We are dressed up, me in a black sequinned dress and him in his Dior white shirt and favourite submarina on his wrist. We’re walking to meet someone for dinner, someone important but who doesn’t know D and I are separated.
During our dinner conversation, everything seems normal again. He’s changed a little, I realize. He looks a little aged, a little more wise. What he talks about now seems to hold more meaning, it seems like he’s actually even read about Marxism!
After dinner we drive to our favourite beach, park at our usual spot. He gets a drink, a new type this time, different from what I remember. He notices my curiosity and says “She’s got me hooked on this now”. We laugh heartily, and the sound of us laughing sounds so familiar. Like a tune from a music box that was hidden in an attic somewhere, well kept but unwound for this first time in a long time.
As we walk, the rhythm of our footsteps fall in sync with each other. He holds my arm in his, and the warmth of our bodies is comforting against a cold breeze from the sea.
“How is work?” I ask.
“Funny that you ask. Today I’ve had to lecture a bunch of marketing people. They keep using your name for a marketing slogan so everytime I pick up the damn brochure I see your name plastered all over it. I told them not to use your name for anything from now on.” It’s not a joke, but we laugh hard for some reason. The thought of him yelling at some poor juniors because of my name just sounds ridiculous.
We walk a little more, and watch people jogging pass us by. A few families walk infront of us, also towards the jetty.
“Are you still in denial?” I ask. “Maybe. I don’t know why I ever did what I did, ” he says. He doesn’t sound sad, just resigned to this fact.
I don’t reply, because I can’t answer to that. I too, don’t know why we let things collapse. I look at him and give a small smile.
“Are you happy?” he asks.
I look away into the distance, and think about the many other oceans I’ve stared at, every one of them more beautiful than this. “Very.” I peel my eyes away from the sea and looked at him.
“Then I’m happy too. ” He smiles back at me.
We walk to the end of the jetty. There are some people fishing, some with their bicycles taking a breather. A few couples are here too, on their date nights out. From the stranger’s view, we look married still. We look happy even.
We sit for a long time, in silence. Comfortable silence. And then I hear a ringing sound and I know its time for me to go. “I’ll see you soon. Goodbye. Take care of yourself.” I start to leave and walk away.
He waves at me, and we lock eyes in the distance, both welling up in tears. He knows my pain, I feel his heartache. We are always going to be this connected. Because we broke each other’s hearts this deeply.
And then I wake up.