Write a story beginning with: "Is it really you? Where have you been all these years?"

- by Abigail Shannon Chua
Wesley Methodist School Melaka

"Is it really you? Where have you been all these years?" I yelled at the guy at the door. He was shuffling his feet nervously and staring at the ground.

"Lily, I can explain," he started to say but I interrupted. "You disappeared into thin air for 3 years and I didn't hear a single word from you ever since!" I shrieked, tears streaming down my face.

"I'm sorry, but I had no choice," he mumbled.

I met him years back when we were in college. Josh was his name. We were in the same class during our first year, studying biology in Kings College, London. He was a dashing young man, tall and handsome, with brown hair and laughing eyes. We talked to each other every day and he often took me out for dinner during weekends. We began dating and often talked about getting married after finishing college.

When we had finished college, we started working in different companies in London. I dealt with bioengineering while Josh was involved in animal science. Even though we were apart, we still communicated through Skype and email. But I started to notice that Josh had changed since we separated. He became quieter and more reserved. I felt like he was keeping something from me.

One day, Josh just disappeared. When I called his boss, he said he had not heard from Josh for weeks. I began to worry and started making phone calls to anyone who knew him. After sending endless text messages, emails and making countless phone calls, I finally gave up searching for him. And after all these years, he suddenly showed up on my doorstep.

"Josh, why did you do this to me? I loved you but all of a sudden you vanished off the face of the earth! What happened?" I grabbed him by the collar and starting shaking him.

"Crystal, I'm sorry but I didn't want to hurt your feelings," Josh said guiltily.

He gestured behind him and a woman revealed herself.

"Crystal, this is Liana," he said nervously.

Liana reached out her hand and said, "How do you do?"

But I did not shake it. Liana looked hurt and she told Josh, "I'll wait for you in the car." Then, she walked towards their car. Inside was a little girl around 2 years old. Then I realised why he had disappeared without a trace all these years.

"Crystal , I met Liana when I was working in the animal science sector. She worked in the same department and we grew close. One night, we got drunk and we did it. When we found out she was pregnant, I decided to break off contact with you, knowing how you would react to this matter. So I told my family and boss not to tell you what had become of me. Then I requested for a transfer to Scotland so you would not be able to find me," he said.

I started rocking back and forth, feeling I had been betrayed by Josh. After searching all these years, he had returned with a wife and a young child.

"I'm so sorry that this has happened and I hope that you could forgive me," Josh said apologetically.

Without thinking, I slapped him across the face. He took a step back and looked at me tearfully.

"I'm sorry, Josh. But I can never forgive you," I said before slamming the door in his face.

I slumped down onto the floor and began crying, feeling cheated and hurt.