Photo taken by Tom Sodoge (via Unsplash.com)
He had seen her in a bar on a nameless street. Blue dress. Red hair. Black heels. She was laughing and sipping her drink, little lights twinkling in her eyes. He noticed the guy too. Sitting next to her and talking in her ear. He smiled and she smiled and together they seemed happy. Happier than he had ever seen her.
She took careful steps in her heels on the cobblestones. Amsterdam had millions of them, spread out over the entire city. He watched her from behind the window of the bar as they strolled down the street. It somehow comforted him that they didn’t know he was there, that he was invisible to them. Hand in hand, while drowning each other in a waterfall of laughter. He saw how she almost tripped and decided to take off her heels after all. It made him smile a bit.
‘Do you miss her?’ I asked him the next day. He didn’t answer, but I could see it in his eyes. Of course he missed her. It had been months since he had last spoken to her. She had told him that she couldn’t do it anymore, that she had to choose herself this time. I remembered when he called me on the phone, crying, not understanding what she meant by that. But I think he understood it now.
He said something that really made me think, and that always stuck with me. ‘I’ve been so selfish, and that’s why I lose people.’ His voice was unstable. ‘Just telling her that I loved her wasn’t enough. I know that now. I told her, but I never showed her through my actions. I never knew what I had, how lucky I was, until it was gone.’