As my mum and I walked near Hyde Park on an icy Saturday in December, I thought of the moments Henry and I shared together. The time when the both of us vacationed in Paris. The golden-yellow aroma of baking bread in that bakery that was mere walking distance from our hotel room.
I thought of the time when we stood at Westminster Bridge, the white sound of Big Ben resonating around us. He glanced over at me and his cerulean smile glanced past me, perhaps into some vermillion unknown that I could never be able to tap into. He was so close yet so distant. He drew forth a sigh and looked down at the River Thames, saying absolutely nothing but also saying everything. I knew it then like I knew my own name. Our time together was coming to an end. There would be no more late-night purple jam sessions with whiskey and the Beatles playing Eleanor Rigby until three in the morning. Those days were over. As I reached for his hand, he drew it away as if my alien hand was too green and ugly for him.
Until the moment I saw him walking about of Harrod’s with a new beautiful girl on his arm, I had not seen him in a year. Mum told me not to talk to him, or even to look in his direction. The girl was pregnant. Hot, stinging blue tears pricked at my eyes. He was adamant about not having children, and every month, I had bought a cheap pregnancy test from the chemist down the road, hoping beyond belief that it would read a positive, just so that I could hold onto him a little tighter. But there he was, with that girl. He seemed happy, I supposed.
I regretted the decision to make a bit of eye contact with him because he saw me and began walking up to me. I felt my mother’s quick tugs, the white, agitated whisper in her voice. Pulling me away, my body fought by keeping my feet planted to the ground. He was coming closer. The girl was no longer attached to his arm. Perhaps he was coming to see me? My heart could not take it anymore. I walked up to where he was standing, but then noticed that he was preoccupied with the pretty girl. After putting the bags of probable Christmas gifts on the floor of the car, he gave her a passionate kiss goodbye. He did it in public–something that he never did with me. He always rushed me into the cab, like I was a burden to him. And perhaps I was.
As he stepped into the cab with his wife, I watched as it drove away. I saw them both in the window, huddled close together as the blue snow began to fall.