“What are you thinking?” Agnes asked Christopher while they sat on the bench at the bank of The Fall Lake. Christopher had been acting distant for a few days now and Agnes had been constantly worried for him.
“Come on Chris. You know you can’t lie to me. You’ve been acting weird all week. Just tell me, what’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing Agnes…..”
“Come on Chris,” Agnes urged.
“Agnes actually, I wanted to talk to you about something.”
“I know that. Just tell me. What is it?”
“Agnes it’s nothing about you. Please just promise me that you won’t doubt yourself or anything…”
“I won’t. Promise. Now tell me,” and Agnes pulled her jacket even closer. It was getting colder as the sun started to set.
“You’re cold. You want to get out of here?”
“No. I’m okay. It’s beautiful out here. I love being here in autumn. The Sugar Maples around the lake are just beautiful.”
“I know you like to be here at this time of the year. That’s why I called you to meet here.”
“Well, you always know what I like.”
“Yeah well, I try to guess….”
“You know. Now, don’t change the topic. Tell me. What’s bothering you so much?”
“Oh right. Um, actually….”
“Yes? Go on.”
“Um, Agnes. I just want to say…”
“I just want to say that I’m sorry….”
“We can’t …stay together.”
“Yeah very funny,” Agnes joked.
“I’m not joking Agnes.”
“Yeah sure. You’re being really serious, just like the time when you were serious about you being a Star Wars character,” Agnes said, not ready to believe what he was saying.
“Agnes. I’m serious. We can’t stay together,” Christopher said firmly.
“Christopher….,” she didn’t know what to say.
“I’m sorry Agnes.”
“Christopher, are you breaking up with me…?” She was still not able to believe her ears.
“But why? What’s wrong?” She tried to reason with him.
“I just can’t stay with you anymore.”
“Chris please, just tell me what’s wrong? We can work it out. We always do.”
“Ness, there’s nothing that you or I can do about it now.”
“‘You or I?’ What happened to ‘us’?”
“Try to understand Agnes, we can’t stay together anymore.”
“From when were you thinking about breaking up with me?”
“Since last week when I saw you talking to that guy.”
“Chris, there’s nothing between him and me,” she tried to assure him in spite of the fact that she’s already told him this a thousand times.
“I know there isn’t but… maybe there is.”
“You don’t trust me?”
“I try to but, I can’t. You’re happier with him. I’ve never seen you having fun like that.”
“That’s because he’s funny. He just knows how to make me smile…”
“Yeah right. Well, you’re never like that with me.”
“Well, I’m never truly happy with him like when I’m with you,” Agnes tried to make Christopher see how much he really meant to her and how no one can never even mean that much to her.
“Chris, if my talking to him is bothering you so much then, I’ll stop talking to him, okay?”
“No. I don’t want you to stop talking to anyone because of me. I don’t want to imprison you with me or hold you back. You’re free to do whatever you want.”
“I don’t want to do anything that I want. I just want you. You can never hold me back.”
“It’s what you say. But is that what you think?”
“What do you mean….?”
“Agnes, there’s no use arguing about this. Just try to understand. We can’t be together anymore.”
“No Agnes. I’m sorry for putting you through this….”
“But why are you doing this? If it’s about him then, I promise…”
“Don’t. Agnes please. Don’t make any sacrifices because of me.”
“I’m not making any sacrifice because of you. I’m doing that for us.”
“There’s no us left anymore.”
“Chris….” Agnes couldn’t believe that she was hearing those words from him. She couldn’t believe that the guy whom she loved so much was saying those harsh words to her. Every word from Chris felt like a blow to her now. All the words died on their way to her lips. She couldn’t come up with anything that could prove that Chris was just joking.
“You like him Agnes,” Chris stated it like it was a universal fact.
“I love you Christopher,” Agnes stated with a firm surety in her voice.
“But, I don’t.”
“You don’t what?” Agnes was hoping with all her heart that Chris won’t say what she knows he’ll say.
“You know what.”
“You don’t …love me?” Agnes said praying in her heart that Chris wraps her in his arms and tells her that he loves her.
“I’m sorry Agnes. But, I don’t feel like that for you anymore.”
“…” She couldn’t believe her ears. She couldn’t feel anything. Her whole body went numb. She was still not able to believe that this was really happening. It felt like a really bad nightmare to her. She wished with all her heart that she might wake up from this nightmare in her bed to find a ‘Good Morning beautiful’ text from him on her phone and to find that everything’s alright between her and him.
“You… don’t love… me?” She managed to say through her trembling lips.
“No” Chris said.
“Chris…” There was nothing left to say. He didn’t love her. There was no way that they could work out now. He had already given up on them. Agnes knew it very well that she can’t force Christopher to be in a relationship if he doesn’t loves her.
“Agnes, it’s getting really late. You should go back to your home….” Chris said when Agnes didn’t say anything for a long time.
“I want to stay here for a while, alone,” Agnes said trying very hard not to cry.
“I can’t leave you alone out here at this time.”
“You have no reason to worry about me now. You’re not my boyfriend,” Agnes said trying to keep a firm voice. “Just leave.”
He left her alone.
But that’s what she wanted, to be left alone. Then why did it bother her so much now? Maybe because she was hoping in her heart that Chris would hug her and tell her that he’ll never leave her alone.
But he left. He left her all alone.
Tears escaped from her eyes. Agnes closed her eyes, just feeling the cold autumn breeze on her tear stricken face. She opened her eyes, but her tears blurred the sight of the lake.
The sun was set. It was growing dark and the wind was gaining speed. The leaves were falling from the trees around the lake.
The leaves were falling, so were Agnes’s tears.
She lost the person she loved the most. She lost the person she wanted to spend her forever with.
This was her Autumn Fall.