Meant to be (Maybe This Time short story) by CP Santi
Torch, meet hand. Arne Weichmann has been waiting twenty-one years for Bea. Is it finally the right time to make his move and convince her that they are Meant to Be? He hopes so. Because he doesn’t think he’ll survive losing the one person who brought warmth and sunshine to his life.
“So, why did you call me over?”
Tina jerked a thumb at Bea. “You free next weekend? Bea needs you to attend a wedding with her in Tagaytay. That ass Carlo will be there.”
Bea flinched at the sound of her ex’s name. They’d broken up over four months ago, but everything still seemed so raw. She turned to Arne. “You don’t have to . . .”
“Want me to beat him up for you?” Arne’s eyes weren’t smiling anymore. “Just say the word.”
Bea shook her head. “No violence necessary.” She managed a weak smile. “Though I could use a friend by my side.”
“Then you’ve got me.” Arne held her gaze.
Suddenly, Bea felt her heart skip a beat. Unable to look away, she felt trapped by the intensity of Arne’s gaze.
Despite what her sister thought, Bea had certainly gotten the memo. Arne was gorgeous . . . and out of her league. She’d firmly buried all her girlish fantasies about him ages ago.
Or had she?
The moment was broken when Tina groaned. “Toilet break, excuse me.” Arne stood up and helped her to her feet. She shooed him away. “No, no, sit back down, I’m fine. Stay and talk. I’ll be back in a bit.”
Preoccupied with watching Tina waddle away, Bea was surprised when Arne spoke.
“You didn’t tell me.” Arne had moved closer. Hands clasped, he leaned forward. His elbows rested on his knees and his eyes were intent on hers.
Bea’s smile was sad. “There was very little to tell. We broke up, end of story.”
“You guys were together for a long time.”
Bea sighed. Apparently she wasn’t getting out of this inquisition. “He met someone else.” Her laugh was hollow and without mirth. “I mean, we meet people all the time, right? But he said . . . he said it was different.”
Arne’s hands clenched. “Now I really want to beat him up.”
Bea shook her head. “Don’t bother. Maybe it’s better this way.”
She’d wasted almost ten years on Carlo. Huh. That was a huge chunk of her life.
They’d been happy together . . . or at least she thought they’d been. But Carlo kept putting their wedding off. It had been almost three years since he’d asked.
A sigh escaped Bea’s lips. Sometimes she wondered if she should have done something . . . tried harder.
“Don’t blame yourself.”
Surprised, she looked into Arne’s eyes. He’d reached out and covered her fidgeting hand with one of his. He squeezed, as if he was trying to infuse her with his warmth.
“He was an idiot to let you go, Bea. You’re better off without him.”
Over the last few months, she’d heard variations of those same words from family and friends. But now, with Arne looking earnestly at her, she could almost believe it.
C. P. Santi is a Filipina author based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer / indie songwriter and a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking and baking, and enjoys feeding people, gorging on chocolate, watching J-doramas, belting it out in the karaoke box, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.
In another life, she is also an architect and academic.