A coffee lover who enjoys a good sunshine on the beach and the sea salt smell.
Mia was just about to put down her phone when a notification popped up on the screen. It was Rebecca.
Have u done packing?
Nope. Still packing. It’s like taking forever to pack! Haha!
Haha! So, are we still on for tonight’s plan?
Sure. Come over with two extra large chicken pepperoni pizzas and a dozen of Heinekens. I’m starving from all the packing! Haha!
Haha! Yes ma’am! See u later!
Mia put down her phone and continued to pack her stuff. She was moving to another country in a few days. So, she has spent the last few weeks packing and selling her old stuff on Craigslist. She has managed to sell her couch, TV, coffee table, mattress, wardrobe, dining set, pots and pans, and her engagement ring. Yes! Her engagement ring! That was the first thing she put on Craigslist. Surprisingly, it was sold just within days of posting. And Mia has no regret about it. Attic was her last stop and after this she would be fully done packing and ready to settle down in another country. To start afresh.
Few months ago, she was one of the luckiest women in the world. Her life seemed to be perfect. She has a career that she enjoyed, a fiancé who loved her, signed up for her dream wedding package and an exclusive honeymoon to Maldives before all those dreams came crashing down on the day of her wedding when the groom did not show up at the altar. She received an apology text from her fiancé—ex-fiancé and that was it. Overnight, her perfect life was replaced by a hellish nightmare.
She locked herself in her house for the next few days. But Mia was a strong woman so she has managed to pick herself up and moved on. But moving on was not as easy as she thought especially when she’s back to work. Everyone in the office always gave her the pity look. Some were even gave her advices such as, “You deserve better”, “He is not the one”, “You gonna find a better one”, “There are plenty of fish in the sea” and so on until it was almost impossible for her to move on. So, after a few glasses of wine at night, she opened her laptop and emailed her boss her resignation letter. She thought this was the best way to move on. Her boss summoned her to his office the next morning. Instead of accepting Mia’s resignation, he offered her to be the expatriate manager for their new branch in another part of the world. He knew that she needed to start afresh in somewhere else. And Mia has accepted the offer and so here she was—packing and moving on.
Mia climbed down from the attic to get the door when she heard the doorbell rang. It must be Rebecca. She managed to give a quick glance on her smartwatch when she ran to get the door. It was already dinner time. She has spent the whole afternoon in the attic without realizing the time has passed so fast.
“Is that a screwdriver on your hair?” Rebecca asked.
“Oh!” Mia unconsciously touched her messy bun for a confirmation. “I need something to hold up my hair so I just grabbed anything that is closer to a hair stick in the attic.”
“How about an actual hair stick?” Rebecca put down the pizzas and beers as per requested by her best friend on the floor as the house was almost empty without furniture.
“And unpack everything to look for a hair stick? No thanks.” Mia immediately took a bite of the smoking hot pizza without waiting as her stomach has groaned for food for the past hours.
“So, how’s the packing?” Rebecca cracked open the beers and passed one to Mia.
“Done! Most of them are junks so tomorrow will be the throwing part and I’ll be fully done,” Mia said.
“Glad to hear that.”
“Oh ya! Guess what I have found?” Mia asked.
“What?” Rebecca raised her eyebrows out of curiosity. Without saying a word, Mia left and came back a moment later with a photo frame.
“I found this in the attic.”
“Omg! I almost forget about this photo. How long has it been? 12, 13 years?”
“12 years,” Mia replied with a smile.
Rebecca held the photo frame and took a long, good look at the photo framed inside the photo frame. It was a group photo with their other classmates when they were in high school. After graduated from high school, most of them have gone to their separate ways and only Mia and Rebecca still remained friends after all these years.
“You’re gonna keep it?” Rebecca asked.
“No,” Mia slowly replied.
“Why? It was from him right?”
“Exactly. Keeping the photo is just gonna remind me that he is the one that got away,” Mia sighed. Andrew. That was his name. A six-foot tall with a gorgeous build and a pair of eyes as dreamy as the starry night whom Mia has a crush when they were in high school.
Rebecca nodded in agreement. “So, can I keep it since I was in it?”
“Sure,” Mia said. “What are you doing?” Mia asked when she noticed that Rebecca was dismantling the photo frame.
“I want to keep the photo in my purse so I’m taking out the photo frame,” Rebecca explained. Mia nodded while her hand reached for another slice. “Omg! Did you know?!” Rebecca exclaimed and shoved the back of the photo right in front of Mia’s face.
“I-didn’t-know,” Mia spaced her words. “I-I mean when Andrew gave me the photo, he just said something like he treasured the photo and he hoped that I would too and asked me to look through the photo. How on earth did I know that he wrote something for me on the back of the photo?!”
“Mia oh Mia! He asked you to look through. You’re supposed to do that,” Rebecca lectured her best friend.
“He was not supposed to frame the photo if he has planned to write a love confession message on the back of the photo,” Mia defended herself. Rebecca burst into laughter at Mia’s defense.
“What a pity,” Rebecca said after a while.
“Well, I guess we’re just not meant to be together.”
“Hey! I have an idea!” Rebecca broke the silence.
Mia squinted her hazel eyes at what kind of crazy idea that Rebecca has in mind. She knew her best friend too well. “No crazy idea, please.”
“I can’t believe I let you talked me into this,” Mia complained when they were in Rebecca’s car.
“Calm down. It will be fun,” Rebecca assured her.
“Are you sure Sean gave you the correct address? And what am I supposed to say to him?” Mia was nervous.
“Say hi? And I also have finally found your love confession message?” Rebecca teased her friend.
Rebecca’s crazy idea was to go to Andrew’s house and meet him in person to tell him that Mia has finally found the love confession message, and she too has a crush on him. And Rebecca also has managed to get Andrew’s new address through Sean who was their high school classmate as well as Andrew’s best friend.
“Still has how long before we reach?” Mia asked.
“Hmm...around 20 more minutes,” Rebecca replied.
“Oh wow! We have been driving for 40 minutes! It feels like just 10 minutes. Hey, do you still remember when you first got your driving license and you drove us to Amerin Mall?”
“Of course! It’s only 10 minutes from our house and I took like forever to reach there.”
“And don’t forget you rammed into a tree,” Mia laughed at her friend.
“I did not! I just lightly bumped into the tree,” Rebecca was trying to defend herself.
“Lightly,” Mia echoed with a soft chuckle. “Time flies when we’re kids and here we are—all grown up.” And having adult life, getting married—almost got married and moving halfway across the world. But Mia kept the last sentence to herself.
“I’m gonna miss you,” Rebecca seemed to read Mia’s mind.
“Me too,” Mia said softly. She could feel that her nose started to sting and she tried to hold back her tears. Both of them continued the rest of the journey in silence. Reminiscing their childhood memories in their minds.
“Here we are,” Rebecca announced. They have reached Andrew’s house. “Are you ready?”
Mia took a deep breath and gave her friend a nod.
“Do you think he’s home?” Mia asked after her friend rang the bell for a few times and nobody answered the door.
“But the lights are on,” Rebecca rang the bell again.
“Just forget about it,” Mia turned and ready to walk back to their car. Rebecca felt compelled to follow suit. And right then, they could hear someone’s rattling the doorknob and both the women turned their heads.
“Mia?” Andrew looked at Mia and then turned to Rebecca. “Becky?”
“Yup, that’s us,” Rebecca replied.
“Omg! How long has it been?!” Andrew gave a quick hug to Rebecca.
“12 years,” Mia said but more to herself. Andrew then turned to Mia and they looked into each other’s eyes. The same dreamy eyes twelve years ago that made Mia’s heart skipped a beat.
“Are you guys gonna hug?” Rebecca snapped them back to reality and broke their eye contact.
“Oh, yeah!” Andrew smiled shyly and just about they were trying to embrace into each other’s warmth, there was a cooing noises coming from inside the house. “Excuse me,” Andrew said and left the women almost immediately without waiting for a response.
“Is that what I think it is?” Rebecca asked. Mia could only give her friend the ‘I don’t know. I’m as confused as you are’ look.
Andrew reappeared and this time with a small baby in his arms. “Becky, can you please help to watch her? I would like to catch up with Mia.” Andrew begged Rebecca.
“Um...sure,” Rebecca held the baby in her arms nervously. “I’m gonna leave you two here.”
Andrew gestured Mia to sit beside him on his garden swing. It was a cold night but the warmth between them has ousted the chill of the night.
“So-” Both of them broke the silence at the same time.
“Okay,” Mia nodded. “So, are you married?” Stupid! Of course he is married! He even got a child—or two, maybe?! Mia blamed herself for spurting what seemed to be a foolish question.
“No,” Andrew replied.
“Huh?” Mia was unsure if she heard him right.
“She is my sister’s daughter. Remember Angie, my sister?” Andrew cleared her question mark.
“Oh! Yeah, of course I remember her.”
“So, are you married?” Andrew asked the same question to Mia.
“Me too,” Mia replied unconsciously. “I-I mean no,” she rephrased her answer immediately after realizing that she gave him a not-so-make-sense answer. Andrew nodded with a smile. “I have found the photo,” Mia confessed after a moment of silence.
Andrew let out a soft chuckle. “Finally.”
“After all these years,” Mia finished his sentence. Both laughed and their eyes met again. Slowly, he was getting closer to her—until it was close enough to feel each other's breathing. The rhythm of their breathing getting more and more synchronized with every kiss that they shared under the moonlight.
"So, is the confession still valid?" Andrew whispered in her ear.
Mia smiled and nodded. And they continued their overdue love story.
© 2022 Ashley SY