"…..in those black high heels and the glitter jean jacket, that scarf with the weird ketchup stain on it and tie your hair exactly in the same way like you did on the day when we first held hands. Be there, I’ll be waiting…” His voice was heavy, and hurried like the wind. With an inch short of emotion he said again, “Be there.”
Silence…. and then the beep of the phone. He had called her from the local pay phone near the children orphanage, where he could hear the children sing about life, love and hope. It was 8.30.
He sat on the park bench which was damp with the recent downpour. His sneakers were wet. He carefully placed his wallet and his drum sticks on the bench and smiled at them.
10 pm came and so did she in those black high heels, glitter jean jacket and the hair tied in a half pony tail with bangs flying in the light breeze.
They lay in the grass in silence and counted the stars. She sang her last song to him. It was a sad song named “Goodbye” sung by a local band.
“Pick a star” she said, “name it Archelaus. It’ll be our star forever.”
He picked the first star he could see between the tree branches and named it Archelaus.
The grass was wet and cold. But their entwined hands were warm. They prayed for a miracle to happen. They prayed for their hands to magically fuse together. They prayed that this moment lasted forever. That didn’t happen.
He walked her to her lane. Her parents weren't fond of him. He was much older, long hair, tattoo, dark skinned..
He kissed her on her forehead, longer than he usually did and left her a note.
It read “I’ll love you, always..”
He walked back home alone and in silence.
This had been his routine for the past two years- Meeting her at 10 at the park. But she sang happier songs then. Songs about love…songs about hope…Songs about forever…They would hold hands. They wouldn’t be so restless. The kiss on the forehead would be shorter and he never left a note.So, this night was a little different.
He called her again the next day. “Be there. I’ll be waiting…”
But he didn’t hear the usual “uhummm” from the other end. Instead he heard, “Hey this is Carol. I’ve moved to Paris permanently. I know this was all so sudden. I'll miss you guys! Bye!”
He sat on the park bench. It was 11 pm. “You’re late”, he said and smiled to himself.
He went back home and sat in his balcony. He looked up at the sky. His hair was salty with sweat, his face saltier with tears. With a hoarse voice, weighed down with pain, he sang to Archelaus. The wind blew harder and a few crumpled notes that he had practiced his handwriting on flew away from his hands. All of them read, “I’ll love you, always..”