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07/04/2020 / Harry Browne

Missed Moments by Gerard Byrne

Heron Viola Loretti

Running his fingers up Yhana’s bare thigh towards her large tattoo, Declan couldn’t believe he was here again after all these years. They’d missed out on so much in that time. Now here she was, asleep in his arms once more. Why had he ever let her go in the first place ?. That was a question that somehow seemed beyond his means to answer.

Yhana opened her tired eyes, to be met with his. It brought a smile to her face, that had been missing for a long time now, “I miss moments like this more than anything”

Declan wasn’t sure what she meant. But still tried to guess the right reply, “same here. It feels like old times again. Like we never broke up”

Yhana rubbed the wedding ring on his finger, “unfortunately things have changed. You’re married now and I’m facing a messy divorce. I know last night was great. But it’s not gonna do either of us any favours”

Declan rubbed his fingers through her short hair. A look that he was still trying to get use to. All the memories he had of her from over the years, where filled with the sight of her beautiful long blonde hair. He could still remember the smell of it. But the new style was now growing on him. He’d even walked past her in the pub the night before, without even noticing the woman he had loved for years, standing at the bar. Thankfully Yhana had seen him too, and a long lost connection was finally reattached.

He interlinked his fingers with hers, “I’ve never stopped loving you. You do know that ?”

Yhana tried to ignore the feeling of his cold wedding band, rubbing off her warm skin, “you told me that many times last night”

Declan struggled to hide his embarrassment, “I’m sorry. I did go on a bit. But I wasn’t lying. I never stopped”

Yhana stared up into his eyes, “if you still loved me. Why did you marry her then ?”

Declan struggled to find the appropriate words. But nothing sounded right, “because she was the closest thing I could find to you. I know that sounds terrible. But it’s the truth. I struggled to carry on without you”, he felt it was only fair to turn it back on his ex, “did you marry for love?”

She didn’t want to lie to him, “it was love. I know that’s hard for you to hear. But there was a time when my marriage was going great. But things change, people change. You both want different things. I wanted kids and I thought he did too. But I was wrong. And before I had properly come to terms with things myself, he had me off to the clinic for an abortion. That killed any love I felt for him. It was the biggest mistake I ever made”

Declan kissed her gently on the lips, “I would have never done that to you. I always hoped we’d have kids. What happened between us ?. No matter how much I think about it. I just can’t seem to be able to place where it all went to wrong”

Yhana had been internally debating the whole night before about whether to tell him the truth or not. But lies had ruined them in the past. She couldn’t do that to him again, “your mother kept hinting about your big job opportunity in Dublin. And that you didn’t need things getting in the way. That your future depended on you staying focused. No time for relationships. I didn’t want to be blamed for you not going for it. Even if it meant losing you”

Declan was struggling to take in this new information, “I only left because I thought you didn’t want me anymore. I can’t believe my mother interfered in my life again”

Yhana sat up in the bed and tried to calm him down as best she could, “but think of it this way. In a way she brought us back together again. If you hadn’t of come back for her funeral, we probably would have never met up again. So it all worked out in the end. Even if it’s only just for one night”, she lay down and cuddled into his hairy chest.

Declan tried to drive his mother’s interfering actions, to the back of his mind, “it doesn’t have to be one night. You only have to ask. I want you and I don’t care what I have to give up to achieve that”

Yhana wasn’t sure of what was best for either of them and preferred to stare at the old painting on the far wall, of a tall white bird in a watery forest scene, “always wondered was that a swan”

Declan studied the framed painting, that had been hanging in his old bedroom, for longer than he could remember, “think it’s a stork. I’m not too sure. But there is one thing I’m sure of. I love you Yhana, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Please say yes and we can make this work. I promise”

She kissed him passionately on the lips, as their hands explored each other’s naked bodies, until finally Yhana came up for some much needed air, along with her answer, “only if you get rid of that horrible painting”, she flashed her best cheeky smile at him.

Declan cuddled her in close, “your wish is my command”, it was then, that he realised, that life was finally on the up again.

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