A Storm from the Past

A personal experiment.

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A Storm from the Past

stormThe room’s filled with smoke, wine glasses are clinking and the sound of laughter almost drowns out the music; everyone’s having a good time. The party’s a huge success, all thirty of them came, even Syl. To him, it’s all bitter-sweet; he wasn’t very excited about the whole idea, but he also didn’t want to miss it. Nonetheless, he’s having a good time and he doesn’t regret showing up.

The party’s reached that point when everyone gets comfortable, when the men loosen their neck-ties and pull out their shirts and the women take off their high-heels and dance until they sweat, all the while screaming and laughing like they won the lottery. In a matter of hours and after a few glasses of champagne, they went from elegant ladies to teenage girls on spring break. Everyone’s only concerns right now are the drinks in their hands and whether they should go for something stronger or not.

Right now, Syl’s sitting in a corner, he just put his empty glass on the table. “I’ve had enough for one night,” he thinks to himself. Not much of a drinker, Syl. He scans the room and feels a certain satisfaction within. He’s glad to see everyone again, it feels like a lifetime has passed since they last met. He’s glad to see everyone, with the exception of one person. He doesn’t get hung up on it, though, and just enjoys himself. Some of the others are dancing, others are sitting on couches and talking.

Syl cuts through the crowd and heads for the balcony. He reaches the railing and leans against it, looking out at the city; the 37th floor offers a beautiful view. You can barely hear everyone from out here; Syl suddenly feels like he’s miles away, just him and the cool wind. A couple of seconds pass and he hears thunder in the distance. “A storm,” he thinks to himself. He pulls out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket and lights one up, inhaling deeply, satisfied. It’s nice to take a break from the party and everyone for a few minutes, just to take it all in, to be alone with his thoughts for a while.

For a moment, the noise from inside gets louder, then fades away again. Syl doesn’t pay attention to it. He hears the sound of heals slowly approaching him. He keeps on looking straight ahead. The sound stops next to him and there’s a moment of silence. He turns his head a little to see someone in a red dress standing next to him. It wasn’t just anyone.

– Enjoying the party?

Syl doesn’t move an inch and continues to look out at the city.

– This ended up to be quite a success. It’s nice that we could all meet like this after such a long time.

Syl nods without saying a single word. For a couple of minutes, none of them says anything.

– I’m sorry, Syl. We were young, I was young. I didn’t know what I was doing, none of us did.

Silence.

– You know, I would’ve thought that after all this time, maybe you’d finally forgiven me, maybe you’d put it all behind you. I apologized, what more do you want from me?

Syl puts out his cigarette and throws it off the balcony. He turns around and starts to walk away, stopping for a moment after a few steps. He stands there for a few seconds, before speaking.

– I want to know something.

A couple of seconds pass and he turns his head to the side.

– Do you ever regret it?

She takes her eyes off him and stares at the ground for a moment. She turns her head toward the city and replies with sorrow in her voice.

– Every day…

Syl turns his head away and stares at the ground for a few seconds.

– Don’t ever speak to me again, Liz.

He walks away and she watches him leave and disappear behind the balcony doors. The wind begins to howl and a moment later, lightning lights up the sky and the thunder echoes loudly, sending shivers down her spine.

It starts to rain.

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