The Date

James glanced at the clock house as the clock hit six. It was starting to get dark and he could even see some stars. He had been there on the bench all evening waiting for Taylor. Thinking of Taylor reminded him of his youth. He remembered how young and wild they had been. He could not think of anything that could match up with the memories he had with Taylor. Together they were happy and Taylor made him feel like himself. Taylor completed him.

“Sweet old days”, James smiled.

As he looked down the street, he could see cars, buses, cabs and motorbikes. None of them carried Taylor. James felt his heart sinking in the fear that Taylor would never show up.

“Taylor preferred walking anyways.”, James consoled himself.

It was almost seven o’clock so James stood up broken hearted. Tears rolled down his wrinkled 60 years old face. He was disappointed. He felt cheated. Twenty years back, James and Taylor had promised each other that they would meet in the same spot once they both got divorced. James left his wife a month after they promised but Taylor took all the time in the world. Yet, James came to the bench every weekend for 20 years hoping that Taylor would decide to come.

James walked few steps and turned back. He stared at the green bench in the bridge; the bench where they would stay for hours staring at the clock tower. It was there where they kissed for the first time. James remembered how it felt so right when he put his lips over Taylor’s lips. He smiled and sat down on the bench again feeling hopeful. He started to think of how Taylor looked. Taylor had a beautiful face and a tall stature.

“I wonder how the 55 years old face would look like now.”, James smirked.

It was a cold December evening and James felt weak. The clock hit seven as he stood up again to walk back home. He held his cane and started to walk slowly. He slid his hand into his pocket and took out a cigarette and a lighter. As he tried to light his cigarette he saw a someone walking towards him. From the clouds of fog, he saw a tall figure slowly walking towards him. Even from distance, James could guess it was Taylor. He dropped his cigarette and froze in surprise.

“What took you so long?”, James yelled, “I have been waiting for you for 20 years and you show up now? I left my everything for you.”

Taylor spoke no words. James looked at Taylor resentfully but as his eyes met with Taylor’s, he thought how they still looked the same. He wondered how intimidating those eyes were even with so much of wrinkles around them. Taylor’s eyes seduced him. He could speak no more.

“I was not brave enough.”, Taylor spoke walking closer to James. “I am sorry I was not as brave as you were.”

“All I wanted was you.”, James sobbed.

“I wanted you too. There was no day in last 20 years that I have not wanted you.”

“What took you so long?”

“Family, friends, acquaintances. I feared being judged.”

“And what changed now?”, James screamed in anger.

“I changed.”, Taylor replied, “It took me all these years to realise that none of them mattered. I wasted 20 years of my life staying away from the man I loved and now I am dying James. I don’t fear death, I fear a lonely death. It took me death to realise that I fear to die in the absence of someone I love.”

A long silence followed as they both looked at each other. James moved forward and hugged Taylor tight. He remembered all those days he stayed there waiting and now he had Taylor in his arms but he could not decide if he should be happy or he should be sad. All he knew was that his wait was over. He closed his eyes as they kissed after 20 years of separation.

“Filthy old men!”. A middle- aged women walked away in disgust as she saw the two men kissing.


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