Of Love Lost

I should’ve said hi.

I saw him many times, at the mall, and at the filling station.
He wasn’t a celebrity because I never saw him being thronged by the crowds,
Or people asking for autographs when he was out in public.
But he was well known.  In a good way too.
He had that face that said look at me, and then look at me some more.

I wondered if he was married, without the ring I could not prove a thing.                                    I saw people look at him in admiration, him in return affording a brief smile in acknowledgement.
It wasn’t one of haughtiness or pride.
But of humble recognition of the person at the other end.

I wondered what kind of man he was,                                                                                                   His gentle exterior obscuring the masculinity that threatened to burst out of his self.
Such control could only mean one thing.
He was a man worthy of admiring.
Worthy of imitating.
Worthy of looking at, twice.
But wait.

There’s that one unspoken worth that I’m keeping inside.                                                         Yes, he was a man worthy of having. For myself.
I was single.

I loved him from a distance.
Behind the queue at the till.
Being the traffic at the filling station.
Behind the line at the cinema buying popcorn.

This one day, the day I kick myself over and over for.
Our eyes met. He didn’t look away and neither did I.
You see I often avoided eye contact, and would steal a glance.                                                   Only when I thought he wasn’t looking.
I realise he always looked. My way.

But that day, I didn’t look away.
He smiled, if only for a moment.                                                                                                                   I was happy. I was floating and I had butterflies in my tummy.

That lock was broken by the many bodies that passed between us.
I promised myself I’d say hi next time.
There was going to be a next time right?                                                                                           Because there was more of these moments before this one.

Pardon me if I cry, if I let out a scream of pain.                                                                                       Of regret and of disappointment.                                                                                                             But I read that he had died.
I know because I saw his picture.

I knew his name and he was mine in absence.                                                                                   Now he was definitely mine in absence.                                                                                                    I lost what I never had and the only lesson I learnt is

I should’ve said hi.