It was 2 nights in to the cruise where everyone seemed in love and passion filled the air when someone approached me. I silently praised her courage as she leaned on the railing beside me at the tip of the liner. Though I’m sure she can tell, from the dried tears on my cheek and my most leave-me-alone posture that I didn’t want to talk.
I only allowed myself one glance before I returned to my world of self-pity, but that’s all it took. She caught my glance and immediately saw it as an opening, my mistake.
“It seems, that I’m not the only one who can’t stand the abundance of emotion filling the air, I could almost choke on it.” My stone mask slipped for just a moment, revealing a slight twitch at the corner of my mouth. It was only there for a moment before I slipped back in to my cold, emotionless mask.
“So he has a sense of humor, how, surprising. For a second there, I wondered if I was simply seeing things. Wistful thinking for sure, for the last time I saw you, you were beaming smiles and hearty laughs. Whoever you are, you must be his doppelganger, because, there’s no way in hell, someone with so much spirit can become this, this, broken man in front of me.” She finished, a tinge of regret filling her voice, she exhaled and turned to leave but I stopped her.
Grabbing her hand, I slowly turned her around to get a better look at whoever this stranger was, that apparently knew me. She didn’t resist, and soon she stood in front of me, staring angrily at me.
I knew who she was, though my hands shook, and my vision blurred. I knew who she was. My mind could not deny who stood in front of me.
“Alyssa..?” I breathed, feeling suddenly disoriented, I grabbed on to the railing with both hands, keeping my balance.
Alyssa was one of my dearest friends, all of my successes led back to her, her pep talks and strong encouragement pushed me to do things my self-doubt told me I couldn’t. We were best friends throughout my entire education, but a decade ago, she needed to move, and so we parted ways. She left to go pursue her dreams, and I stayed home, to pursue love. I failed miserably.
She watched me, concern and guilt in her eyes. “Kevin, what happened to you….Who, did this to you?” She came closer, reaching for my hand. I pulled away, creating some distance between us, regaining some composure, for tears were sliding down my face in an uncontrollable current. I turned to face her again.
“You look amazing Alyssa, it seems at least one of us has succeeded in our endeavours.” Looking away, I go to leave, but I’m pulled back before I make it far.
“I left you once, I won’t abandon you again.” And all of the sudden, we were kissing.
The air, slowly choking us.