I stand here, in the mist, waiting. Waiting for you. Every year, I come to the spot where we last parted company and where you promised me that you would be upon your return after the journey which called you away suddenly. You stood before me, your eyes holding mine captive as you professed your love for me and promised me that only a matter of the most urgent nature could part you from me. Then, you took me in your arms and held me so close that I could feel your beating heart. I felt so safe and warm in your arms. I didn’t want you to let me go. But you did. I suddenly felt very cold. The tears mingled with the dew as you cupped my face between your hands and our lips met in a kiss that made my heart sing and cry at the same time.
When finally, we drew back, neither of us wanted to be the first to leave. We stood there, delaying the inevitable, still holding hands and shrouded in the thick mist that rose above the hills. Then, you said to me, “Close your eyes.” And I did. Even as I felt you let go of my hands, I kept my eyes closed. After a while I slowly opened them and you were gone. It was as if the mist had swallowed you up. I stood there for some time, hoping that you would come back but you didn’t.
Weeks, months and even years passed and still you haven’t come back. Every day I come here, hoping to find you or that you would come to me but all I see is the mist–the mist which rises above the mountains and the mist that covers my heart. I read your letters over and over because they are all I have of you. They fill me with sadness, joy, longing and hope. They are stained with my tears.
How much longer shall we be apart, Alfred? It has been ten, long years since we stood here. I hold in my hand your most recent letter in which you swore that you will soon return. Dare I hope again when my hopes have been dashed so many times? The years apart have not lessened or dulled my love for you in fact they have intensified it but how long shall I continue to wait for you? What if–I can hardly bear to think it, but sensibility says I must–you never return? What if you decide that you would rather be a free agent? Oh, the thought distresses me greatly.
I clutch the letter in my hand tightly. I must believe that one day very soon we shall meet upon this mountain on a clear day. Until then, I shall be here waiting for you.
I turn to leave and then I see you coming towards me. I blinked, thinking that I am imagining it but you’re real and now you are running towards me. I start to running towards you, laughing and tears running down my cheeks. When we reach each other, you pick me up and swung me around. I cling to you, feeling a little giddy but I’m over the moon. Ten years, three months, four days and six hours later my wait was finally over. Alfred and I were back together again. After he put me down and I caught my breath, he got down on his knee and proposed. Delirious with joy, I accepted and the following week we got married.
A couple of weeks later, we packed up and moved to London where Alfred worked as a solicitor in the office owned and run by the uncle whose urgent business was the cause for our long separation. The said uncle had suddenly taken ill and needed someone to be in charge of his business until he recovered. Since his nephew was a lawyer and a very promising one at that, he employed him. His uncle was so impressed with him that even after he recovered from his illness, he encouraged him to remain in his employ.
When it seemed that his stay would be indefinite, Alfred begged to take leave of his uncle so that he could come back to me. It was then his uncle suggested the move to London. And here we are, living in London and not far from the famous Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street. I like it here although I miss the mountains and the mist sometimes. What matters most to me is not where I am but that I am with Alfred. And nothing except death will part us. And all those years I waited for him were well worth it.
True love is worth waiting for even if it takes a lifetime. Then in return a lifetime of love will be waiting for you – Anurag Prakash Ray