No; it wasn’t a promise to return. It was a promise to love me till death took him away. I recall a time when all I wanted was to make him proud of me. I’d always jump at the chance to be with him; I’d listen to his stories of when I was just a little girl; of how he loved me more than he loved his own life. And no matter what happened, he would always be close.
It was a cold winter evening when he sat me down to talk. He said he had to change his life; that he had one last chance for happiness. I sat still listening to his every word. He didn’t look into my eyes; he sat across from me with his head down in torment for what he had to say. I told him not to be sad; that everything was going to be alright. But he did not smile; he merely shook his head. I swallowed that cold bitter pain in my throat, and held back my tears, and when I was ready to speak, I asked him one question. “Do you love her?” He said, “Yes,” and so I told him to do what made him happy. He smiled with pity, and there was nothing more to say; and that question screaming in my head, that one, I never asked.
In the dark of the night, he got his suitcase ready; only the essentials. Then he washed his face, took a last sip of his black coffee, kissed his wife on the cheek, and picked up his suitcase. She asked, “The girls?” He stopped, opened our bedroom door, and tool a peek inside. “No,” he said, “Let them sleep, I will call them in the evening when I’ve arrived.”
In the morning, when I woke up, my mum said he was gone.
So you see, we were doomed from the start with no one to blame. Every love story that has ever been written, has also been lived. And my God, they have all been beautiful; every single one of them. But I will not regret the choices that I have made. I will not witness such pain in the eyes of another little girl; not by my hand. So do not sorrow for the tears I shed, for my waves were never waves at all, and my words were from a love story of a thousand years ago; in a beautiful world; where nothing is ever lost.
But that call he had promised to make;
I remember waiting.
– Photography Credits: Ray Collins