I still remember the way she smiles, the way she runs her hand through her hair, the way she presses her lips, and the smell of her perfume. I can’t recall what was the reason why we parted ways. It just happened. Maybe there was an elephant in the room all along that we never noticed and it remained unknown and undefined. It wasn’t even indifference, it’s not a matter of falling out of love, it’s not about responsibility and carelessness, it’s not even about the cruel reality of life. Probably, we’re just not meant to be. Simple as that.

It’s Friday evening and I sat on a bench beside a lamp post. I placed my satchel beside me and grabbed my phone inside my trench coat. “One missed call,” it says on the screen. I looked at it and it was Tammy Larsen who called 5 minutes ago. “Why would she call me at this time of the night and what does she need? It’s been months since we talked,” that’s what I said to myself that night. It started to get cold so I went home.

I hit the sack but I wasn’t able to sleep. The mystery behind Tammy’s call played on loop inside my head. I kept on wondering why would she be calling all of a sudden. Maybe it was just a miss call or that she just pressed the wrong button. I wouldn’t know. Aside from that call, I’ve also started to question myself if I were not able to catch that call, would I answer it. I wouldn’t know as well. Heck, I don’t even know if I’m ready to communicate with her once again.

Tam wasn’t the first woman that I loved but I can definitely say that she was the best love I ever had. I was never a man of action, just a man of words but then because of her, I changed. I would tell people that I love them because I really do but I never showed it. I was about to lose her because I was a coward. I was afraid that she might get scared and leave when I tell her my feelings and intentions. I was afraid that she wouldn’t feel the same way. They say that the first thing you have to know about love is compromise. I kept telling myself that I needed to give her only the best even if I am not part of what should be best for her. I always gave her everything that would make her happy and what she deserved. I became too nice that’s why I almost lost her. What I did is that I turned in a new leaf. I courted her even if I know that I am not the type of man that she wants and deserves but still, I fought. That was me, being nice to myself and being greedy at the same time. Maybe if I start putting myself first then that would be able to get the girl of my dreams. No, not the girl of my dreams but the girl that would make me dream better dreams.

Tammy and I had the best of times when we started dating. There was never a dull moment. Not even a single misunderstanding or any argument. We were the perfect couple as they would say but then again… things never worked out for us. It was also a mystery how we parted. We just never talked one day even if we’re just a call or a few blocks away.

It’s 6 in the morning and my alarm clock isn’t supposed to ring until 7 AM. I woke up not because of the alarm but because of a call from a friend. He said he needed to see me in an hour and that I needed to dress in formal. He said he’ll tell me why it’s urgent and that I needed to come.

I dragged myself off the bed, took a bath, sipped coffee, grabbed some bread on the table and went out. I saw Robbie at the plaza trying to feed some pigeons with some spare bread. “Hey, man. What seems to be the problem? Why do you need me here,” I said. He gave me a straight sad look and said, “I’m sorry if I have to drag you here but I have some bad news, man… Tammy’s dead. She had a car accident last night. I just heard from her mom about it.”

I never said a word. My knees started to get weak and my tummy started to turn. I wanted to collapse with what I just heard. I cannot believe that she just died when she tried to call me.

Robbie and I hit the cab and went to the wake as soon as I was able to get back on my knees. I opened the door of the chapel and saw her coffin at the altar. I started walking and things started to get weird. I’ve always imagined that I would be the one waiting at the altar as she walks in her wedding dress and not her waiting at the altar inside a coffin as I walk down the aisle. I stopped for a while before I could see her. I was thinking if I would want to see her lying inside a coffin. I wonder if it would be better if my last memory of her was not like this but I haven’t seen her in a while so I might want to see her for the last time.I decided to take one step forward and take a look at her one last time. And there she is, she just looked as if she were sleeping. A single tear started to fall down my eye and I wiped it down as soon as I could. I turned my back and walked fast to exit the chapel. I started running away and went to a place no one would find me.

I sat down under an old tree and then I started rying a river. I never cried that hard before. I wasn’t crying that time because I missed Tammy or was because I’m never gonna see her again. I was crying because of colliding disappointment and regret. I cried because of how soon and easy our love did slowly fade and now it feels like it’s gone. I felt bad for how something special could turn out to be nothing in the end. I felt bad for us and how everything seemed wasted in the end. I guess, this is what happens when “Happily ever after” never happens.

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