[distance]

They promised forever.

But when oceans and lands set them far apart, they promised to try.

Days and nights, alone – it was hard.

Visits were cherished moments, but brief and like torture. Longing, joy and then pulled back into longing.

Trust was visible and yet inexistent.

They promised forever.

*

It is night and it is day. Two individuals at different ends of the world. Yet the only thing that connected their love is the computer in front of them. A video call. She happily clicks the ‘answer’ button with a huge grin on her face as she quickly seats her butt on the chair. It squeaks. He laughs – the first thing he hears from her is her usual clumsiness. The grin and the laugh slowly decreases into a soft smile.

Silence.

He breaks it first. Hey, he says.

Good morning, you mean, she replies.

Same thing, he retorts.

How was your day, she asks.

The same, he answers, work, work and work – no thanks to that stingy boss.

She chuckles.

How was yours, he asks, you had a presentation yesterday, right?

Yeah, I pretty much nailed it, of course, she says. “You do know who you’re talking to, right?”

He laughs, whoa, how can I forget?

Her phone buzzes. She looks down at it – “Hey, I’m here.” Ah, she lets out.

What’s up, he asks.

I’ve got to go, she says, my ride’s here.

You’ve got classes today, he asks again.

No, but I’ve got this volunteering thing I promised I’d go with Emily, she replies while dumping things into her bag.

Okay, have fun, he says.

She finishes packing and looks at the screen. Thanks, she says.

He smiles. “I miss you,” he tells her.

She smiles. “I love you.”

He nods and beckons her to go. She smiles and hangs up the call. He stares at his desktop wallpaper for a few seconds, smile still frozen in place but his eyes are a glaze. A pair of hands reaches out from behind him and hugs him. A girl leans her head next to his and asks, “How did the call go?”

He blinks and turns around to face her. “The same.”

“She didn’t suspect anything?” the girl asks.

“Nope,” he replies.

“Your girlfriend’s pretty stupid, huh?” she laughs.

“A little,” he replies and slowly pulls her down onto his bed with her, giggling.

*

She hangs up the call and his face disappears. She is still holding her phone. It buzzes again. Another message – “Please don’t tell me you’re still sleeping…”

The doorbell rings several times.

She snaps out of her thoughts and rushes down the stairs. She opens it with a huge smile. Sorry, she pants out.

The guy in front of her simply shakes his head with a smile. Let’s go, he says and takes her hand.

She closes the door and walks off with him, hand in hand.

*

[2 years ago]

They were at the train station.

They’ve talked. They’ve discussed. But there they were, sitting in a corner amidst the crowd. A suitcase was next to her. Her hands were in his. She didn’t dare look at him, and his gaze upon her was bitter.

I’ll wait for you, he tells her, squeezing her hands.

She looks at him, trying to hold in her tears.

I love you, he tells her again – this time looking into her eyes, earnest.

I love you too, she says.

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