I used to think of life as a huge book that had everything written on it, every tiny detail, and because it was a book everything had a reason. I began to believe in “it was meant to be” and “it was meant to happen”. But life is not a book, and not every little sparkle will become a firework, maybe most of the time those wonderful tiny moments are supposed to make us happy for just a certain period of time and they’re not supposed to develop into something bigger. Sometimes I wished leaving hadn’t been an option, I wonder what would’ve happened if I had had no choice but to stay. But when I think of the person I would’ve become had a stayed there, not a pretty picture comes to mind.
When we told each other I love you near that bonfire at the beach, I felt like the happiest girl in the world. I thought it couldn’t get any better. I thought back to that day at the cafeteria, the first time we saw each other, it had all been so magical. That week that we spend together along with the rest of the gang in DR was by far the most memorable week ever.
“Gael, I’d never met someone like you before, you just keep surprising me and it’s just amazing the way I feel when I’m with you”, I told him. He took me in his arms and kissed me.
The following morning Tania showed us around the city, we visit the colonial site of Santo Domingo, I’ve always liked historic sites, and since it was building-related Gael was excited too. In the afternoon we went for a quick hike in some protected parks where we found this amazing waterfall, and a lot of bugs as well. We also visit las terrenas beautiful beach with white sand and clear blue waters. It was like paradise!
Our vacation was officially over and we were all packing our belongings when I got an email from the job opening in LA, they wanted to interview me, which only meant one thing, I got the job! I would had to leave as soon as possible because they would show me the office and how things were done, and I would have to enroll on a paid training period. I was sure I wanted to stay in New York with Gael so I moved the email to trash.
On our way to the airport Hasan told me he had got an interview for the job and he would be living the following week, he asked if I got an email, I lied and said I hadn’t.
I was getting my luggage off Gael’s car when he got a call. He talked for a while, I couldn’t hear what he was saying but I could tell he was frustrated with whoever was calling. When he hung up I asked what had happened and he told me it was his father but that everything was fine. I didn’t believe him. He became a little distant after that call, whenever we went out I noticed him oddly quiet but whenever I asked him he would always reply everything’s fine, I’m just a little tired. I didn’t know what to say so I just didn’t comment much on it; I thought it was family things that didn’t involve me.
“Is it the Chicago thing? I thought you guys were clear on that”
“I have too many things in my mind, sorry, I just…”
“That’s ok”, I answered though it wasn’t ok.
He dropped me off at my apartment one night and he just parked the car outside without unlocking the doors. He didn’t say anything for a few minutes; his eyes were fixed on the dark street.
“Would you mind unlocking the doors?” I asked joking, I was trying to break that strange ambient.
“Sure, I’m sorry”, he unlocked the doors and got off the car. Walked outside my door and opened it for me, he offered me his hand and walked me to the door. He’d never been this gentlemanly before, I thought he just wanted to make it up.
“I love you so much”, he said almost to himself, turned his head to me and continued, “like I’ve never loved anyone before”, he took my head in his hands and kissed me passionately, then he hugged me.
“So brunch tomorrow?” I asked.
“Yes, I’ll pick you up at 11am, have a goodnight”, he said and left.
The following morning I woke up to another email from the job opening in Los Angeles, saying that they were very interested in my work and that I could still get the interview. I deleted it again and got ready for brunch. I thought I heard some footsteps near my door while I showered but I figured it was probably one of the neighbors. Put on flats for the first time after our trip to DR and opened the door. There was a letter just outside the door with my name on it. I took it and I recognized Gael’s handwriting, then I read the most painful words I’ve ever read:
I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you this in person. I’m a coward, I know. But I had to go to Chicago, I know nothing I say would justify me, but I had to. I left this morning. I’m sorry I couldn’t handle a goodbye.
I tried to call him, texted him so many times, but he never replied. What hurt me the most was feeling like that I wasn’t worth a real apology, or a real goodbye. I felt so stupid thinking that I had opened up to someone like him, that I had turned down my dream job in LA for him. It was like my dream had become this awful nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I went to his apartment and doorman told me he had left.
I couldn’t stand stay in that city where everything would remind me of him, so I picked up my phone and called LA and they still wanted me so I took the job and moved to California with Hasan.
As the airplane took off and saw the city of New York staying behind, I also saw all those memories stay there with it. As I did I couldn’t help but to let some tears out, but I swallow the rest and looked forward.
Goodbye New York.