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Another busy day on Broadway Street of New York city. People are rushing towards their destinations. Among this crowd, was a girl, struggling to make her way through the crowd. “Gosh, I can’t be late for today’s meeting! No way!”, she thought to herself and tried to push through the crowd. Suddenly she heard someone calling her name. But she didn’t look back, “No time for bullshit!”. “Zena! Zena!”, she heard it again. This time it was loud and clear. “God no! Who the hell is calling me now? ”, she thought. Irritatedly she looked back and could only see a distant male figure waving towards her. 

As the figure came closer, her facial expression started to change. “That face, is it really him? Or is it a beautiful illusion? Some kind of mind trick?”. It’s been five years since she last saw this face. This face, so familiar to her. This face, that meant the whole world to her. Lying down beside him, she saw the morning light falling on this face, every morning, for three consecutive years. And yet, she could never get tired of doing that, again and again.

Yes, she loved him, with all her heart. Didn’t ever doubt that for a moment. But in the end, it didn’t work. It wasn’t his fault, neither was hers. She still remembers the day clearly when he left. She was upset watching him leave, but she didn’t cry. Neither did she tell him to stay back. “This is not the end! He will come back eventually, he always does.”, she had thought to herself. But she was wrong, very wrong. This time it was really over for him. Not only did he leave her apartment, but he also left New York city without even telling her and moved thousands of miles away from her. 

How could he?”, she had thought to herself, as tears rolled down from her eyes silently. She waited, “He will call me, he will come back. He loved me! He can’t just end it like this and leave me behind!”. But again, she was wrong. He had already moved on and that call never came. Thousands of times she thought about calling him and asking him, “How could you do this to me? Didn’t I mean anything to you? Was moving on really that easy for you?”. She wanted to tell him that she was sorry, that this time she will try her best to make it work. She wanted to beg him to come back. But she couldn’t, her ego and self-esteem wouldn’t let her. “He didn’t even call, didn’t even try to contact me once!”, she would think and slowly she would put down the phone.

Here he is, standing in front of her, with that ever heartwarming smile. “Zena! It’s really you! It’s so nice to see you after so long.”, he said, like nothing ever happened. “Hey, Elijah! It’s nice to see you too!”, she tried to sound calm but still, her voice sounded nervous. “It’s been like five years? Oh my God! How have you been?”, he asked. “I am good, same old. When did you come back?”, she asked. This time she managed to sound calm. “I came to New York a week ago, for a business meeting. Will leave tomorrow.”. “Don’t leave please! Don’t leave me again.”, she wanted to tell him, out loud. She wanted to tell him how much she loved him, how much she missed him over the years. 

But she couldn’t. Rather her eyes stopped at a pretty little doll that he was holding in his hands. As he noticed curiosity in her eyes, he said. “Oh! I bought this doll for my daughter Naomi. She is such a naughty little thing. She won’t even let me enter the house if I don’t bring her precious dolly!”. “She must be a very sweet girl.”, she said with a faint smile but deep inside she was shattered. She knew she couldn’t take it anymore. There’s no way she was going to let him see those tears gathering in her eyes. She knew she had to leave at that instant. “Elijah, I wish I could stay longer but I am really getting late for my meeting. I’ll have to leave now. It was really great to see you again.”, she said in a hurry. “Oh! I wish we could talk longer but work comes first. I really hope to see you again sometime. Maybe introduce you to my family!”. “I wish we never meet again”, she whispered to herself. But in front of him, she just smiled and nodded. 

Then she turned and started walking, didn’t look back, not even once. “No I can’t afford to look back, not anymore.”, she thought to herself. She could feel this pain inside of her, growing with every minute, making it difficult for her to even breathe. She could feel warm tears rolling down her cheeks in the chilling winter morning of New York. It’s been five years, she has learned to live and laugh without him, “Then why am I feeling this overwhelming pain?”, she asked herself, pretending to not know the reason. But deep inside she knew, she knew that she felt this pain because of the last bit of hope that she had kept alive. Even though their relationship ended years ago, she always secretly hoped that he would come back into her arms, that he would find his way back to her. This hope never really let her move on. She has dated several times after that but none of them really lasted. She thought she couldn’t get involved in a relationship after that because she hadn’t found the right guy. But the truth was, she was still hoping for him to come back. Today that last bit of hope was dying and this dying hope was causing her all this pain. But among all the pain and tears, she also felt a slight relief. She realized, at last, she was free; finally, she will be able to move on...

Nabila Shahnaz Khan is a student who came to USA in 2019 and currently working as a Research Assistant at the University of Central Florida. She is a Computer Science Engineer and her current Research Topic is Bioinformatics and Computational Algorithms. She is a new writer and writing has always been her passion.

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