She had moved away and gotten married in southern France. Now he was on his way back from that long last reunion. It had been as perfect as he dreamt of all those years.
She was so beautiful as he remembered. Even if the years had put some fine lines around her eyes. But her smile. Her smile hit him like a hammer in the gut as she stood there at the train station in Marseille. He always thought that her smile could melt a solid rock. He was thrown back to a high school kid and his legs could not move. She waved. Still smiling but now with eyebrows frowned. Questioning why he stopped.
As the platform was almost emptied with people his legs finally started to function again. They met in a warm long embrace. He felt his whole body melt into her arms. He could not hold back his tears. They were tears of longing and time lost. She broke loose from his embrace and held his face in her hands. Those soft warm hands. With the thumbs she dried his tears of and gave him a kiss. He was unprepared so it was short. They looked at each other. Still with her hands around his face before they joined in a long kiss. A twenty year of waiting kiss. He could see it from the outside like in a movie. You know when the camera circles around and the song She with Charles Aznavour playing.
With a warm feeling inside he told this to the two young backpackers he was sharing train compartment with. He did not have to tell them this. They had only started some small talk as they realized they were from the same country. As the train pulled out of Paris Gare Du Nord he continued his story. The two youngsters listened with big ears and interested eyes. He decided to leave out the first night they had together as they arrived to her small Vineyard outside Marseille.
When he heard that her husband left her he had struggled with himself to dare that first letter to his youth love. The love of his life. Finally the longing got the better of him and he wrote. His own marriage was already over as there was no love. He wrote with the pieces of his shattered heart. The heart that broke when she did not returned after a year as au pair. He waited in turmoil for the reply. Lost several kilos as he could not eat or sleep. After a week he got her reply that he opened with trembling hands and sweat dripping from his forehead. He had to start over several times to finish as his eyes was blurred by tears of yearning.
He called in sick to work. Booked a train ticket and sent her a letter explaining when he would arrive. He was that confident that the feelings were still there. Confident that if they met the spark would burst into flames. Now he sat here telling his story to the two boys. Going back to finish of his entire life and move to the south of France. Move to her. She who shattered his heart now so gently mended it piece by piece.
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