I did. I still sometimes feel hurt and maybe I should let go and close that part of my life”, he wasn’t sure that what he was saying, was in his heart , it all became a blur.
They said goodbye again and agreed not to see each other for a while until feelings will settle and reveal where they were heading… she kissed him on the cheeks leaving a red lipstick mark he would later notice. Amanda seemed distant and cold as she was leaving, he didn’t feel the same. This encounter was more a reassurance that she was the one for him all along. She was right…she wasn’t the same girl anymore; but she was still the only person who could bring him to his knees and mess up his brain.
The next weeks were just work and work for both of them, the only difference was that he was trying to bury all the thoughts about her, that were driving him insane.
“ Stop thinking about her and do something”, was the only sentence he kept hearing in his head over and over again. If only life would be that simple and we could have the answers to all of our questions. After a while he stopped questioning how he feels and started to think how will he ever show her that they really belong together.
And then something happened…
Life is so unpredictable and messy that before things happen we couldn’t possibly comprehend the reasons behind it or the means which makes everything fall into place.
Amanda’s editor asked her to work on a new piece for the magazine about the new rise of an entrepreneur, returned to London after years spent in Australia. His name was John Butler, the new tall, dark and handsome bachelor that every women was dreaming about. When she heard his name, for a split second the blood stopped running to her brain and her face went pale. She forced a smile as a response, but what came after wasn’t what she thought.
“ I want you to spend a week with him, getting to know him, his work, what he likes, his little secrets …everything Amanda! We want to have a great piece about him in our next issue.” her editor was oblivious about Amanda’s history with John and this whole situation couldn’t be anything else than the Universe having a good laugh on their expense.
Why she would feel strange, there is no reason why this would be a problem? These were the only words running through her mind for the last hour; for the past two days she couldn’t sleep or eat that much, she had one question in front of her. ‘How will she manage not to mess this up?’
She was inside the lift, going up to the fifth floor where his office was and she felt frozen; she was wondering how is she going to step out, face him, talk to him like they were best friends, pretending that what happened between them would not have any affect on the job at hand. But then she was hiding from her own feelings, at least that’s what her friends kept telling her for the past weeks.
“ Why can you just forgive him Amanda, you obviously still have feelings for him otherwise it wouldn’t affect you this much?”, her friends shared the same opinion, Amanda just couldn’t face the fact that after all these years, after he broke her heart she still couldn’t let him go, she still had a place in her heart just for him. This made her angry and stubborn and she refused to talk about it. She didn’t need a man to be happy, she could do that by herself.
When the lift doors opened she put on the brave face and a passive allure, asked the receptionist to let Mr Butler know she arrived for their one o’clock meeting.
John received a phone call two days before from the magazine’s editor, about their interest in writing a piece in the business section about the new entrepreneur who took London by storm. He was on one side pleased when Amanda was mentioned but on the other side he knew this would be the only chance for him to make it or break it.
When she stepped into his office everything was as awkward as it could be; they both were trying very hard not to show their true emotions. After they’ve exchanged pleasantries and talked a little bit about the family and how everyone was doing, Amanda changed the subject to the article.
“ I was very pleased when your editor informed me about the project”, said John smiling. He wanted to add that this week came from heaven, that he will prove her wrong, they do belong together, that coming to work for the next five days will be like Christmas morning spent opening gifts when he was six, over and over again.
“ Yes, it’s a new project for me as well, it will be a learning curve. I am going to be honest and say I was surprised she choose me to write it; a little bit worried because of our history but as long as we behave like two adults , after this week we can both go back to our lives and hope the next issue of the magazine will have a true and interesting piece about you,” she thought if they will set boundaries well ahead everything will be just fine.
Making rules, setting boundaries it’s in the human nature; our lives would be probably full of chaos if we wouldn’t have them. But the best part is that in a situation like this, rules and boundaries are more like challenges, which makes it even sweater when you overcome them or as we should say, break them.
When Amanda was setting these boundaries she was actually trying to say, “what happened a few weeks ago cannot happen again”…all that John heard was, “this is not going to be an easy task”.
But when did he ever say no to a challenge?