You walked me to the train and then left, saying you couldn't bear to watch me leave. The train was packed, heading from Moscow to Yaroslavl. I found a seat at the back, where three seats faced two near the carriage entrance. I wasn't one to easily cry in public, but this time I couldn't hold back. Tears welled up in my eyes, and there was no stopping them.
The new semester started without you. During the first six months, I frequently battled a sore throat. I overplayed my hands - my first time - and practically couldn't play violin anymore. Doctors treated my throat with silver and administered antibiotics. Massage therapists attempted to restore my ability to play through massages. Alongside all this, I began experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Around the same time, I started visiting a bridge. After midnight, I would spend hours gazing down the water. The bridge was a plain iron structure, constantly traversed by trucks. Tver had several beautiful bridges, but I chose this ordinary one, away from the city center and suited for heavy vehicles. Yellow lights reflecting in the water at night were breathtaking. Surroundings were cold, dark, and devoid of random passers-by.
I planned on how I would jump from it.
Dima accompanied me on these visits. Tall, thin, and serious, we had been dating for years. Our relationship was profoundly dark, which aligned with the cold, distant person I had become.
After college, I decided to address my mental and physical challenges. I sought treatment for depression, suicidal thoughts, and the persistent allergies that left my skin covered in scabs. After a decade of relentless efforts to reclaim my life, joy gradually began to return.
I tried to pinpoint where I lost the sunny, bright, joyful, and sociable Mary I once was. I had many hypotheses.
Perhaps leaving home at 15 and living far from my family played a part. I only visited them once every six months.
Another possibility was epilepsy, which seemingly emerged during that time. I experienced night terrors where I felt paralyzed and trembling, unable to move or speak. Fear of sleep developed as a result.
Alcoholism was also considered. We used to drink excessively and frequently. However, when I stopped drinking a year and a half ago, sleep returned, and I started to feel more like my old self.
Then, yesterday, we unexpectedly met at my best friend's wedding. She married my best friend, a union I had facilitated about a decade ago, if not a bit longer. You, of all people, were the host of the wedding.
It felt like a karmic moment.
Lena the bride, like you, has been with me since those times. She pulled me out of that dreadful abyss when everything seemed to have changed. I owe her my life for saving me back then.
The wedding was beautiful, and for the first time in years, I danced with my friends. Afterward, you and I stayed behind to catch up. Summoning all my courage, I finally asked the question that had haunted me for years.
Why did you leave back then?
As it turns out, you were forced to leave, extremely young, and had no control over the situation. I also believe you were too ashamed to disclose the reason at the time. You had promised to return in ten years so we could be together again, but you never came.
Promises made at 16 are challenging to keep
Seeing you again yesterday made me realize why I crumbled back then. It was an unbearable loss. I loved you so deeply, and you loved me so much too. Despite that, it all happened in a way that seemed senseless, yet it was our reality. The pain of that time still haunts me, and tears still fill my eyes when I reminisce about us.
I used to be vibrant and joyful, while you were...
And you know what? You haven't changed. I still sense the same Kyrill as I did eighteen years ago, distant as it may be.
There may no longer be love between a man and a woman, but the memory of our profound love, one I thought I'd never experience again, remains etched in my heart.
You will forever remain in my heart