"Have you ever been in love?" I asked her.
She smiled wearily and looked into the distance. "Yes," she replied, and it broke my heart because I felt the pain she was hiding. I saw it in her sad eyes and in the circles around them. I heard it in her firm voice . I felt it. And it was a pain so great, like the whole world caved in on her. I felt that pain **** the air out of her.
She looked at me and drew a deep breath. "I still am."
"Where is he now?" I asked her.
"Probably in his office, preparing a blueprint for a building."
"Is he married?"
"Not yet , but he will be."
She cleared her throat. The wind blew and her hair brushed against her face. Her hair was dark with a few streaks of gray. She looked younger then, with that serene look on her face. I could see her again as an eighteen-year-old. She was still small, but she had a certain kind of fierceness. She was altogether fragile, like thin glass. She was broken, but she did not cry.
I shifted in my seat. "So he's engaged?"
"Do you know the girl?"
A hint of a smile showed, but I knew it wasn't of amusement. Even in her smile, I saw the sorrow. "She was my bestfriend," she replied and it was the first time I heard her voice quaver. A tear rolled down her cheek. She laughed miserably. She laughed at the ridiculousness of her situation. She laughed at herself for being so stupid, so pathetic. So hopeless.
She didn't love like others did. She didn't love so fleetingly, so conditionally. She was forgiving, and gave second chances as if they grew on trees. She loved with her whole heart. She didn't love with the physical kind of love. She loved with her soul, and she loved another soul. One soul. One man, and that was it. And she knew that even in the end, when she lies cold in her grave, she will never stop loving.
I found my 30-year-old self sitting alone on a park bench, so I sat by her and talked.