UNTIL THE END OF TIME
“I WILL LOVE YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME!” he had once shouted from the rooftops. A grand gesture, she had always thought, but he didn’t need to shout it for, at the time, she was stood right next to him. She could understand the requirement of shouting had she been on street level and he had been on the roof but.... well, shouting when he was next to her just seemed a little pointless. Some could say, and some did say, that it could have been a little aggressive. But she didn’t see any aggressiveness in his behaviour - she knew he wouldn’t hurt a fly.
Unless it was one of those really annoying flies that repeatedly buzz your head or keep coming back to your food, after you’ve swished them away for the umpteenth time - but they deserve to be swatted, she thought.
The whole grand gesture on the rooftops, however, just made his sudden disappearance all the more confusing. How could someone be shouting from the rooftops, about his undying love, one minute and - vanished the next.
Lauren wouldn’t let herself get upset, though. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. If he didn’t want to be with her, she thought, fine. She certainly wasn’t going to be the sort of girl that needed to beg a man to go out with her.
At twenty-three years old, she knew time was on her side and she’d find someone else. She’d find someone better. Someone that respected her. Someone, at the very least, who would do the honourable thing and break up with her properly if they did suddenly decide they no longer wanted to see her.
She believed, and as a narrator I’m inclined to agree, she deserved that much as least.
Her mind spiraled between wondering where he disappeared to and what was wrong with her - after all, there must be something wrong with her to cause someone to suddenly disappear from her life without so much of a text!
Mind you, she thought, a text probably would have made the situation worse - texting someone, she continued to think, that you no longer wish to go out with them is probably one of the most cowardly relationship acts you can do in this modern age we live in.
But at least she would have known!
It was the not knowing that was making the whole ugly mess harder to get her head around. Last week he was all for buying her a ring and making it official but, two weeks into a relationship, she said to him it was probably a bit to soon for that and maybe they should just take things slower - continue enjoying themselves and see where they ended up. She worried that, with an engagement so soon, it could change things and she didn’t want that. She liked things just the way they were.
Maybe that was it.
Maybe he took what she had said completely wrong - maybe he thought she was turning him down and that’s why he left. Should she have just said ‘yes’ to the ring. After all, she could have worn the ring and told her family and friends it was a friendship ring - let him tell his family and friends whatever he wanted. Would it really have changed anything between them? Had she made the biggest mistake of her relatively short life?
She sat back on her bed, in her cosy little bedroom which had been her safe haven since he had disappeared, and looked down to her hand - trying to picture what sort of ring he would have chosen.
Of course, she had tried calling him. She’d left numerous voice mail messages - ranging from the curious ‘where are you’ to the more aggressive-in-tone messages once she had realised she had been abandoned. Ten calls in total. That’s not over the top. Ten calls over a couple of days doesn’t scream ‘desperation’. And neither did the forty-three text messages she had sent - again, ranging in their general mood - or the five texts she had saved to drafts, they didn’t scream ‘desperation’ either.
Perhaps one more call?
One more call for old time’s sake? After all, she had enjoyed where the relationship was heading. Even if he didn’t love her as much as he shouted, from the rooftop if you remember, maybe he could explain why the sudden change of heart.
Yes, one more call.
Eleven calls, over the space of a couple of days, doesn’t make her desperate either.
She reached to the bedside cabinet where he mobile phone sat and picked it up, before selecting ‘John’ from her contacts.
‘It’s ringing,’ she thought, ‘no turning back now.’
* * * * *
John’s phone flashed up another missed call.
Eleven in a couple of days.
“Someone’s popular,” said the mortician as he leaned over John’s body with a sharp blade. “Now, lets get you open and see what went wrong.”
It was the ‘not knowing’ that drove him wild.