They sat in the car, looking at the main building of the college. Hisham could not believe the fact that he was sitting very closely to the woman he had longed to meet and continue giving his love. They were so close yet at the same time he could feel that he might be losing her again. He brushed away the feeling and prayed hard that it would not happen. He wanted to love her, to have her and to be part of her.
“Sue, remember that big tree?” He broke the silence.
She looked at the tree near the front gate and nodded. She could not hold her tears and cried in the dark. He saw the tears and let her cry. The place was too meaningful to both of them and looking at it again in a different situation that night really hurt them. Hisham knew that he could not go back to the time when they were so much in love. It was eleven years ago.
“Why did you leave me?”Hisham’s sudden question surprised her.
“I did not!” Her answer came as short and abrupt as the question.
They looked at each other.
“I went to your house a year after we left college and you were not there. Nobody was there. You left without telling me, without a word.” Hisham looked at her hard and in the dark she could see his tormenting eyes. He was hurt too, just like her.
“Hisham, I never left you....You promised me that you would be there for me if I needed you..but you were not there for me when I needed you most.” Suzana spoke softly and slowly, half crying. There was pain in the voice.
“ Yes, dear. I’ll be there for you, Sue. Come to me when you need me and I will never fail you...” Hisham repeated the words he said to Suzana eleven years ago, when they met under the tree before departing to their hometowns.
“But you failed to be there when I needed you, Sham.....” She said softly but it was clear enough for him to hear the misery in the voice.
“Dad left mom for another woman......it was horrible...my family was ripped apart. I was devastated.....I called you many times but I could not reach you....I wrote to you but you did not reply any of my letters....” Suzana told her story with shaky voice.
“Sue...I’m sorry...I didn’t know...” Hisham could see the pain she had undergone.
It was her fate. Her father left her and her mother a few months after she was assigned for her first post. Her mother could not face the fact and decided to move to Ipoh. Suzana had no choice but to follow her mother. Suzana had to be with her as she was devastated and broken hearted. She needed Suzana the most and it was a difficult period for Suzana too. Like her mother, Suzana needed someone too and that someone was Hisham but he was not there for her as he had promised.
“ I didn’t get all the letters and calls from you....” There was the tone of shock in his husky voice.
Suzana paused and looked at the man next to her. Her lively eyes which he loved to see turned quiet and there were sorrows and pain in them. Hisham realised how fate had torn them apart and they could not avoid it.