Promises





Dear Josh,

 

I do not know what to say to you, and even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to.

 

Fifteen years have passed since the day we stood facing each other and recited our vows, surrounded by our friends and families — I, in a flowing white gown that left my pale shoulders bare, you in a charcoal grey suit that perfectly matched the colour of your eyes. I couldn’t take my eyes off you. You had never looked so handsome before, and even as you recited your vows, I felt like I needed to touch your face to convince myself that you were real. I still remember everything about that day, Josh. I remember the jolt of electricity that ran down my spine as your lips touched mine in front of everyone. We had shared a hundred kisses before that, but none so warm. I could feel myself melting under your lips, my legs trembling like they were unable to hold my weight, and I am sure I would have lost my balance if you weren’t holding me so tight. I remember all of it like it happened just yesterday. Yet, fifteen years have passed since then. And eleven years have passed since you left me forever.

 




I remember everything about that day too. I had promised you that I’d come home early from work, and then we could go to the cinema. You had laughed at me, reminding me that I never kept my promises. I had kept my promise that day, Josh. You were supposed to be working on a new painting in your studio on the second floor, so I tiptoed upstairs, carrying two mugs of coffee on a tray, wanting to surprise you. You were sitting on a chair in front of the easel that held your half-finished painting, your head tilted to one side, eyes closed, lips slightly parted. I thought you had fallen asleep like you so frequently did, after spending hours on a painting. I placed the tray on the small table where you kept your old paintbrushes and pencils, and tiptoed closer to you, so that I wouldn’t wake you up. I leaned in, and placed a gentle peck on your lips, hoping to feel the same jolt of electricity that I had felt every time I kissed you in last four years. But your lips were cold. Three days later, I watched your coffin being lowered into the ground, through a curtain of tears that covered my eyes.

 

Eleven years have passed since I last kissed you, before I felt myself melt under another man’s lips, before I felt the same jolt of electricity run down my spine. Eleven years, before I fell in love again. He is nothing like you, Josh. He is a businessman. Remember how I used to hate businessmen? But he loves me right back. And he tells me that it’s okay to be in love with two people at the same time, even if one of them has been dead for more than a decade. Josh, I am writing this letter to let you know that I’ll never stop loving you, even though the last time I kissed you, you didn’t kiss me back. And I promise you that I’ll start keeping promises before it’s too late. I’d never let him laugh at me when I promise him something. And I promise, I’ll try to love him as much as I loved you.

 

Yours,
Eliza

 


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