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A Second Chance

Do you ever wake up and feel just as disappointed with your life as you did when you went to sleep? Just as disillusioned? That’s me – well that’s my life – I always feel like I’m looking for something, but I just don’t know what it is yet.

February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Another commercial scam to make us men pay for more gifts for our partners. Of course, I don’t fall for it.

After eating my breakfast, I leave for work. I wonder if she’s expecting a gift . . . Even some flowers would be nice I guess. She knows I hate this sort of thing, she won’t mind.

It’s a blustery, rainy day as I make the short walk down the road to where my car is parked. Blinking the water out of my eyes, I pass a young mother carrying her child. She drops her shopping and sheepishly attempts to recover her bag of groceries while holding the young boy. I don’t have time to help her. Work is so soon and I’m probably already going to be late. I get in my car and drive away in a hurry.

When I finally arrive, she’s waiting at the entrance, clearly blushing, her whole body practically standing on end the second she sees me.

“I just want to say something . . .” she starts “You don’t have to say it back, but it’s been almost a year now and I think it’s time one of us said it . . .” Her eyes widen with anticipation.

I don’t understand. I’m five minutes late for work as it is and now she wants to start something that will make me even later? “Okay . . .”

“I love you” she says, almost uncontrollably. The whole world slows around us, glimmering rain drops seem to freeze in the air. A long, silent moment passes.

Why is she saying this anyway? We’ve been dating for such a long time that, surely, it doesn’t matter. I should say it back, why wouldn’t I? I should say it. I prepare to say the three words that I should’ve said a long time ago . . . She stares into the abyss, expecting a poetic response. Instead, I say a word I will regret forever

“Okay.”

The last hour of work has ended and I can finally go home.

“What’s wrong? Did I say something wrong?” I say at last, after nine awkward hours.

“No, look it doesn’t matter.”

“Well it’s clearly bothering you.”

“You could’ve said anything in the world. Anything.” The last word trickles from her lips as tears fall from her eyes. Her voice shakes, as unstable as the rest of her.

I stutter, failing to fix the unfixable “Y-you said I didn’t have to say it back!”

“That’s not what I meant.”

After a long, tedious argument, it ends. The relationship has ended.

I slump into my bed and the day finally hits me. What have I done? I call her phone and it rings for a few moments and then . . . Voice-mail.

Over and over.

Call. No answer.

My phone falls from my hand which hangs off the edge of my bed. The world shrinks, like something has gone missing.

I go to sleep, knowing that I have made the biggest mistake of my life. Knowing I will regret saying that word forever. As I drift off to sleep, the events of the day fade away with me.

There are few things in the world that can change your life and even fewer that can reverse fate and give you a second chance – one of the very few is love. Whether you’re carelessly free or bound in the chains of your regrets – love always gives you a second chance.

Do you ever wake up and realise that something needs to change? That you need to change? Somehow, that’s me today. February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

After breakfast I head out to work, I hope I’m not late.

A young woman struggling with a toddler and several bags of shopping passes me – and the inevitable happens. She cries out in desperation as her precariously balanced groceries escape her grasp and fall to the ground.

I instantly, almost too quickly, turn around and drop to my knees to help her put the items back into the bags. After helping her carry the shopping home, I begin my drive to work.

I should get her flowers. She knows I hate this sort of thing, but she’ll love it.

Following my gut feeling, I stop to buy some.

I get out of my car and, sure enough, there she is standing outside. The bouquet of flowers tremble in my hands, my whole body standing on end as I look at her with careful anticipation.

“I just want to say something . . .” I start “You don’t have to say it back, but it’s been almost a year now and I think it’s time one of us said it . . .” My heart races. I hand her the flowers as I say the three words I should’ve said a long time ago.

“I love you.”

No regrets, that’s his story. What’s yours?

 

Guest Writer – Itsuki Kurashina

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