Jessica leaned against the window, she had been watching the world go by, allowing the hypnotic rhythm of the train lull her into forgetting the emptiness of her life.
The train pulled into the station, Jessica glanced at the sign, one stop to go, suddenly she saw him. The colour drained instantly from her face, her stomach twisted into a tight knot and a wave of nausea washed over her. She had to get off the train; she rushed to her feet and grabbed at her bag. “Excuse me, excuse me.” Jessica pushed passed people as politely as she could with the impatience of a small child and with panic rising inside her. She desperately needed to get off this train.
She stepped onto the platform and the cool breeze on her face calmed her slightly, she took a long deep breath, and then scanned the crowds to find him. “Where did he go?” she was not going to lose him, she had to see him. She knew every inch of him, she knew she would find him, she had to, nothing else mattered. Suddenly there he was, in a queue for coffee. Just the look of him(even from the back) reduced Jessica to a wreck, her legs almost buckled under her and her heart felt like it was going to explode out of her chest.
Weaving her way through the crowds on the station Jessica never once took her eyes off him. She hadn’t seen him in six months. Six months, one week and four days to be precise. He had been “the one” they had met at a party three years before and completely clicked; they had left the party together and talked all night. Jessica had never met anyone like Michael, he made her laugh until she cried, he made her feel safe, loved and he believed in her like no one else had ever done. Jessica had fallen totally and utterly in love with him. There was no one else once she had met Michael, no one would ever compare to him.
One mistake ruined everything, she would never forgive herself, she would never understand what made her do it. She had relived that moment over and over, wishing she could go back and change things, change her life. Work had been hectic and they were all working hard to get a contract, nobody had spoken about anything else for months, it was a huge deal and ensured the companies security for years to come. When it was finally announced on Friday afternoon they had secured the contract, the champagne was broken out and everyone was celebrating. As they were all leaving the office, some to go home others to go on to a pub and continue celebrating, her boss called her into the office. “I want to say a big thank you, you have gone above and beyond these last few weeks and I am so grateful”. He reached out to hug her. Whether it was the praise, the alcohol, the heat, the atmosphere or a combination of them all she didn’t know, but when he gently brushed his lips against hers she didn’t push him away. It couldn’t have lasted for more than a minute when Jessica realised what she was doing and pulled away. She watched the flirty smile of her boss freeze on his face as his eyes flicked upwards looking over her shoulder. She turned around quickly and Michael was there. Her stomach rose up to her throat and sank again, she felt physically sick. “I was coming to pick you up, to see if you wanted to go out for a meal to celebrate, but I can see you are already busy”. Michael spoke calmly with no emotion, then turned and walked out closing the door behind him.
“Michael, it’s not what it looked like, honestly please wait, it was nothing” Jessica was pleading, begging, the tears were streaming down her cheeks. He was walking at a pace and Jessica in her drunken state couldn’t keep up. “I love you Michael.” she shouted desperately as he got into his car and drove away. He didn’t even look at her. She sank to her knees on the street and sobbed her heart out. A kind woman passing, gave her a tissue, calmed her down and helped her get into a taxi. In the back of the taxi she prayed to God that she could work it out with Michael, she promised that she would never do anything like that again and that she would spend her life being the best person she could be.
When she arrived at the flat the lights were off, as she looked around the horror struck her, all his clothes were gone. It was lonely and bare like her life. She didn’t know where he had gone or if she would ever see him again and she didn’t see how she was going to carry on without him. It sent her into a blind panic even thinking about it. She sat on the sofa and dialed his number over and over, he didn’t answer, she left a series of desperate voicemails but he never replied.
That was six months ago, (six months, one week and four days) she hadn’t had as much as a phone call. It had been about two months since she last text him, drunk text him about 2.00am asking him if he missed her at all. No response. A friend had told her Michael had taken a transfer in work and moved out of the area. So that was that, the man she loved, the man who was the one had walked out of her life for ever and there was nothing she could do. She had wept until her tears ran dry.
Jessica saw him take the coffee, reach for his car keys and start heading down towards the park and ride. She was within metres of him but a thought suddenly occurred to her and she froze on the spot. He had car keys; he had his car keys, one station away from where they used to live. He hadn’t moved away, he lived here, less than twenty miles from her. He didn’t transfer his job; he had just said that to stop her bothering him.
She needed to tell him how she felt, to beg him to listen, at least to let him know that it was a one off and that it never happened before or since. To tell him how sorry she was and to see if he would give her a second chance. Her pace quickened, he was walking down the metal steps to the car park. She heard him whistling to himself. It shocked her slightly that he could be carefree and happily whistling while she was in her own private hell of torment, her life had stopped the day he left. Her heart rate quickened, she felt more alive than she had been since he left, the numbness had faded like a screen had been lifted from in front of her, the adrenaline was kicking in. He was ten steps in front of her now; she quickened her pace again and finally caught up with him. She grabbed his right arm; she couldn’t wait to see his face again. He turned around sharply in surprise at being grabbed, she was face to face, it wasn’t him, it wasn’t Michael.