Circa October 2009, a man and woman bumped into each other by happenstance; their roads intersecting at the point of an unexpected void. The relationship started as nothing more than cordial conversations, similarities and sentiments that left an absence unrecognized.
Two days before Christmas, they spent the evening together, hoping to take a break from the drama that controlled their lives. She lived nearly three thousand miles away from him but they became very close that night.
He opened up to her, allowing the opportunity to see deeply into the man hidden behind the tough exterior; making her laugh within his humanity. His life was empty despite being surrounded by loved ones; she was the only one who took the time to understand him. He shared stories from his past and gained her admiration.
She shared a secret with him, from a moment with her father as he was dying from cancer; the weight of guilt she carried for telling him that she was fine and allowing him to die in peace. A year later, her mother was fighting cancer and she took it upon herself to carry the burden of care; she confided that she had to be strong and the strength she feigned was taking its toll. He learned that she was the youngest child, the baby, and that she feared being alone if her mother died. His empathy, the compassion she felt, was an amazing connection between two vastly different souls. It was as though time finally caught up with two eclectic generations; their smiles sending ripples through the night.
Christmas Eve, they hoped to speak with each other again…unfortunately, the day got the best of their intentions and the night was indeed silent.
Two days after Christmas, she contacted him to say that “Christmas was awful” and her mother had been in the hospital; she had so much to tell him and could not wait to be in his arms. That was the last time he had heard from her. Every year since then, he is consumed with remorse and regret about her disappearance; his spirit wondering what happened and if some of her pain could have been avoided had they never met.
To this day, he does not know.