her mug and watched as he entered. Same old Patrick. Same wavy mop
of hair, same impish smile, same thin lips that had told her
goodbye, that he was leaving her for a man. An ache settled in her
chest. She still remembered sitting in the park under the cover of
the weeping willow. Her depression had just begun, only she hadn’t
known, had thought she was being philosophical.
“Have you ever been filled with such emotion
that you didn’t know whether to laugh or cry?” she’d asked.
He stayed silent. Like always. Dania thought it
was because he understood. They didn’t need words between them.
Then he spoke.
“This isn’t working, Dani,” he announced.
“I can’t pretend to be what I’m not.”
And he slouched out, hunching his shoulders under
the drizzle. Dania watched their connection melt.
Yet here they were, a year later, meeting for a
cup of coffee. What did he want anyway?
“Hey Dani.” He pulled her in for a quick hug.
“How’ve you been?”
“Fine,” she answered, looking at a point just
beyond his face, “ and you?” What did he feel when he saw her,
she wondered. The last time she’d seen him, their passions had
been flayed for all to see. Anger and disbelief from her, something
more wistful from him. Were those emotions still there, cloaked
under the garb of distant intimacy?
“Ok,” he replied, jerking her from her
The meaningless chatter had begun. The questions
of work and lost friends, mixed with nods and murmurs of polite
interest. Still she couldn’t tear herself away. God, even after
all this time, he could freeze her with a single look. Bastard.
Sadness skewered her from the inside.
“Have you ever known someone so deeply that you
wondered how you ever got along without her?” he asked abruptly,
his eyes fixed upon her face.
The clench in Dania’s chest stirred. “What?”
Patrick scratched his cheek in embarrassment. “Sorry,
I’ve just been thinking about this idea a lot, that we have all
these relationships that we put so much time and energy into, and
then one day it’s over, just like that. Where does it all go?”
Dania spoke, her voice barely a whisper. “We
touch so many people’s lives, some with slight emotion and some
with an intensity that screams our passions. And then the feeling
vanishes, we lose it or it just crumbles apart, and we forget the
fact that we knew with absolute certainty that this was one
relationship we couldn’t live without.” The words tumbled out of
her mouth like a litany.
“Exactly.” He uttered the word with
satisfaction. “Do you believe that there are some connections in
your life that are fated to be?” He paused. “Some people linked
to you with a connection that is deeper than words and circumstance?”
“Ships pass in the night,” Dania murmured, “the
kindred spirits connect.”
Patrick’s crooked smile deepened. “I knew you’d
understand. You’re the only one who could. That’s why I wanted
to talk to you.”
She sucked in her breath, felt the anticipation
skitter from her head to her breasts, between her legs to the tips
of her toes. What was he trying to say?
He leaned in closer. “I’ve fallen in love. Her
name is Jenny.”
Vanitha Sankaran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
is presently writing a collection of vignettes, to be titled
Ordinary Lives. Her recent work can be found online at Prose Ax, The
Independent Mind, Orchard Press Mysteries, and The Paumanok
Review. Her current print work will appear in upcoming issues of
Mindprints, The Guild and FUTURES. She is also an editor at the new