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The Old Beau

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A coffee lover who enjoys a good sunshine on the beach and the sea salt smell.

the-old-flame

"Joanne, are you packing your stuff right now?!" shouted my mum from downstairs.

"Yes! Already done! Packed!" I shouted back from my bedroom while lying on bed, scrolling down my Facebook with my iPad.

"Are you sure?" asked my mum who was already standing in front of my room.

"Mum, u scared me!"

"Are you sure you have finished packing?"

"Yes. I don't have much things. Besides, I started packing early," I replied, proudly.

"How about the attic?"

"Mum, I don't have anything kept in the attic. All those are your junks, not mine."

"Fine. Then I will just throw away the photo album which is just....a junk."

"What photo album?" I raised my eyebrows. I stared at my mum and within a few seconds I have recalled.

All those memories have just flashed back in my mind. I ran to the attic. The photo album-a memory between he and me. I flipped through all our photos back in high school. Hiroshi Hamasaki was his name. He was a Japanese. He was one of the international exchange students who came to our school. He took the seat beside me in class and he also took away my heart. We dated shortly after we got to know each other. We always thought we are meant to be together and we have found true love.


"You still miss him?" asked my mum during dinner.

"I don't know. It has been eight years since we broke up. Besides, it was just a puppy love and I barely remember how he looks like if I didn't see all those photos," I lied. Of course, I still remember how he looks like. I would never forget. Never ever.

"Alright," said my mum.

I turned and tossed that night. All those memories kept on flashing back in my mind and I just couldn't stop thinking about him. Maybe I still miss him. Maybe I still have feelings for him. I checked my phone for his contact number. Yes, I still have it after eight years. But, was he still using the same number? I don't care. I would give it a try tomorrow morning.


My hand trembled as I made the call. The number was still in service but what was I going to say if he answer. Will he still remember me after eight years? I was confused. I ended the call before he pick up. He called back within few minutes later. Staring at my phone, I was not sure whether I should answer it.

"H-hello," I greeted, my voice quavered.

"Joanne? Is that you? I am Hiroshi," said he.

"Yes, is me."

"Hi! How have you been all these years?"

"I am fine. How about you? You still live here?"

"Yes. I have migrated to here three years later after we broke up."

"Oh! And you still using the same number?"

"Um...yes...Is really nice that you called. I am glad that you finally called me."

"M-me too," I was curious. What did he mean when he said 'finally'? Was he waiting for my call all these years? "How about we meet up?" I didn't know why but somehow, I just popped out the question.

"Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house? Um...you still live there?" he agreed without hesitating.

"Today?!" I asked shockingly.

"Yes, today. Is that ok with you?"

"Um...sure, why not?"

"So, I'll see you there at noon."

"Okay."


I went to the pub early. I was so nervous and at the same time feeling excited. What does he look like now? What he has been up to all these years? Is he married? The clock struck twelve in the afternoon. I kept on looking at the door to find the one who used to be my beau. Quarter past twelve. There was still no sign of him. Half past twelve. I started to feel uneasy and a little bit disappointed. As I about to leave, he walked in.

"I'm sorry that I'm late," he said breathlessly. I did not respond but instead I kept looking at him to figure out what was wrong with him. Something seemed off.

"Apple martini, please," he said to the waitress who was also looking at him strangely.

"Um...Why are you wearing a tuxedo? You just came back from a party or something?" I finally figured out what was wrong with him.

He cleared his throat before he answering me. "I'm supposed to be getting married today, but-"

"What?!" I was so surprised that I almost shouted. He kept quiet and took a sip of his apple martini. "Hiroshi, tell me what is happening," I asked when he still refused to speak.

"I-I ran away from my wedding," he finally broke his silence.

"What?! You ran away from your own wedding to meet me?!" I asked, fully surprised by what I had just heard.

"No. Of course, no. It just that I'm not ready yet."

"Why get married then?"

"It just that Megan and I dated for like 4 years and it is normal to think that we are supposed to get married. You know, to bring the relationship to the next level and be committed to each other and blah blah blah."

"Megan? As in our high school's Megan?" I could forget all of my high school's classmates but I would never ever forget her. We knew each other since we were in elementary school and she always has to compete with me in everything till we finished high school. Since then, I have never seen or hear from her again.

"Yes," he replied.

"Wow! That is so surprised! You are marrying my rival!"

"I'm sorry," he apologized and his eyes met mine. For a second my heart skipped a beat. It was like the first time when we met.

"So, why did you run away at the very last minute?" I asked after we fell silent for a moment.

"Everyone thinks that is time for us to get married including Megan. She made wedding plan before I even propose to her. Till today, I never propose to her," he explained. "It just that everything happened so fast. I keep telling myself it is time for us to get married, settled down but I'm just not ready. I'm so sorry," he continued.

"Oo," I was speechless.

"I'm really sorry," he said.

"Um...I don't think I am the right person for you to say sorry."

"I'm sorry for the things that had happened to us eight years back. I did not really making a proper apology back then."

"It's okay. It has been so long that I realized that it doesn't matter to me anymore," I said. From this moment I realized that I didn't have that feelings for him anymore. "So, what are you gonna do now? I don't think running away just like this is a good idea. Megan must be worry about you. And your family and friends too."

"I don't know. I really don't know. I know I shouldn't just run away like this," he sighed.

"No matter how hard it is you should just talk to Megan face to face about this. I don't want you to make the same mistake you did to me eight years ago. I know how it felt when someone you love has just gone. Leaving nothing but a breakup text message. I would rather that you say it on my face."

"Jo, I'm really sorry about that."

"It's okay," I said and our eyes met again for the one last time.

"Okay. I know what I'm going to do now," he said and rose to his feet. "Jo."

"Yes?"

"Am I a jerk to you?" he asked.

"No. You are always the guy who I was madly in love once before. I don't want to know why you left me during that time and I don't want to know it right now too. Let's just keep it in that way, okay?" I said.

He nodded and slowly came closer to me and whispered in my ears, "I did madly in love with you too once." He then kissed me on the cheek and walked away. I continued to have my drink while listening to "Fly Me To The Moon" by Frank Sinatra that was playing all over the pub.

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