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Just a Minute

Just a Minute

By Sonia khan Published 29 days ago 3 min read
Just a Minute
Photo by Andreas Haslinger on Unsplash

The restaurant buzzed with the clatter of plates and the hum of conversations, a typical busy lunch hour. Amid the chaos, there was one table that stood out—not for its occupants, but for its vacancy. A single rose lay across the white cloth, a placeholder for an awaited presence.

In the booth, Tom fidgeted with his watch, his eyes darting to the entrance every few seconds. With each passing minute, his anxiety ticked upwards. Today was significant. It wasn’t just any lunch date; it was the first time in years he’d see Sarah, his college sweetheart, after a decade apart. Their conversations over the past few weeks had rekindled feelings he thought were long buried.

Suddenly, the door opened, pulling in a gust of chilly air and Sarah with it. Her appearance hadn’t changed as much as he had imagined. The same freckles danced across her nose, and her hair, although shorter, still had that wild curl to it.

As soon as her eyes met his, a smile spread across her face, erasing years and distance in a heartbeat. She rushed toward the table, her approach quick but her pace slowing as she neared, as if the reality of the moment was catching up to her too.

"Tom!" Her voice was just as he remembered, warm and slightly husky.

"Sarah," he replied, standing to meet her halfway. Their hug was hesitant at first, then all-encompassing, a flood of memories pressing between them.

As they sat, the initial awkwardness hovered like a third guest at the table. Tom cleared his throat, his hands wrapped around his coffee mug for comfort. "You look great, Sarah. How’s life in the big city?"

"It's... busy, exciting. But overwhelming at times," Sarah admitted, stirring her tea. "And you? How’s everything here?"

"Just the same old. I’ve taken over my dad’s store, remember the one by the old cinema?" Tom’s voice held a hint of pride.

"Yes, I loved that place! I can’t believe it’s been ten years, Tom."

A silence fell, loaded with unsaid words and unfinished business. Tom looked down at his watch, a nervous habit, and then made a decision. "Sarah, I know we only have a minute before we dive into catching up, but there’s something I need to tell you."

Sarah’s eyes narrowed slightly, a mix of curiosity and apprehension. "What is it?"

"I’ve thought about you a lot over the years. And talking these past few weeks, I realized I never really moved on. I guess what I’m trying to say is..." Tom paused, searching for courage. "I still have feelings for you, Sarah. I needed you to know, just in case there’s still a chance for... us."

The air between them charged with the weight of his confession. Sarah put down her tea, her hands trembling slightly. She took a deep breath, her eyes not leaving his.

"Tom, I...," she started, then stopped, collecting her thoughts. "I’m engaged."

The words hung heavily, the finality of them echoing in Tom’s ears. His heart sank, the hope that had flickered brightly for a minute extinguishing swiftly.

"I’m sorry, I should have told you sooner. I wasn’t sure how to—"

"No, it’s okay," Tom interrupted, managing a small, resigned smile. "I’m glad you’re happy, Sarah. That’s all I ever wanted."

The rest of their lunch passed in a blur for Tom. They talked and laughed, reminiscing about the past, carefully steering clear of their present. When it was time to leave, they hugged again, this time with a gentle sadness.

As Sarah walked away, Tom stood watching, his heart heavy but his conscience clear. Expressing his feelings, despite the outcome, had lifted a weight off his shoulders. He had given their past a minute to change his future, but some minutes, he realized, were just meant to be goodbyes.


About the Creator

Sonia khan

As a story writer, I am passionate about crafting compelling narratives that transport readers to new and exciting worlds. With a keen eye for detail and a vivid imagination,, I am driven by a deep love for storytelling.

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