My eyes never took off his as I found myself asking, “…Why?”
“Because I—I….” He paused as he let go of his breath with a sigh. “Sabrina, believe me, all this while I’ve been trying to get over you ever since our friendship ended because of the stupid misunderstanding. I was too frustrated, too crushed to know that you didn’t trust me enough to believe that Heidi and I were nothing but just friends, that I tried so hard to get rid of you from my mind but I just couldn’t. You kept coming back. It killed me to see you with Shawn. It killed me even more when I saw Shawn about to kiss you at the café. God, you had no idea how confused, how lost I had been that I did not know what to do. I felt so weak, Sabrina when you were not by my side. I missed you too much. I felt like I was living an aimless life all the while I went back to my old habit: drinking, racing, involving in fights with kids at school, skipping school and almost got kicked out of school even. I thought nothing in life mattered anymore now that you were gone. I had never felt like this before to any other girl, Sabrina. I had never felt so aimless and so lost when I lost you. I don’t think I can go on without you. I realised that when you were in a coma. I waited and prayer for a miracle to happen although I never really believed in God. You know that, don’t you? You made me somehow believed in the Higher Power when you finally woke up from your coma. I had never felt so grateful, so relieved and so happy at the same time.” He began to smile then. “You were always different from any other girls I met, Sabrina. I knew that from the very first time we chatted online to each other. Think of me as absurd or ridiculous but I think I’ve fallen for you even before we met. Remember how I mentioned about the girl I secretly liked when we still chatted online?”
spike2004: Well, I really like this girl a lot but I don’t think she’ll go out with me….
Spike2004: 1. she’s far away 2. she likes someone else
I smiled, reminiscing the good old days.
“The girl was you.” He finally said, staring at me intently. “It has always been you, Sabrina. You know me better than anyone else in the world. And as I was about to step into the plane just now, I realised something. All the memories we shared together suddenly came flooding back. You’ve always encouraged me to think positive and not to feel bad about myself. It’s you who makes me who I am today. It’s you who helps my dream in getting into the school basketball team and fulfilling my brother’s wish, come true. It’s you who can see the goodness in me and helps myself to see it, too, even though I’ve never really been a saint or the best role model in the world. It’s you who truly understand me, who can really see right through me. No one is perfect but at least, you’ve made me realised something good in me and that you’ve awakened a tendency in me to be a better person….” Lee sighed as he lowered his gaze, “… Just then I realised I didn’t have the heart to leave you. I just couldn’t. I guess I was too weak. I had always been so used to having you in my life. You’ve made such a great difference in my life and no one has ever done it to me before. It’s as if you’ve always been a part of my life. And I thank God that I found you….” He looked again, staring at me with those warm hazel eyes shining their heartfelt gaze at me. “And so, here I am…” He continued with a weak smile, “… coming all the way here from the airport back to you just to tell you how much I love you….” Seeing the stunned expression still lingered upon my face, he lowered his head again, “… I understand if you’re not feeling the same way because of Shawn. It’s just that I think it’s time for me not to hide my feelings anymore. I think that you ought to know how much I care about you—how much you mean to me. When you woke up from your coma, I remember thinking that even though you belong to someone else and that we can be no more than just friends, I realised nothing of those things matter to me anymore, for all that is most important to me in the whole word is knowing that you’re alive… and that I’m happy for you.” He forced a smile as I moved closer to him.
“And I want you to know, Lee….” I began as I put a finger upon his silenced lips, “… that what is most important to me in the whole word is to let you know….” I took a deep breath as I finally said, “… that I love you too.”
Lee just stared at me for a while, motionless as he heard those words.
“That’s why I’m here, too.” I smiled tenderly at him. “I’m sorry for being so blind. I’m sorry that it took me so long to realise how I feel about you. I’m sorry that you had to wait for so long.” He kept staring at me as he let me caress his face gently, “I’ve broken up with Shawn. I’ve realised that no one can make me feel the way you do—not even Shawn. And….” I watched his lips then, “… no one can make me feel so whole the way you do when you kiss me….” With that, I began to kiss him softly on the lips.
“Not even Shawn?” his breath warmed my cheek.
“Not even Shawn.” I smiled dreamily at him. “Lee, I thought it had always been your dream to get into military school?”
“You’re much more important to me.” He said simply.
“No, Lee.” I shook my head. “You have to go. Don’t let anything holding you back from doing the thing you’ve always dreamed about—not even me.”
“But, Sabrina….!” He stared at me, shocked.
“Please, Lee. Believe me, this is hard for me too. I’m not here to stop you from fulfilling your dream. I’m here to tell you just how I feel about you.”
“Sabrina, I don’t understand…!” Lee shook his head.
“Lee, I know just how much it means to you to go to the military school. I don’t want you to leave your dream unfulfilled just like that because of me. You got accepted and you’ve gone through this far, you can’t turn back. Seize this golden opportunity when it’s still available. This may happen once in a lifetime!”
Lee was still shaking his head, however.
“Lee, listen to me. You’ve made almost all my dreams come true all this while. Remember when you helped me with my studies when I didn’t perform well in my exam back then? Thanks to you, I can now fulfil my dream in becoming a doctor when I’m guaranteed a scholarship to study medicine in the overseas. And remember when you played the piano for me during the night of my birthday? I’ve always wished for a white-grand piano all my life and you were the one who made it all come true. I can never thank you enough, Lee. You’ve done so much for me. And I want you to let me do the same to you.”
“But Sabrina, I can’t leave you….”
“Hush. Don’t be silly.” I silenced him then with a forefinger on his lips. “Lee, whatever happens, you’ll always have me. I’ll be waiting here for you. Five years, ten years, forever—it doesn’t matter. I will wait for your return. Trust me.” I smiled at him, convincingly. “I have faith that even though we won’t see each other for years, that still won’t stop the way we feel about each other, if the love we feel for each other is real and true… and if it’s really meant to be… we just have to make the sacrifice, Lee. Sometimes love does need sacrifice….”
Lee stared at me before he finally gave a helpless sigh, “Oh I’m sorry, Sabrina. It’s just that, well, I can’t bear being apart from you for such a long time. Those few months when our friendship ended back then had brought me enough suffer already….”
I held his hand lovingly as I stared at him with sincere eyes, “Lee, I promise you there won’t be another suffer when you’re by my side again. Believe me when I say that this is hard for me, too, but I’m willing to let you go to go fulfil your dreams. No matter where you go, I will always be here, waiting for you…”
“I promise.” I smiled as I leaned my head against his strong shoulder, feeling somehow the heavy weight of misery and forlornness had fallen away from my shoulder into a sweet world of wholeness….
“You think you’ll be okay if I leave you alone here?” Mrs. James asked as she opened the door to Lee’s room for me. There was a slight wrinkle on her aging face as she formed her pleasantest smile.
“Yes. Don’t worry.” I smiled back.
“Oh, silly me!” She let out a laugh suddenly. “Of course I should never worry. It’s not like you’re not used to this house. You’ve always been a frequent visitor to this house back then, remember?” She winked an eye.
I laughed too as my mind flashed back to the countless times I had been here, just hanging out with Lee, watching television or even talking and laughing with him over his mom’s delicious home-made meals, when we were best friends seven years ago back then.
“Anyway, Sabrina, how you’ve grown so tall now—so mature!” Mrs. James looked impressively down at me from head to toe. “Or should I say Dr. Sabrina?” She winked again at me, playfully.
“Well, I’d rather you call me just Sabrina, Mrs. James.” I replied politely, “… You know, for sentimental reasons….” I grinned.
The woman just laughed. “Anyway, if you need us, Harris and I will be downstairs, okay?” She paused then while she was closing the door. “Sabrina, don’t worry. Lee will come back safe and sound soon, I promise.” She touched my shoulder gently with a comforting smile before she slowly shut the door behind her.
“I hope so…” I found myself replying under my breath. I began to walk daintily across the quiet room. The silence of the room was only broken by the sound of the whirling fan, hanging from the high ceiling. I found that the room was still the same yet more tidy. I assumed that Mrs. James must have had neatened the room everyday while Lee was gone. It was typical of Mrs. James, who had always been a perfectionist when it came to the matter of cleanliness.
I sighed as everything in the room including every poster hung upon the walls painted with soft blue (his favourite colour) brought back all the memories. I could still recognise the scent of the room tinged with the perfume of sweet nostalgia years and years ago. I moved about the average-sized room then. I went to his study table to find a stack of his favourite sports magazines piled neatly at the corner. I touched his wooden dresser as I made my way across the room toward his bed. There was a small table beside his bed of which there laid a night lamp and a few picture frames upon it. One of the framed photographs showed him, Darren, Mrs. James and a smiling handsome man with wavy dark brown hair that reminded of Lee’s, having a picnic together. I knew instantly that the handsome man, who must be in his middle thirties at the time, was the blood father of Lee and Darren. I thought that he was far from looking like an alcoholic. Well, first impression could be deceptive, couldn’t it? Then I took a look at another photograph beside it to see Lee, Darren, Mrs. James and Mr. Harris along with me in it, looking all smiling and cheery, with party hats on our heads and colourful balloons everywhere in the background. I remember having the photo taken during Lee’s seventeenth birthday. The last, next picture that stood in the middle of the two photographs took me by surprise. I took it and observed it for as long as I could. It was the photograph of Lee and me slow-dancing at Mr. Harris’s sister’s wedding. I remember that it was the first time I had ever slow-danced. In fact, being the shy, awkward me, I had never danced in my entire life before until that day—thanks to Lee. I remember how Lee kept on insisting to take me to the dance floor. And I remember how awkward it had been for me to slow-dance for the first time that I had stepped on his feet for ten times but being the patient, tolerant dear old Lee, he just grinned without seeming to mind at all. I was in my best white flowing dress and Lee looked dashing in his tuxedo and it almost looked as if we were the bride and the bridegroom, I blushed in spite of myself at such crazy thought. I put the frame back again on the table, wondering who had taken that particular picture of us without my realising it. I thought about Darren with his sly, teasing attitude whenever he saw us together. I shook my head smilingly as I began to lie down onto the comfy bed.
Just as I began to lean my head onto the white fluffy pillow, I noticed a small, square-shaped picture of a girl slid off from the pillow. I observed it to see the picture of myself at the wedding again with the same white dress, only alone, this time. I was smiling at whoever I was talking to in the picture, without even realising someone was taking a snapshot of me. I frowned but the wrinkles gone away just as soon as I found a scribbling at the back of the picture. I recognised Lee’s small, messy handwriting instantly: God, isn’t she the most beautiful girl you’ve ever seen? She looked so beautiful like an angel at the wedding that I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I knew I had to take a picture of her to capture the moment forever. God, if she only knew just how feel about her. If she only knew how I wish she was mine. It’s a pity that we’re no more than just best friends. It’s the worst feeling isn’t it to know that she’s just by your side yet you can never have her? God, I just can’t get her off my mind no matter what I do. It’s like she has this powerful spell on me. I’ve never felt like this before. What’s happening to me? And why am I even writing this anyway? God, she’s driving me crazy! There was a long giant thin stroke drawn across the words.
I smiled, feeling moved. Tears were gathering in my eyes as I realised just how much I still missed him, just how much I still cared even though almost seven years had gone by without us seeing one another. Then I remembered a wise love quote I had come across the other day: Love doesn't end just because lovers stop seeing one another. People go on loving God without ever having to see Him. I smiled at the comforting thought. As I lie upon his bed, I could not help reminiscing all those beautiful days I had spent with Lee. And how I had come to realise just how I missed him so much beyond words, that I had almost regretted the day I let him go at the airport. I remember thinking maybe I made a wrong decision to let him go to England when I saw the plane taking him farther and farther away from me, lost beneath the cotton-white clouds in the blue sky, on the way to the other side of the world, as we were separated again by the cruel miles between us. Maybe I was too foolish and too naïve back then. I have faith that even though we won’t see each other for years, that still won’t stop the way we feel about each other, if the love we feel for each other is real and true… and that if it’s really meant to be… we just have to make the sacrifice, Lee. Sometimes love does need sacrifice… I wish I could take back all those words I said and told him that I never wanted him to leave. The pain was too unbearable for my tired heart as I watched him walking away from me at the airport. God, what had I done?
Lee, where are you? How are you now? Are you thinking about me too right now at this very moment? Do you miss me too? I’ve missed you so much. Please come back soon. Please come back. I’ll be waiting for you…. I heard my heart whispered deep inside me as I watched the steady movement of the spinning fan above me lulled me gradually to sleep.
I found myself wandering aimlessly in a solitary beach. I treaded slowly upon the soft white sand beneath as I took a look around the lonely surroundings that embraced me. I could see the rolls of waves crashing upon the naked shore as I walked along the shoreline. There were coconut trees and pine trees along the way, swinging to the gentle rhythm of the sea breeze.
I hugged my shivering body when the wind suddenly blew fiercely against my skin. Loneliness slowly crept within me as I came to a realisation that for some reason, I seemed to be the only living being there.
Just then, I heard a gentle voice behind me whispered to my ear, “Cold?” I smiled at the familiar voice. Then I felt the warmth of a brown leather jacket being wrapped about my trembling body. The familiar scent of the warm jacket made me smiled every wider in sweet certainty. And when I finally turned around, I was not surprised to find Lee standing there beside me with a smile.
He took my hand then as we began pacing calmly by the booming waves. We let only the murmuring of the wind and the bellowing of the waves filled the silence between us. We did not speak a word as though words were unnecessary for something as holy as pure silence at that moment of serenity.
As we walked halfway, Lee suddenly paused before he looked up at me. “Sabrina…?”
“Yes?” I smiled fondly at him.
“I just want you to know just how much I love you….” Just as he bent his head lower to leave me a kiss, I felt his hand felt unusually light upon mine. My eyes widened as all of a sudden, his figure suddenly became fuzzy like an image blurring in broad daylight. “Lee…?”
“Sabrina!” His dismayed expression upon his face mirrored my own.
“Lee, don’t leave me!” I cried out desperately as I felt his hand slipping off mine.
“I’ve always loved you, Sabrina….” Those were his last words before his image began to melt and finally vanished into grains of sands, swept away by the wind before my very eyes.
“Lee!!!” My voice echoed through the desolate beach. I burst into tears as I sank down on my knees onto the sandy ground… feeling again the dreariness of the lonely beach and the forlornness inside, drowning me….
Just then, I felt a peck on my forehead that made me finally woke up from the dream to find Lee’s face bending upon mine. “Hey, fancy to see you sleeping on my bed.” He whispered smilingly as I trembled at his warm breath upon my neck. “I’ve missed you so much, you know….”
Seeing him there sitting by my side, I rose before spontaneously flung my arms around him tight—to his surprise. “Lee! Oh I’m so glad you’re here! I was so scared—I was scared… that—that I thought I lost you forever!”
“Hey, I’m here.” Lee pulled slowly away. He stared into my moist eyes with the tenderest smile, before he kissed away the tears like he would always do. “Having a nightmare?”
I nodded, before realising that I was not in a dream no more. I looked around and was aware that I was still on Lee’s bed in Lee’s neat room—so neat it almost looked brand-new. I glanced at a round clock hanging on a wall opposite me and realised instantly that I had fallen asleep on Lee’s bed since three hours ago. Yet, what was more shocking to me was to find a smiling English gentleman, looking debonair in his white army uniform, sitting by the bed beside me.
“Hello, Sabrina. Why are you so surprised to see me? Don’t tell me you don’t know me anymore….” I knew that the man smiling before me now was Lee James, whom I had forever been waiting for all these tormenting seven years of separation. I began to observe him then. I realised how he had grown so tall. How his fair skin now bronzed, presumably after marching under the hot sun in the military school. And how his athletic figure became more manly and muscled, presumably after the numerous trainings he had to go through in the military school. And how his boyish face almost seven years ago now naturalised into a face more mature and more handsome… seeing the man he had become now, I found myself flooded with an ocean of memories. “Of course I know you, silly.” I began to laugh cheerfully. “How can I ever forget you? You’re the first guy I ever chatted to on the Internet, my best neighbour and best friend in the world…”
“… And not to mention the handsomest boyfriend you’ve ever had?” He grinned playfully.
I rolled my eyes at him but still, I could not help laughing. “You know what, Lee? Your appearance may change but you still as vain as ever!” Deep inside, I was happy that he was still the old playful Lee I knew underneath the change on the surface.
He grinned, seeing my laughing. “And you still like to laugh.” He commented as he took a long look at my white lab coat that harmonized the colour of his own uniform. “Wow… just look at you now—I’ve always known that you’d make the sexiest doctor….” He kept on fixing his hazel eyes upon me. How I had missed those sparkling hazel eyes of his…. “Man, am I proud to have a doctor as my girlfriend!” He carried on with a broad smile.
I laughed until I felt my cheek flushing pink. “Well, thanks to you for making it come true. I’m so glad you’re back, Lee. I’ve missed you so much.”
“I’m glad that I’m back, too.” I felt his hand crawling gently upon mine. “And I’ve missed you even more. Thank you for willing to wait for me….”
I wake up at the mild fall of feathery snowflakes upon my face. I rise from the comfy bed with a faint creak. Instinctively, I turn my gaze out of the open window, where the snowdrops keep pouring in at the gentle breeze. I am almost breathless as I take in the world of snow-white so enchanting spreading before me as I draw the curtain aside. I find myself beaming wider as I revel in the scenic view of the snowy world outside. The damp road and the ground of soil that Lee and I have stepped on while we took a walk around his grandmother’s house yesterday now all coated with thick layer of snow. The trees that line the road are almost covered by the falling of snowdrops. It must have been snowing all night last night. I cannot help smiling tenderly at what had befallen last night. I remember spending the whole night reminiscing and laughing with Lee at our innocent days as we kept ourselves warm before the fireplace in the living room. And before I even knew it, I fell asleep peacefully in his arms. I found myself watching Lee with half-shut eyes then when he suddenly carried me in his arms to this room, which used to be his room when he was taken care of by his grandmother, he used to say. I remember the tender look he got in his eyes as he pulled the blanket over to my chin when he thought I was sleeping. It reminded me of his caring attitude toward me when I stayed at the hospital back then. Just when I shivered at the thought that he would sleep by my side on the same bed underneath the same blanket, he just stared at my sleeping for a while, smiling and stroking my face gently, then rose to walk to the door and took one last long look at me, as if to make sure he did not wake me up, before he finally walked out and closed the door soundlessly behind him. And I remember smiling by myself in the darkness, knowing that he respected my view that I did not believe it was necessary for couple to sleep together outside of marriage. With that, I cannot help falling even more and more in love with him.
I throw my gaze again outside of the window to the snowing world outside. I have never seen snow before my very eyes in my entire life before and all my life, I have been waiting for this moment forever as I hold out my hand to the falling snowflakes outside. Maybe that is why Lee brought me here to England—to his grandmother’s house after dating for almost two years now to fulfil my dream of a lifetime.
Somehow, I can still recall our conversation once upon a time during one of our countless walks back on our younger years:
That would be to take a walk in the snow… with snowflakes pouring everywhere… ah… just like heaven….”
That’s easy… You can always follow me back to England.
You will. I mean, trust me, I will bring you there someday….
And I smile at the echo of his words lingering upon my mind from the past. He has kept his promise, after all, even though I have never taken his words seriously. I should have known. I should have known that he meant all those words he said to me back then. I knew that now.
To me, it just seems like yesterday since I first met him. I still remember that chilly Wednesday morning as wintry as the snowing atmosphere now. I remember walking out of my gate in a hurry, knowing that I will be late again for school. However, at the sight of Lee unlocking his gate opposite mine while, he too, was on the way to the same school struck me speechless at seeing the aura of familiarity about his face. I remember comparing his figure with the photo of him that Lee had sent me through email. And I can still hear Lee’s trembling voice speaking my name for the first time, that made me realised that this world was not such a big place after all. Subsequently, we drew inevitably closer to each other everyday—from Internet friends who have never met each other leading on to friendly neighbours when he moved into a house opposite mine, then became the best of friends as we became loyal confidantes to each other—then the years of friendship finally evolved into something deeper as we found ourselves immersed within the sweet relish of true love despite all the obstacles.
I realise how the years have passed so swiftly and now here we find ourselves stepping into the world of adulthood—successful in our own respective careers with our heads held on high. As much as I have grown into a mature woman pursuing in the medical fields, there are times when I am still aware of the soul of a dreamer seeing the world with her rose-tinted view, lies within me—and I have come to think that she will always be a part of me and is one of the pleasures in life that I shall never let go. I can be sure of that for there will always be Lee James, the man I have always loved, who always keeps reminding me and bringing out the best of the innocent girl I used to be.
After taking a hot bath, I slip into a floral dress and pull my favourite thick pink sweater (Lee bought it for me before we came here as a preparation for the coming winter) over the dress and begin to step outside of the room. I search for Lee in his other room next to the kitchen but he is not there. I still find myself wondering in bewilderment at his sudden absence when I walk into the kitchen.
“Good morning, Sabrina.” I find Lee’s grandmother at the kitchen, who is wearing an apron as she stirs a boiling soup upon the cooker top. The smile upon the wrinkled face of the old woman somehow lights up an aura of youthfulness about her despite her aging appearance and her greyish hair that she tied into a bun.
“Good morning, Auntie.” I smile back at her before I cheerfully leave a peck on the line of wrinkles of her forehead. “What are you cooking there?” I ask, sounding friendly.
“Just some hot mushroom soup I hope you’ll like.” The pleasant woman who must be in her late fifties just smile. “Oh and there’s the special macaroni and cheese I cooked just for you. Lee told me it’s your favourite.” She smile knowingly.
And also, I can’t forget my grandma’s home-cooking. Her home-cooked meals the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. I think I have to bring you there to my hometown in England. Her home-cooked macaroni and cheese tastes the greatest. I smile at Lee’s words echoing across my mind. “Thanks, Auntie. I’m sure I’ll love it. Lee always told me how you had always been an expert at cooking the most delicious food.”
“Well, Lee has always been a flatterer, hasn’t he?”
“I agree!” I nod before I begin to ask kindly, “Can I help you with anything, Auntie?”
The gentle woman shakes her head slowly. “No, I don’t think so. Besides, Lee will be waiting for you….” She smiles mysteriously.
“Oh.” I stare at her quizzically. “I haven’t seen him around this morning. I look for him in his room but he’s not there.”
“Well, he’s waiting for you outside with a surprise.” Again, that secretive smile forms again upon her aging face. She nods then, as if to gesture me to go look for him outside myself.
Surprise? What surprise? I find myself wondering endlessly as I begin walking to the door. Yet, come to think of it, Lee has always struck me as one who has always loved surprising people with his unpredictable, mysterious demeanour, as I think back to the day he brought me to witness the sunrise together, to the surprise birthday party he has thrown just for me plus his unexpected appearance at the party, to the white-grand piano, to his sudden change of behaviour when he got back to his defiant habit again back then, to the night he brought me star-gazing at the beautiful park… to his unexpected kisses in the most inappropriate places….
I shake my head slowly as I begin opening the door to the snowing ambience outside. As I stand there in the doorway, I feel the cold breeze pouring inside the house, and gently against my skin. I watch the trees, the roads and everything on the surface of the earth buried by the thick white layer of snow. Just as I begin to inhale the chilly air of that beautiful winter, enthralled at its pure whiteness, I catch sight of the trace of pink rose petals littering upon the snowy ground, forming a long winding trail of petals from the doorway to God knows where. I stare at the petals wonderingly for a while before letting myself following their trail through the white sheet of snow that covers the soil of earth beneath. As I pace hesitantly upon the petals, wondering where they will lead me, I look up to the grey winter sky above once in a while, feeling the mild snowdrops fall softly upon my calm, smiling face as I shut my eyes. It seems to take almost forever when the path that the pink petals are weaving finally reach to a dead-end. I pause at the dead-end then to find myself all alone in the middle of the pouring snow. I look around me and see nothing but a wide, vast carpet of snow stretch before me as far as the eyes can see. Just then, as I observe carefully of the flat white land of snow before me, I can see that there, someone has written something upon the bed of snow in the midst of the falling snowdrops. I almost lose hold of myself for a moment at my deciphering the giant words written clearly in the snow: ‘To Sabrina, the most special girl in my entire life, will you marry me?’
The shock tinged with speechlessness that is taking over has not yet subsided when I suddenly feel Lee’s hand slipping into mine. I turn to him who appears from out of nowhere now stand smilingly beside me. “So do you like your surprise?”
“Lee, this is not funny…!”
“Yes, it’s not funny. I’m serious, Sabrina.” He suddenly stares solemnly into my stunned eyes. “I’m just asking you to marry me.”
“Lee….” My voice trails away.
“Sabrina, I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, Sabrina. We have known each other for so long—so long even before we even met. You’ve made me realised the better man I want to be. With you, I feel like my life has a purpose. With you, I feel like I can start anew and help me to forget my past. You see something in me that others can’t. When others looked down on me for my drastic change of behaviour back then, you didn’t criticise me like all others. Instead, you were the only one who could see something in me—the goodness in me that I thought I never had. You’ve given me hope that I thought I lost. And you’ve known me far better than anyone else in the world. You’ve seen me at my best as well as at my worst. Sabrina, I don’t think I could have faced all those things without you. It’s because of you that I can stand up tall now. It’s because of you that I’ve become stronger now. It’s because of you that make me who I am today. And it’s because of you—that my life has changed... for the better and I can never thank you enough to God for your presence in my life….” Those heartfelt hazel eyes are staring deeply into my dewy eyes as he begins to hold my hand and kiss it gently. “Sabrina, I want to thank you for everything—for making my life a whole lot better and for letting me loving you up until now. I’ve loved you forever in the past and I’m certain that I will love you still in the years to come.”
I find myself trembling as he gets down on one knee in front of me upon the deep layer of snow beneath us. I see his hand rubbing into the pocket of his furry coat before he takes out a small case coated in red chiffon. He opens it and I gasp at a diamond ring inside, glistens in the midst of the falling snowflakes. It seems the most magical moment in my entire life. Lee looks up at me then with a mountain-high hope crystallised in his yearning hazel eyes I so adore before he begins saying these magical words, “… And now here I am ready to spend the rest of my life with you. And I’m asking you again… Sabrina Adam, will you marry me?”
I have never felt so overwhelmed with joy that it leaves me wordless for a while. I keep reminding myself that this is not a dream or a fantasy or even some romantic scenes from those favourite soppy movies of mine. It is actually happening to me. Right now at this very moment with the dancing snowflakes in the wintry air falling upon the enchanting snow-covered earth that embraced us, the only man I have ever loved in my twenty-five years of living is now proposing to me, and I can say is, “… Lee James, I’m ready to spend the rest of my life with you, too. And so, yes, I will…” My eyes bathed with tear as I say those words. “I will, Lee…”
A pure smile of happiness begins to blossom upon his rosy face at those words of mine. He keeps on smiling as if it will last an eternity as he slips the diamond ring slowly into my shaky ring finger.
“God, Sabrina, I love you so much.” He kisses me as we begin walking side by side through the snowy land, our fingers intertwined.
“Thank you for loving me, Lee.” I beam tenderly at me, aware of the wholeness and the sweet contentment blossoming inside my heart. “I can never thank you enough for all those wonderful things you did for me. You’ve loved me. You’ve cared for me. You’ve protected me. I must be the luckiest woman alive to be loved by you.”
“And that makes me the luckiest man alive.” He grins as he leaves a loving kiss on my smooth forehead. “And now, let’s see. Let’s set a date when we’re going to get married. We have to decide early since I’m going to have to cancel some of my basketball tournaments.” Lee is now one of the best professional basketball athletes of the nation, I cannot help being proud of him for that, and happy that his dream finally becomes a reality like mine. “And oh yes, there’s Darren and his new bride.” Lee continues excitedly, “I heard that his wife was a wedding planner back then. Maybe we can ask for her help in arranging our wedding day? Oh I almost forgot Mom and Harris. WE have to wait for their return from their honeymoon before we can have our wedding. I mean, we can’t have the wedding without them, can we? Oh and where do you think will be the most suitable location for our wedding?”
“By the sea…?”I smile dreamily.
“Yes. By the sea during the sunrise. Yes, it’ll be perfect!”
“Sunrise?” I stare at him incredulously. “Do you think people will wake up that early to go to a wedding? I don’t think so, Lee.”
“Well, it’s okay if they don’t want to come. It’ll be more romantic if there were just the two of us getting married as we witness the sunrise together like the old days. Remember the sunrise we watched together back then from the slope?”
“How can I forget? You’ve put me in a grumpy mood for the rest of the day as I didn’t have enough sleep!”
Lee just grins.
“But I still think it’s a ridiculous idea, Lee, to have a wedding during sunrise! No one has ever done that!”
“Let’s be the first then…” Again, that playful grin appears upon his teasing face.
“You’re talking nonsense again, Lee….”
“And yes, before I forget, how about our honeymoon? Where do you think will be the place?”
“You think so far ahead, Lee. We’re barely even engaged!”
“And oh yes… what do you think will be the most suitable names for our future children?”
We walk on then amid the grey sky that keeps pouring light snowdrops onto the ivory-hued world that surrounds us. The crescendo of our voices and laughter echo in the air as it enlivens the ambience of stillness about us. Our footprints upon the thickening coat of snow beneath us… lead us to a fairytale of our own where the blissful union of two hearts in love dwell in sweet eternity…and I realise just then, this is not the ending. Everything has only just began like the rosy sun rising from the bed of dawn, carrying with it the first trace of morning light with fresh vows, hopes and dreams yet to be fulfilled, for love does not have to have a happy ending or a tragic ending, because love does not have to end at all....