Everything about today was, as usual, the weather, the routine her family underwent in the morning before driving to church and even being exactly two minutes late was a usual thing.
That’s how Sundays always ran.
She doesn’t ever think about how she dresses; anything comfortable was enough for her, but Sundays, oh the Sundays, she poured all her thought into how she dressed. Her hair, which was always in a bun, was loose.
The thing about Sundays was he was there. It was the only day they saw each other. They had one hour in which 90% was spent both focused on the sermon and anticipating the small moments that they would have.
It was part of the schedule.
“So, are you ready?” her sister asked.
“Whatever ready is,” she said.
They proceeded to the car.
The drive was always what made her nervous on the get-go. It wasn’t like she was going out on a date. It’s just that the drive gave her time to think and it made everything about Sundays even more nerve-wracking.
Her family made small talk. They argued and fell silent and then started talking again until they finally arrived at the church.
They weren’t late and they weren’t that early either.
She looked around the parking lot for him and lo and behold, he was there, which was definitely out of the ordinary.
“Hey,” his brother greeted as they fell into step together.
“Hey,” she responded.
He said nothing to her while she talked to his brother and soon, they had separated, returning to their families. He retreated to the back of the church, while she, to the balcony seats.
The mass started and continued until the time came for the communion.
“Are you going?” her sister asked.
“He’s right there.”
She felt her sister’s elbow nudge at her as he walked closer to the priest to receive the bread. She hadn’t known it, but her heart slowed and suddenly, she could hear nothing other than the thoughts that echoed in her head. What if he looks this way, she thought¸ what do I do? Should I stick to what I always do? She continued to ponder to herself.
“There he is!” her sister reiterated quite loudly.
“I know…” Her own voice was barely audible in comparison.
He turned the corner, the corner that was directly facing her.
It was the corner she always sat in front of every Sunday and where he always turned.
He waited until the fourth row to raise his head and like clockwork; then he searched the balcony starting from the farthest wall to him until finally his eyes land on her. He doesn’t smile, but he doesn’t look away either because that’s what he often did.
She holds her breath and she smiles before she could catch herself, but thankfully he hadn’t seen it because as quickly as he had found her, he had looked away.
“And… it’s over,” she whispered.
The mass ends like it’s supposed to.
They walk out after everyone has walked out and again, she is minutes too late. He’s already gone out.
She keeps up hope, thinking maybe he will be at the crosswalk and that they’ll be able to see each other. And this was normal. It was a part of the Sunday routine. Calm down, calm down, everything will be okay.
Again, she fell into step with his brother.
“Sup,” his brother nodded.
She nodded back but wasn’t paying attention. She was too focused on something- someone else. Just turn around. Come on…
Much to her surprise, he turns around, looks right at her for a fleeting second only to turn to his brother. He gave a small head gesture towards their car and before heading off, he looked to her again.
“Bye,” his brother smiles.
She smiles back like she often did and walked away. Sunday was over.
c. 2013 – 2019