I know you’re hurting right now and I’m so sorry that I’m not there to put my arms around you and wipe those tears from your eyes. It’s more painful for me to see you in pain than to be in pain myself.
But I have no choice. God says you have to go through this.
I will eventually come into your life, though, and when I do, I promise that you will never again shed a single tear.
I promise to give back everything that you lost since he left you and give so much more. I will take care of you.
Just be patient, my love, I will come when you are ready.
In the meantime, know that I am coming and let that be your strength.
Also, remember that this is not a bad experience, just a blessing in disguise. Someday we’ll thank him for breaking your heart.
Kisses from the future,
Summer stared at her smart phone screen and wondered if someone was playing a trick on her.
But the date stamp said 20 years from now, and the email domain name did not even exist. So how was all this possible? What wizardry was this?!?
If this was a prank, who did it and for what purpose?
Maybe this was not meant to hurt, but a positive prank, to soothe her broken heart.
To give her hope.
But what if this wasn’t a prank at all? What if this was an actual peek into the future, a flash forward? What if she really was going to be the time traveller’s wife someday?
She sat upright in bed.
If so, then she probably wouldn’t meet John by locking herself up in her bedroom and going through boxes of Kleenex.
If so, then she probably wouldn’t meet John if she was still so hung up on Justin. She opened her text messages app and swiped left on his name. A red “delete” appeared next to it.She hesitated. Could she really trash all reminders of his love, just like that? Couldn’t she hold on to these, the same way her mother held on to all the drawings, cards, and letters she and her siblings ever made? And what if he came back? What then?
But what if he never did? What if holding on to relics of a beautiful past that no longer existed would keep her from an even more beautiful future?
She tapped on delete, letting out her breath which she did not know she had been holding.
She then quickly went through all her other apps and social networks, deleting his existence from her digital archives.
After she had deleted his last email in her inbox, she saw an email that she had saved in her “IMPORTANT” folder. It was for a job hiring for a position that she was qualified for. She had been interested in it because it was in her dream location, Canada. The only thing that had held her back from applying had been the thought of leaving Justin behind.
Ha, look at how that had turned out, she thought with a bitter smile.
The position probably wasn’t open anymore, but what was the harm in trying? She had nothing left to lose anyway.
She attached her updated CV and clicked on send.
Summer was in a plane bound for Toronto, Canada. The position she had applied for had many vacancies, so she was still able to secure one months after it was advertised. After a couple of promising interviews and tons of paperwork for her visa, she was on her way.
As she sat in her window seat, her heart hammering from excitement and nervousness, a million thoughts raced through her head.
“Excuse me, miss, do you have a pen?” a guy’s voice broke into her reverie. She had been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t noticed that the seat next to her was occupied by a blonde stranger with a disarming grin.
“Oh, sure,” she replied, digging through her Longchamp tote to fish out her pen and hand it to him.
“Thanks!” he replied. After filling out his forms, he returned it to her. “You’re a lifesaver – umm – ?”
“Summer,” she replied, finishing his sentence.
“Sorry, I think it’s winter,” he responded in confusion.
“No, no, I mean my name,” she laughed. “It’s Summer.”
“Oh, haha, sorry for being an idiot!” he apologised, flushing. “I’m Chris. Thanks again, you’re a lifesaver.”
“Oh, no problem at all.” Awkward silence.
“Okay, I’ll sleep now. Good night!” She blurted out in her nervousness. She was terrible around strangers, especially cute ones. She put on her earphones and eye mask and tried to fulfil what she said she would do, so as not to embarrass herself further.
Hours later, she was jolted awake by the violent turbulence. She removed her eye mask and looked out the window in wide eyed horror.
Summer had an embarrassing secret. She was 30 years old but she was still deathly scared of lightning and thunder.
One time, she was all alone in her flat during a thunderstorm, so she spent it cowering in the middle of the flat, farthest away from the windows and doors. Her arms were wrapped around her stuffed chipmunk, her heartbeat seemingly as loud as the thunder that boomed outside.
Yes, that was another embarrassing secret – that she was 30 years old and still went to bed with a stuffed toy, who was currently in her baggage and nowhere near her for comfort.
Being in this plane, up in the sky and a lot closer to the lightning made her feel 10,000 times more afraid.
“Summer, are you okay?” Chris asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
“You don’t look okay,” Chris replied in concern. “You’re very pale, and you’re shaking.” He looked at her knuckles which had turned white from their grip on the armrest between them.
Ah, screw it, she thought. This guy doesn’t know me anyway, so I don’t need to be ashamed!
“I’m really scared of lightning and thunder,” she confessed in a squeaky voice. She braced herself for his laughter. To her surprise, he had another reaction.
“My sister hates it, too, so I understand,” he said. “Try not to worry, okay? This airline has a good safety record, so we should probably get through this. Just close your eyes and hold on to me.” He laid his warm hand on top of her icy one, and somehow, it did make her feel safer.
“Thanks, you’re a lifesaver,” she croaked, using his words earlier. He smiled and squeezed her hand in response.
“So I guess that was our first date, since we already held hands,” he would later joke whenever he told their story to their friends and family who asked the inevitable ‘how did you meet?’ question.
After the turbulence, they had talked, and she found out that they had a lot in common, and that she loved his sense of humor.
So when he asked for her contact details, she gladly gave them, and it wasn’t long before they were continuing their plane conversations on Canadian ground, and he was holding her hand not only when she was afraid.
The only thing that made her doubt him at first was not something he did or did not do, but rather, something he did not have – the name John.
But she eventually let go of her inhibitions, because it was silly to hold on to a love letter that may or may not have been a prank.
After all, Chris did all the things that “John” had promised in his letter. So for all intents and purposes, he was her John.
Not again, Summer thought in horrifying dismay. This feeling was familiar.
She looked across the table at him as he struggled to string together the words that would rip her heart apart.
This was so two years ago.
But this time, she had learned something from her previous experience and was determined not to commit the same mistakes again. No begging. No crying. No letting him know how she really felt… that she had thought he was the one. She realized that she was about to be proven wrong.
The thought of John was what boosted her strength right now.
“I’m scheduled to move to Los Angeles in a few months,” Chris continued, after he had opened up the conversation on how he had been given the wonderful opportunity of moving to his dream city – her new dream city – for work. “You know what my stance is on long distance relationships.”
Of course she knew. He had been on one for several years, and it had ended in heartbreak when his ex cheated on him with her “best friend.” From then on he lost his belief in LDRs.
“I don’t believe in it,” he said, voicing out her thoughts.
So this was it. They were over. She braced herself for his next words, and hoped she’d be able to keep her tears at bay.
He stood up, walked over to her side, and to her shock, got down on one knee and held out a sparkling solitaire diamond ring.
“So let’s not be in one. Come with me, and make me the happiest man alive. Will you marry me?”
Just then, she knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was definitely the one, and she could no longer hold her tears back. There was no need to.
Summer had no idea that she could be capable of this much love. It felt like her heart would burst at the seams. She hugged and kissed him and wondered for the umpteenth time that hour how she could have been so lucky to have him in her life.
“Congratulations on your baby boy, Mrs. Rogers,” a nurse’s voice broke into her thoughts. “What is the baby’s name?”
“Oh, the honor belongs to his father,” she explained. “We had a deal that I’d pick the name if it’s a girl, and he would if a boy.”
The nurse looked at Chris expectantly.
“I want to name him after a great man, my grandpa Steven, who raised me,” he replied.
“Okay, Steven Rogers, then.”
“No, no, not Steven, it would be too confusing,” Chris protested. “I want to use his middle name instead – John.”
Summer smiled at her little boy and kissed him again. “Hi John,” she whispered. “You’ve finally come.”
This story was inspired by a letter that I wrote to my friend when she was heartbroken.
This post is part of the A to Z Challenge, a blog hop that goes through the alphabet for all the days of April except Sundays. Today’s feature is K for Kisses.