Staring at the moon has always made me feel calm. So I preferred sitting out here under the blanket of the starless sky and the faint glow of the moon than the laughter and music inside. Here, I was alone and I could think..
"I didn’t think I'd see you out here," a voice too familiar invaded my solitude. The voice I've tried so hard to forget.
Without looking from where the voice originated, I said, "I wasn’t really planning on going but I had nothing better to do.. So here I am.."
I could feel his eyes on me, so I finally turned to look at the owner of the voice. He was now sitting next to me, a foot or so away, as if some invisible wall wouldn’t allow us to be near to each other. "I wasn’t aware that you were one of the guests of honor tonight," I began..
Even before I can continue, he cut me short with, "and if you were, would you have still come?" he asked, his eyes questioning my honesty.
I couldn’t answer or maybe I didn’t want to answer. I didn’t know what to say. I'm not sure what I would've done if I knew he would be here. I honestly don’t know if I would've still gone. I smiled instead, stood and sat on the opposite bench so that now we sat face to face.
I stared back at the moon, enjoying the serenity it brought me. "I haven't seen you attend these school-organized parties in a while," he said, following my gaze up at the sky.
"I've been away," I answered without looking at him.
"Almost a year away?"
I looked at him questioning
"I've been counting," he answered my unvoiced inquiry, " what have you been up to?"
I shook my head smiling and just shrugged. I didn’t want to talk to him about the year that we spent apart. I didn’t want to talk to him about anything. I didn’t want to talk at all.
Then out of the blue, he speaks, "It was wrong for me to leave you.."
"It was wrong for us to be together to begin with," I sighed.
"And for us to take on that chance to be happy? Was that wrong too?" He stood up to cross the distance between us and to site next to me.
"It was wrong because we were stepping on other people's happiness," I shot back, "you know that, don’t you?" I couldn’t take it anymore, I stood up to leave but he right in front of me and took my hand. "We could still be together," he said.
I let his hand linger for a second or two, as I looked anywhere but our touching hands - thinking that those few seconds of our hands touching compensated the year that we spent apart.
And then the silence was broken by, "So you've met my husband," a voice I know too well, too.
Startled, I almost jumped. I shook the hand that was holding mine and addressed the lady behind him, "Yes professor, I was just saying how nice it is to have met him. I was just about to go inside," I said almost out of breath.
"Why not hang around here with us first," she asked.
I noticed our hands still held on to each other, once again I shook it and told both of them, "I really should go inside. Some of the grad students are probably looking for me." I started to walk away.
"Ms. Gonzales," the professor called out to me. I turned around. "Will you be enrolling this semester? We have been missing you for some time now." Rumor around school was that I was her favorite student. And she was my favorite professor. At least up until the point when I started the affair with the man next to her.
"I'm not sure," I called back. "I', taking a trip and I don’t know when I'll be back in time for school."
"Is that so?" she asked, as if refusing to let the subject, "I hope you come back in time. It would be nice to have you in my class again."
I just smiled politely and shrugged my shoulders. I turned back around and just as I was walking back to the party I heard her ask him, "So what were you two talking about?" I didn’t wait for his reply. I walked right back into the noise letting it silence the voices around me…
Silence the voices in my head..
Silence the sound of my heart breaking..