It’s a Friday late evening, Laura is returning from work, the sun is graciously setting, and leaving behind it gold rays that light up the whole place.
Time check, its 1700 hrs. Laura can’t help herself but keep thinking about the new guy she met today over lunch, and humming that song that they both have always loved; it seems to say it all for the life the two of them have shared. She doesn’t seem to give the rest of the world a care as she is completely taken up with the thoughts running through her head. But anyone can tell it must be a series of good thoughts.
As she passes by the old man who usually sits at the road side waiting for the mercy of passers-by that will care enough to drop a coin or two for him, he can’t avoid noticing the wide smile on Laura’s face. She has always used the same street back home, ever since her former boyfriend who used to drop her off before he could wait and watch her fade off in her house that is only a few yards away from the main road.
The old man seems to notice all this with a look of sympathy, but again with a little smile that brings out the hope that he has in life. Laura is a young lady that seems to have had her life in one place, even if some circumstances have not been in her favor. At least she got the potential to simply brush it off, keep in good shape, and enjoy the moments life has offered as they last.
At the back of her mind, thoughts of the new kid on the block (the new guy she met that afternoon) can’t stop racing.
Larry, today left work earlier than usual, his car broke down so he had to take the public bus. Probably this is what we shall call fate. (Or the meeting point, I mean like in the movies :D) As he moves on, not seeming to give a care to the world, he meets a gorgeous young lady smiling her way home. She looks quite familiar, the last time the two met was at the movies with a couple of friends, but he didn’t dare say a word then. But since fate has offered a second chance of meeting her, Larry can only be grateful. With quiet an effort to bring out the words, he manages to pop a request for a date to Laura but just as he thought, she doesn’t look like she is even about to even give it a second thought. She seems too reserved, unless he is willing to try again.
When they eventually meet for dinner downtown, she has on her little favorite polka dress with her hair neatly tied in a loose bundle at the back. She still can’t stop smiling. Laura, riding his flying pigeon (read bicycle), one he bought the other day so he can be able to take a good view of the dangling hills near her neighborhood. to him, they are always full of love. And it actually does him much help…by the time they sit at the little table in the cafeteria a few meters from Laura’s home, he has lost as much stress as he had gained earlier at work. They wine and dine, laugh and talk, whispering to each other every now and then, and making endless promises.
The two look so lost in the moment as they share a moment that is only too real for now. But none of them happens to realize that this could be the determining moment, the only moment to make a memory, the only moment to for him to look back to with her…
The best thing that ever happened to Larry is ever having met her, but not that he dragged his feet on letting out his intentions, taking chances, counting on tomorrow. But he has no choice, that very night was the last for Laura. It was a normal evening, only this time she seemed to feel contented, that she had got all it takes. When she went to bed that night, she didn’t fight, she didn’t scream, she did it peacefully. She took a deep breath…and let go. She let go of a life that had only seemed unfair right from the onset, but yet a life she had tried to visualize only the moments that brought back a second of her life back, moments that could give her reason to face yet another day.Larry’s heart skipped. He couldn’t take it. In Laura, he saw a new hope, a special kind of strength, in her eyes, a glowing joy. But Laura left something for him, a small handwritten note, dated three days before the fateful one. Thank God she said something, as small as it was; it meant the world to him.
Engraved in the note was the message, “In you, I saw a new life, one that I had always searched for. Unfortunately, it was a lil too late…I just couldn’t carry on. Been battling a cancer since I was 18. As I go home, hope you don’t hold back anything, Give life your all. Take one day at a time, looking forward to another”. Love Laura.” (124)
When he showed up for her last funeral rites, he read out the note loud, shared their story. But he broke down to the thought of the fact it that the only last chance. He didn’t have the chance to be here, he didn’t have the chance to hold her, or even to assure her it would be ok. She fought a strong fight, she gave in her all.
This was a painful turning point in his life…and the words, in her own voice still echo in his mind. for the moment, Laura meant everything he ever needed, and she was no-more now. But from her, he got a new beginning…a new faith that kept life moving, and with it, moments that brought back life. And whenever he gets the chance to pass by the hills, he can’t do more than thank God for having let him take that way that day, for in those hills, the memory of Laura lives on.