“No matter what happened, even after all this time, I still love you.” he told her.
“After all this time, George?” she responded.
“I never stopped. How could I? You planted a seed in my heart that planted deep roots and intertwined itself with my soul. After all the years we spent together my love only grew, deeper, stronger. If I could take back all the pain I caused you I would. I’m sorry I left. I’m sorry I hurt you when all you ever did was love me.” He said.
“But it’s too late for us now. Our time has come and gone. Maybe our time never really came, maybe WE were never meant to be.” Said Belle.
This weighed heavy on his heart, knowing that she might never be his again. The memories of their first kiss flashed in mind. He smiled and took her hand.
“I will keep hope hidden away in my heart that maybe one day we will be together again. You know you will always own my heart.”
You could see the hurt in his eyes as he spoke and the sadness overtaking her. Sometimes love isn’t meant to last forever and sometimes the string of fate that holds us together withers and snaps. They both cared for each other but couldn’t come to terms that this was the end. He knew in his heart she was done but every fiber in his body fought against that notion.
They went their separate ways and eventually they each found someone new. She gave her heart to this new suitor and her first love became a faded memory, locked away in the back of her mind but not forgotten. They spent more and more time together. The years went by and she was happy. She had everything she wanted, everything George was never able to give her.
George went and married and had a child and a family. Life was good, or so he thought. No matter how hard he tried he could never forget her. She was etched in his heart, forever in his memory. Every time he wrote, her face would smile back at him from every word. With time, George’s wife realized that his love was no longer hers to keep. She never had it wholly to begin with but he believed that he would come to forget Belle and finally be able to move on. His wife knew this would be an impossible task yet hoped for the best but in the end they were both wrong. She ended up leaving George but they remained friends as they had a bond held together in their daughter.
George was falling apart but he held on to hope, on to Belle’s memory.
This is an excerpt from 21, a short story about young love and the obstacles they face. Will they end up together? Will George give up hope?