The one that got away

He took a sip of his coffee and sat back into his chair. He was staring at the face of someone who had dropped everything and visited him straightaway even though she had just barely touched down and hadn’t even said hi to her own parents. He was touched that she had rushed over when she heard he had injured himself, but he didn’t want her here.

The fact that she bothered to do something like that roused his emotions, and he wandered why. Ever since they broke up he had taken every opportunity to push her away, even though they remained good friends. Even though they had kept in contact all this time. He was especially pissed at his friends for lying to her about his injury, that he wasn’t even capable of walking when he could even drive himself, but he was pissed at himself.

1 failed marriage and 1 failed serious relationship was all it took. When she appeared after that, he knew he couldn’t handle another relationship. Besides, she was too free-spirited. She left before he could say anything else about him wanting to remain single.

These days, it was just him, his dog, and his business.

She stared out onto the pavement, beyond the people shuffling along with their shopping bags, beyond those attempting to cross the traffic junction, beyond the business of Orchard Rd on a weekend afternoon. She had just returned from a holiday and when she heard the news, she dropped everything at home, barely said hi to her parents, and rushed down to check on him.

But he was fine. His friends had decided it was a good reason to convince her to see him and lied that he couldn’t walk. He was, in fact, well and alive, and by the looks of it, walking wasn’t a problem.

She wondered why she did what she did. She remembered the panic that overcome her, the worry that struck her on the ride over to his place. He was an important person in her life, and even after they parted he had remained a good friend and a pillar of strength for her. Surely that was reason enough.

When she arrived, she was pissed. Not because their friends had lied, but because he greeted her in his usual curt and abrasive manner. It wasn’t until later that he told her in private he appreciated her coming, but he didn’t really need her around.

Perhaps she had wished that he was at a point in his life where he could change his mind about his decisions earlier, that perhaps he was willing to give it another try. We all want to be that person. But she knew that it was wishful thinking. He wouldn’t change his mind when he’s got it made up. Which was why she took the initiative and walked away from it first.

These days, when they both spoke or met with each other, it was in the capacity of good friends. They never spoke of getting back together because they both knew it was never possible. They were just good friends.

She smiled to herself, maybe I was the one that got away.

He smiled, she was the one that got away. 

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