Fiction: ‘Four in the Morning’

35 - Four in the Morning

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It’s four in the morning at the end of June, and I find myself lying awake and listening to the words you used to say when we were younger. You called me your angel, and I never knew why, but your blue eyes used to shine so brightly every time you said those words.

I can’t say that I loved you the best – I’ve had so many romances over the years. All I know is that I must remember you for a reason. I remember that rose you held out to me, its stem covered with thorns. I took it from your outstretched hand. It cut into my fingers when you gave it to me, but I only laughed and wiped the blood away on my sweater.

You smiled at me then.

It was a flame in the darkness.

I heard that you got married and built your little house together deep in the heart of the city, hidden between skyscrapers and church spires. The city is cold, but I know you’re happy with where you’re living. I moved further out into a little house of my own, closer to the sea and all those boats in the harbour that we used to watch together.

I wonder if you still have that lock of my hair.

Or did you throw it away to the winds?

The last time I saw you, you looked so much older than I remembered. Your hair was longer and streaked with grey. I saw you sitting alone on a bench at the station, watching all the trains rumbling by, but you didn’t get on any of them. You just sat there and watched. You looked broken. The tracks curled into the distance behind you, disappearing like a plume of smoke into the hills beyond the city.

What could I have done?

I thought of taking your hand, leading you into one of those rusted carriages and riding the rails until we’ve joined all those lonely stars rising from the horizon. But I let you be; it’s better this way. I didn’t mean to imply that I loved you the most, because I didn’t, but I admit that I do think of you often.

I only wish you did too.

~ Ekaterina

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