Note: All characters, events, and names are fictional.
His heart stopped beating.
He couldn’t believe how they knew. Was it a prank? He had received the photo of her from an unknown number, had gotten his keys and run toward his Alfa Romeo Spider. The sky started crying slowly, like his eyes. He felt nauseous, and his head was heavy. All he was thinking was how to save her.
He texted Sam, the only person he trusted, his best friend. He let Sam know what happened. He had to save her. He had put her away into the past, but his heart and soul belonged to her and her only. He stepped on the accelerator harder. The traffic was more congested than on any other day. It looked like the whole universe was gathering to stop him from reaching there.
He came to a stop, laid his head on the steering wheel, put both hands on the back of his head and intertwined them. He felt a vibration. It was his phone.
“She is safe now. Come to our usual.”
He felt relieved and resumed driving.
Strangely, the drive took less than fifteen minutes. The sky had stopped crying, yet he felt nervous. He remembered when they were twenty-one and twenty-three and ran away from their town. Destiny or fate, whatever it was, separated them seven years ago, and now they were going to meet again. He stopped his car in front of a villa. It was a boys’ place, only for him and Sam. He entered the house. He could feel his legs shaking.
“She is on the farm,” Sam said.
“How is she feeling?” Santiago asked.
“Shocked but safe,” Sam said while locking the doors. “You must be more careful with this case. They even tried to dig into your past.”
“I have to prove that Ryan did not kill anyone. We worked for four years together, and I know him more than anyone. You know that they framed him.” Santiago turned off his phone.
“I am just saying you are not a cop.” Sam gave him a glass of orange juice. “You are just his lawyer.”
Santiago drank his juice to hide his stress. He went to the back of their villa.
There she was. He watched her. His mind was fighting with his heart. He had to choose. Either his work or her. Which one should he choose? The job he could never leave or the girl he had loved for more than twenty years?
He was watching her walk through the farm. Her long pink dress and the red flowers made her prettier. Her long black hair was covering her shoulders.
He put on his grey coat. Started walking toward her. I must do this, he thought.
A lot was going on, and he couldn’t stop overthinking. Seven years, two months, and five days. Stabbed by the knives of hesitation, apprehension, fear, and love. What would be her reaction when she saw him?
He kept walking toward her. His heart started beating faster like it wanted to come out of his chest.
Leaves fell from the nearby tree. It was the third season of the year. A season when many people fall apart like the leaves.
But Linda and Santiago were together. They had just found each other. Looking at each other in the middle of the lawn. She smiled.
Nothing was more beautiful than her smile at this moment, he thought. Time was passing slowly. He reached her and put his hand in her long hair.
“I missed you,” he said. He knew they were together, but he still missed her. She had been away for seven springs, seven summers, seven falls, and seven winters.
She put her hand on his heart. “I am here,” she said.
There and then, he decided to leave his job. And live with her forever. They held hands. Both were nervous.
They saw Sam running toward them, bearing a knife in his heart, apparently trying to protect them. Out of breath, he said one word: “Run.” All Santiago was thinking was one thing: how to save Linda. He held her hand harder.
“Santiago, you should not have been involved.” Linda pulled her hand out of his.
He was confused, looking back at her. What was she talking about? She put her hand on the left side of his face. “You did make a huge mistake taking over this case.”
Linda was walking toward Sam’s dying body. Sam looked at Linda; he wanted to say something, but his tongue was not obeying him. He felt the blade twist, and life faded away slowly in front of his eyes.
“You even involved Sam.”
Linda’s pink dress now had blood on it. Santiago looked at her. Whatever you do, whatever you say, I can’t stop loving you, he thought and fell to his knees on the ground.
He lost everything but his love.