The echoes of the past reached into the future.
“I don’t want to hurt you. I never meant to, but I can’t do this.”
She had said it before and every time she had she came running back, told him that she couldn’t leave him. And every time they had agreed they could figure out how to make it work. Every time before they had said that together they could do anything because they were smart, determined and they loved each other.
And then came a time when she didn’t come running back. She forced herself not to turn around and convinced herself that every day without him was a victory. Each day without him in her life would make it easier to forget.
For a short while he chased after her because he was certain that she needed him and that he needed her. He had carried her for many miles before and could do so again, if she would only let him.
But this time she wouldn’t take his calls or open the door. This time she forced herself to keep going. It was a test that she created for herself. She figured if she couldn’t keep it up it would mean she would go back.
In concept it made sense but in execution it didn’t work as well as she would have liked because he stopped banging his fists against the wall and calling her name. When he didn’t find the magical combination of words that would wake her from her slumber he decided that he would start walking the other direction too.
And so they both walked away and pretended that they were done. They pretended that the feelings they had were gone and focused upon the negatives that had existed. It made it easier to fool themselves into thinking that the separation made sense and gave them time to build walls around their hearts and blindfolds upon their eyes.
Still it didn’t prevent that trickster called life from doing things to remind them or from creating situations in which they couldn’t help but notice the empty castle they used to live in together.
Sometimes they would look at the castle and wonder if the clouds that surrounded it would ever part again. It was kind of strange to see it there in the sky each day.
One night before they went to sleep they walked outside and looked up at the moon, each from their new home and noticed that the clouds obscuring the castle were gone and that there were stars in the night sky on either side of it.
The stars on the right side looked like a man and on the left a woman.
It almost looked like the brightest lights in each were shining upon each other, as if they were staring.
She couldn’t help but smile when she saw it. The pretty lights touched her heart and for the first time in a long while she found herself thinking about him in a different way. It made her more curious and she began paying closer attention and thinking about possibilities that hadn’t been touched upon for many years.
He looked at the night sky and thought about how it almost looked like the two constellations were trying to hold hands but couldn’t quite reach other. It made him smile and he thought about how she would have appreciated that idea and imagined her smile.
But the past was the past and she had rebuffed any efforts he had made to contact her on his own. Sometimes she had contacted him but only rarely.
When he thought about how it all he laughed because so much more made sense to him.
She was trying to control things because it was the only way she felt safe. She wasn’t afraid of him, she was afraid of them. She was afraid of what might happen if she really did see him because the couple they had been might reach out of the past and come back to life.
It was her fear of pain and uncertainty that was holding her back and that was why she fought so hard to keep it all locked up.
One night he looked up at the sky and saw the moon, but this time something was different.
This time the male and female constellations were connected by it.
Each had one hand upon it and the distance between them that had once existed had shrunk.
He looked up at the sky and smiled again, “Baby, I told you that if you asked I’d get you the moon and it looks like I finally did it.”
A million miles and a million years had passed but some things hadn’t changed. Whatever had existed between them hadn’t gone away, it had just gone to sleep and now what once had been was rousing from its slumber.
He looked up again at the sky and laughed. One day lips would meet again and eyes would open wide in pleasant surprise.