James loved Sarah all his life. They’d played together as children and she had been his closest confidant during his difficult teenage years. He kissed her once at a party when he’d visited her at University and that was probably the closest he ever got to telling her how he felt. The words didn’t come though, he was too afraid of losing her completely so the moment past.
Later when Sarah married and had children he smiled in all the right places, did his best to like her husband and showed up to christenings, birthday parties and anniversary dinners whenever he was invited.
When he was diagnosed with the illness that would eventually kill him he’d written her a letter. In it he apologised for never having had the courage to tell her how much he loved her and that for him there never had been anyone else. He explained that her happiness meant everything to him and that when he saw her smiling it was enough to get him through another day, week, month, year without her. Finding the words to write that her worst of times had also been his felt cowardly to James. He should of let her know this then, that she wasn’t alone with her pain and disappointments. He hated himself for not being true to her in those moments when she really needed him.
The letter was never posted and James died never having said the words that would have changed everything.
Sarah loved James all her life. She’d worshipped the slightly older boy she played with as her child. He’d taught her how to climb trees and to do a non handed wheelie on her bicycle. To her he was her hero, teacher and best friend.
The night he kissed her for the one and only time remained etched on her memory for the rest of her life. For a few seconds it was like everything was how it should be. She’d wanted it to last forever, to be with him forever, but he’d left and they never spoke of it again.
Her marriage had been a painful experience. She knew it was wrong but somehow found herself being led down a path she didn’t want to tread. Two beautiful children were the only positives from two decades of misery and dissatisfaction. Throughout her marriage she’d kept in contact with James. At various social gatherings she used to watch him across the room and her heart felt like it would explode out of her chest. Every time he left her heart broke a little more. Watching love walk out of the door was heartbreaking. She wanted to run to him and demand that he stay, stay with her, but she never did.
After her divorce Sarah felt lost for a long time. She wanted James in her life at that period, more than ever, but he seemed a little detached. It felt to her that there was something wrong but that she was no longer the person he would choose to share it with.
When James died, Sarah was devastated. She grieved for the love of her life and for the life she’d wanted them to have together that would now never be.
At his graveside, after the service had been completed, she stood alone for a few moments. It was then that she finally told him that she loved him, that she always had and always would. Once she’d said what she wanted to say she turned and walked away.