Creative writing class exercise.
I sat sipping a pinot noir in the wine bar at the end of Ashton Lane. I used to go here when I was a student. In those days I knocked back cider and could drink anyone under the table. Nowadays , I was a little more demure and sophisticated.
“Can I get you another?” I looked up, distracted from my memories. The waiter’s eyes twinkled back at me, almost like he knew what I was remembering. He’d probably seen this look of reminiscence from a thousand customers. I was about to answer, but my words caught at the back of my throat. Astonished, I dropped my glass to the floor and vaguely heard it crash.
At the other end of the bar was someone I had not seen in a very long time. My heart swelled. Then it sank almost as quickly. He would never talk to me, even if he did recognise me. My eyes stung a little. If only he knew the truth, he would forgive me.
I took a deep breath and got up from my seat. The walk to his table seemed to take forever. In fact, it had taken forever. It had taken fourteen years and a chance encounter to tell this man the truth. Every single one of those days was etched into my memory. The loneliness, the solitude, the heart break; suffering a jail sentence for a crime I never committed. But would he believe me? The moment I had feared my entire life was happening right now. I almost walked out the door, but kept going.
Mark Twain said “Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain”. Now at least one fear is gone. One truth has been told. I’m half-way to Paradise.