REMEMBRANCE OF LOVE
It was 3:00 p.m. on a brisk New Years Eve in New York. Everything felt dead
and dismal. It was if times pendulum had stopped swaying. Sarahs life had not
been the same since Julian left seven years ago. That was the night when their capsized
ship would no longer sail through the stormy sea of love; when their relationship would
sink into a bottomless ocean and never rise to the surface. She had had enough of his
broken promises and weak excuses. They were supposed to spend the holidays together,
but Julian had canceled their plans at the last minute. He called to say that something
urgent had come up, and he needed to leave town right away. However, Julian did not
elaborate with the details. When Sarah questioned him about it, he abruptly ended the
conversation and then became icily reticent.
After his ambiguous telephone call, Sarah grew angry and bitter. Seven years
went by without any word from Julian. Sarah picked up her life as an emerging New
York Times journalist.
Before she realized it, New Years Day had arrived. Sarah was jolted back to the
present when she heard a knock at the door. When she answered it, Sarah was surprised
at the face staring back at her. After a brief moment of silence, Sarah finally spoke.
Hello, Julian, Sarah said coolly.
Hi, Sarah, Julian smiled.
Hesitatingly she led Julian into the apartment.
So what are you doing in New York? she sputtered nervously.
I came to see you because there are some things which need to be resolved
Resolved? Are you going to explain why you suddenly left me seven years ago
on New Years Eve? Sarah said sarcastically.
I would certainly like to try if youll give me a chance.
Sarah, the past seven years have been painful and it was difficult walking away
from you. The place you filled in my heart can never be filled by anyone else.
Julian, wait. I know what youre trying to do here. You think that by admitting
your guilt, you can sweet talk your way into my heart again. Well, youre sadly
mistaken. I waited a long time for you to come back into my life and you never
did. I finally realized that I was deluding myself into thinking that this fantasy
of us together would come true. I have finally moved on with my life.
Sarah, I didnt come here expecting a romantic reunion with you. I know that I
have hurt you far too deeply to ask you for anything more. I just want you to
know why I left and that my love for you is still real.
I know how your type operates and Im not going to fall for it anymore. I want
you to leave and dont come back!
Julian looked at her in utter surprise, walked away from her and slowly left the
apartment in silence.
A couple days later, Sarah received a note from Julian.
Sarah, Im sorry about
what happened the other day. I know that it must have been a shock to see me after all
these years. Could we talk over dinner? Ill be at the Greenwood Terrace at 6:00pm.
Hope to see you there. Julian.
Sarah was angry at first, but after mulling it over, she decided to see him. When
she arrived at the restaurant, Julian was sitting at a corner table by the window.
Hi, Sarah. Thank you for joining me.
I want to apologize for the other day. I know that I should have listened to what
you had to say, but it was difficult seeing you again.
I understand. You had every right to be upset with me for just showing up like
So why did you come back to New York anyway?
Well for starters, I am here to showcase my work for a big art exhibition at the
Blumberg Art Gallery this week.
And secondly, I wanted to see you and reveal why I left seven years ago.
Sarah, what I have to say is both painful and heartrending. I regret not telling
you sooner, but I simply was not ready to reveal that part of myself.
Ive made many mistakes in my life, but none that I regret as much as this one.
Sixteen years ago, I married my college sweetheart, Amanda who was the love of
my life. Then one night on New Years Eve, our lives were instantly shattered
by tragedy. We were celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary at Montrachet, a
nice Italian restaurant in Tribeca. As we crossed the street from the restaurant, an
SUV unexpectedly zipped in front of us, knocking Amanda on the ground.
Her body lay crumpled on the frozen ground and an ambulance came right away
to take her to the hospital. I sat there all night waiting for some sign of life, but
the doctor told me that there was a great deal of brain damage and she was now in
a comatose state.
For five years, I patiently sat by her bedside reading letters and talking to her
about daily news and events. One night I received a call from the hospital, telling
me that Amandas organs had shut down and her heartbeat was irregular.
Immediately, I rushed to the hospital and was asked to make a difficult decision.
After several hours of no improvement, I shakily told the doctor to remove
Amandas life support system.
When she was gone, I was completely beside myself. It was as if my life had
just disintegrated before my eyes and I didnt know how to survive. But
somewhere deep inside, I found a way to emerge from the pit of darkness through
my passion for art. As time went by, I opened the Blumberg Art Gallery and
thats when your friend, Melissa started working for me.
The first time you walked into the Gallery and talked to Melissa, I thought it was
Amanda. After we got to know each other better, I realized how different you
were from her. Amanda did not share my passion for art or quite read me the
way you did. You seemed to bring out the best in me during a time when I
thought life was not worth living.
When you and I became romantically involved, things started to change.
Whenever you glanced at me and donned your sexy smile, you reminded me of
Amanda. All at once, the memories of her came flooding back and I felt like I
had betrayed her. I was afraid of getting too close with another woman again after
When we were supposed to spend New Years Eve together on the anniversary
of Amandas accident, I couldnt relive that pain again. I was confused and
needed time to sort things out.
When Julian finished his startling revelation, Sarah sat there speechless. She
could not imagine just how shattered Julians life must have been. For
years, Sarah questioned his love for her or if he was having any affair with
another woman. Im not sure how to respond to all of this. Its just so much to
absorb all at once.
Touching the top of her hand lightly, Julian whispered I know, Sarah. I cant tell
you how sorry I am for the anguish I have caused in your life. I still cant forgive myself
for abandoning you the way that I did. It has been so hard without you in my life. Only
now do I realize what I fool I was to ever let you go. Im not expecting anything in
return but no matter what happens, I will always love you.
Sarah slowly moved her hand away from Julian and then walked across the room
toward the window. Questioningly, she began wondering why Julian had shared this
haunting story with her now. Was Julian really concerned for her or was he just easing a
How could she ever compete with Amandas memory? Would he really be able
to let her go in his heart and commit himself to Sarah?
I need some time to think things through right now.
I understand. Heres the number where Ill be staying for the next few days if
you want to talk. With a mesmerizing smile and wink of his eye, he softly
murmured Goodnight, Sarah.
Two days later, Sarah was awakened by a knock at the door. Groggily she arose
from a long catnap and answered it. To her surprise, there was a deliveryman holding a
long white box wrapped with red and pink ribbons. Slowly she opened it and discovered
a dozen red and pink roses; six of each fragrant beauties. Inside the box was an invitation
which read: S, your presence is requested at the Blumberg Art Gallery for a special
gala at 5:00 pm. Hope you can make it. J.
Baffled, Sarah placed the roses in a porcelain vase and went about her day.
By mid-afternoon, Julian was putting the finishing touches at the gallery when
Melissa walked into the studio.
Do you think this is going to work? Julian said wistfully.
I know it will, Julian, Melissa patted his shoulder and smiled.
Slowly but steadily Sarah walked into the foyer of the Blumberg Art Gallery. She
spotted a string quartet melodiously playing Moulin Rouge. This was the same song
that was playing in the gallery when Sarah first met Julian.
Then a minute later, Julian came out to the center of the studio. His chestnut eyes
and princely facade formed a smile as he approached Sarah.
Im so glad that you could make it.
Smiling shyly, Sarah said Thank you for inviting me. Without another word,
Julian led Sarah into a smaller studio filled with large canvases. The lights
dimmed slightly then got brighter.
Standing before her, Julian spoke earnestly. For a long time, I wanted to give
you something of myself, but I never knew how. I was foolish back then and I regret the
years we lost together. So tonight I want to reveal that hidden soul.
Julian released the curtain and unveiled an entire portrait collection of Sarah.
Sarah. Each painting captured something unique and special about Sarahs features.
Astonished, Sarah stared wonderingly at each detailed piece of work. On the center wall
was a shadow box with framed mementos including photographs, poems, and letters from
Sarah to Julian.
Stepping back in surprise, Sarah turned toward Julian.
Julian- her voice quivering.
Its OK. You dont have to say anything. I know this is all hard to understand. I
want you to know how much I love you and always will. For all of the gifts you have
given me, I can never thank you enough. Its my turn now to give something back.
Julian, I never knew that you felt this passionately about me. When I saw you on
New Years Eve, I was scared of facing you and setting myself up for an emotional fall.
Yet, I now realize how much you suffered after your wife died and why you were so
distant with me at times.
Yes, but I was wrong for treating you the way that I did and I will never do that
to you again. He held her hand tightly and didnt let go.
Then without another word, Sarah wrapped her arms around Julian, brushed her
hand against his cheek and kissed him delicately on the lips.
Clutching her securely in his arms, Julian stared dreamily into Sarahs eyes.
Are those tears I see?
Only happy ones now. She grinned gleefully.
Forever mine youll always be. I love you, Sarah.
I love you too, my beautiful darling.
As they tenderly embrace, all sense of time and place begin to fade in the
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Copyright 2008, Amy S. Pacini. All Rights Reserved.