SPACE BETWEEN US
It was a quiet and serine evening and Kelly Romans lay on her bed, her fantasy world, waiting the arrival of her fiance, the love of her life. People say that a bride is happiest on her wedding day but not Kelly, she wasn’t so sure that will be applicable to her. She could still remember how surprised and happy she had been when her long time best friend popped the big question during her last birthday. Mike had a record for always spoiling her big time whenever she had any reason to celebrate but getting a ring was the last thing she expected. She could still remember how shocked she was. It was a very exciting moment…the best she had had in her life! What could ever beat that? She wasn’t so sure even a wedding could.
Mike had been her best friend since college (University), one she spoke to about her various fantasies with the male folks after her girlfriend, Lizzy. She had always been that weird kid who always kept to herself since 2nd grade, always scared of airing her views for fear of being talked down at. It only took a miracle, becoming friends with Lizzy in highschool to make her feel human and relevant for the first time in her life. It was just the two of them till Mike came along in college, making them “the three best friends”. They related like siblings, doing everything together, up until Kelly realized she was beginning to fall in love with Mike…a discovery that made her begin to keep her distance. At first, Mike had thought he did something wrong and kept trying to apologise but Kelly avoided him the more.
Lizzy got tired of being the only spectator watching the unfolding drama and decided to put an end to it. It was an event Kelly always smiled at each time she remembered. Lizzy had walked in on Mike during one of his series of apologies and had scolded him for being so dumb and insensitive. “Are you that blind? are you trying to tell me that you don’t know what this is about? Do you seriously want me to believe that you don’t know what to do to make things better between you two?” She had yelled, looking at Mike like a mother scolding her ignorant little child. It was after she spilled the beans that Mike got to know what was going on. The look on his face almost made Lizzy laugh. He was both shocked and relieved. For someone who had been in love with his best friend since college but couldn’t muster the courage to let her know for fear of rejection and subsequent loss of the friendship, it was the best news ever! As though suddenly recovering from the shock, he was soon beaming with smiles. It was the day their relationship began…a memorable day for the trio.
It was their one year anniversary and Kelly was set for her date with the love of her life. She had her hair done, got herself “the perfect dress”, a pair of shoes and a bag to match…she was set for another memorable day. It had been a very beautiful experience with Mike so far and she couldn’t wait to see him again. It was just like yesterday when she would always lay on her bed, fantasizing and wishing that Mike would look her way. She was so happy that he was finally hers. Her thoughts were interupted by a knock on her door.
“He is here”, she smiled at herself and jumped from her bed to open the door. The smile dissapeared the moment she saw who was at the door. “Hey babe, you don’t seem so happy to see me” Lizzy observed. “Come in and close my door” Kelly snapped and went back to lay on her bed. “Babe, you are all dressed up but you don’t seem happy. Did something happen?” She asked, sitting beside her friend on the bed. Kelly said nothing, focusing her gaze at one side of the room. “Babe, say something now! Did something happen between you and Mike?” She asked, alerted.
“Nothing happened! You weren’t just the person I expected to see. Today is our anniversary and Mike is supposed to pick me up” she managed to say. Wow! That explains it. But you didn’t have to look that dissapointed now, I mean a lot to you as well…that, am sure of. Another knock came at the door, alerting the duo. “Who is it?” Kelly shouted from where she was. She didn’t want to run to the door to avoid another round of disapointment. “Babe, it’s me Mike”, came the voice from the other side of the door. Kelly immediately jumped out of her bed and ran to meet him.
The sight of Mike holding out a flower as she opened the door made Kelly melt like ice cream. She was thrilled. Everything in her didn’t want the moment to end. A feeling she always had whenever Mike was around her. She couldn’t wait for the wedding so she could finally be with him forever. Even though the date was a few months away, she still felt it was too long. Their marriage course aside, she would have opted that the date be moved closer. She had always dreamed of a big wedding but right now, it didn’t matter to her. “Just a minute, let me drop the flower inside the house and grab my bag” she said and turned to go but Mike held her back.
“Actually, there is something I want to discuss with you” he said, readjusting his jacket. “Alright, go ahead” Kelly replied, wondering what it was that couldn’t wait till they got to the restaurant or boarded a taxi at least. “I can’t make it, I actually came to cancel and also to apologise in person. There is an emergency at work and I need to get to San Francisco immediately to sort things out else, it could cost me my job”. For a moment Kelly was silent…she didn’t know what to say. The perfect picture she had painted in her head was beginning to fall apart.
“When do you leave?” She asked after what looked like eternity. “My flight is in forty-five minutes”. Well, I don’t suppose there is anything I can do about it, she was beginning to fight the tears trying to escape through her eyes. “Its fine, its work…you can go” she managed to say before rushing into the house. The tears were already streaming down her cheeks and she didn’t want Mike feeling guilty. She immediately bolted her door to prevent Mike who was running after her from getting into the room. Mike was confused. He was caught in-between. He had a choice to make: go to work or stay with his woman. After much deliberation, he settled for the former. Kelly kept crying. Lizzy’s efforts to console her proved abortive. For some reason, Kelly felt like her relationship with Mike had just seen its end.
Hours tuned into days and days into weeks yet, no call from Mike. Every attempt to reach him proved abortive. Kelly was scared. “He was scheduled to spend only a few days in San Francisco, why is he spending extra weeks and why can’t we reach him? I just hope nothing has happened to him” she lamented. Lizzy, as always tried to console her yet again with words of encouragement.
It was almost two months after Mike’s departure when she finally got a call from him. He went on and on to apologise and explain how things weren’t the way he had expected them to be and how he would be staying back for a couple of months to get things back in order. In all his explanations, Kelly was simply happy to hear from him. She was glad he called even though deep down, she didn’t think things were going to remain as they were in the beginning, she didn’t think that the space that has gradually grown between them could ever be bridged. In all, she still prayed for him to get back and for things to work out. Honestly, she had no idea what she was going to do if things turned out otherwise…it was a sphere she didn’t want to dive into at all.