Home Poetry An Ode to Another Ten Years

An Ode to Another Ten Years

by Stephanie Alfaia

“Isn’t it crazy that what, ten years ago I walked you home… and here we are?” he confessed between his smile, staring at the ceiling in reminisce. She was stunned. Millions of moments, emotions flooded her memory and she knew she had only seconds to reply – to say… anything.

“Wait, you think about that?” was all she could compose, her smile reflecting her shock.

“Of course I do -”

“I had no idea you ever thought about me,” she interrupted. “I think about that too.”

And she did.

She wondered what it was that made it impossible to stay away from him. She counted two years as the cumulative time they had spent without a single word exchanged. It was incredible how vivid every feeling, emotion, memory both positive and extremely painful could spring up and twirl in front of her as clear as the sky. She didn’t dissolve the painful moments as she knew it was a part of their journey.

Sophie tried to keep her excitement at bay but she couldn’t resist holding Gabriel’s hand, following him down the path of nostalgia. He laughed as he remembered carrying her on his back after she had one too many. She blushed in embarrassment – that night wasn’t the most glorious in retrospect. Gabriel turned on his left side to finally face Sophie as she described how delicious their experiences together were.

“There it is,” he accused smiling, looking into her eyes in a way he had never done.

“What? Don’t look at me like that,” she was deeply uncomfortable.

“That look. The way you look at me when… Sophie, I know you.”

She was perplexed. Her features had betrayed her. She questioned her heart’s weakness and punished her soul for peering out from her eyes into his.

“I can’t believe you saw that,” she confessed. Sophie got up embarrassed and ran to the bathroom. Anywhere besides the truth. Anything to avoid admitting.

“Stop, come back here!”

Gabriel waited confused. He wished he hadn’t said anything. He was merely allowing himself to be taken by the moment, by her happiness by the subtle way she giggles when he speaks. I love it when she does that he thought to himself. Gabriel couldn’t understand her and realized he would spend years trying to figure it out, that is if their story lasted another ten years.

“I’m sorry, I was surprised, I didn’t realize you, I -”

“Babe, it’s okay come here.”

Sophie hesitated for a split second before taking a step forward. At least I hesitated, she thought to herself. I am in control of myself. She laid down beside him and let him hug her. They were not going to push the topic further. It was better that way, they were both too scared to say it out loud. Sophie glanced at Gabriel’s face and saw that he was lost in thought staring again at the ceiling. Why do I always do this? That was the perfect moment to tell him. I’m sure he knows but… she froze when he looked at her again. Sophie gently reminded herself to breathe. I wonder what he is thinking…

Like thousands of other people in the world, Sophie and Gabriel saw love as a weakness – the deep fear of the unrequited. A leap of faith was out of the question. Pain was easier to manage, to digest. How do you tame the unconditional? And that fear is exactly what drove them away. Her rude responses when he got too close. Sophie thought she did well in pretending sex was their only attraction but Gabriel could see right through her. He knew she was never driven by desire, that in reality she loved to be in love. Yet somehow he too was rooted in fear. He did not believe he was worthy of being deeply loved and cared for. He felt it was undeserving. Sophie on the other hand was comfortable loving and being loved but she lacked trust. She felt safer guarded, pretending, pushing away.

An endless circle of two souls who come together to experience nirvana but who remain in their respective characters. Unable to evolve, to learn, to grow towards, with, each other. Readers, let’s hope that one day Sophie and Gabriel break away from narrative…

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