He sighed, exasperated after multiple trials and exhausted after no new discoveries from her part. She was getting harder to read, or maybe he was just getting more timid by the day. Who could blame him? She was too much to take in and every new discovery left him faded.
He tried once more. “What are you so afraid of? I’m here and I will always be here. Why can’t you see that?”
She looked at him long and hard. Then sighed. Looked down at her hands and start fiddling with her hair, never meeting his eyes. “I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of the rush and the pleasure. I’m afraid of not ever being able to love after you. I’m scared that I’ll give you too much.. all of it and when you leave, I’ll have none of me and everything of you and you’ll have all of me and all of you. How am I supposed to ever move past that? How am i ever supposed to pick myself back up and move forward and search for future endeavours? How am I ever supposed to go ahead and start new adventures and find new loves?”
She was almost crying. He ran towards her and enveloped her his my arms. “Why do you say ‘when’ I leave? Who said that I’m leaving? I’m not going anywhere. I’m here and I will take all of you and you will take all of me and we will both have way too much of either one of us and that is how we will live.”
2 years since, he had left, without any explanation.
They always leave.
There was a chill in the air and the ambience was quite serene. The finality of it all couldn’t have been emphasised any more by the clear night sky and the silence all around us. We all looked at each other with eyes filled with more than just tears.. with the hope of starting a new life here on, but also with a sort of a melancholy feeling that this is somehow the end of possibly the best beginning.
They say that High School is the end of an era, the end of life in a cocoon and the end of quite a few beginnings that can never quite be explained and I wanted so much to be explained. There was so much left that was unsaid.. So many words that I had wanted so many people to know.
I wanted my closest friends to know that times will get so hard from here on. We will quite possibly never be in the same room ever again, all of us, all at once. We will probably never share the same jokes and laugh as loud. We will never sit around those rusty tables with all our tiffins laid out to feed our hungry stomachs which somehow never seemed to be full. We will never miss classes together and hide out near the staircase to talk about the most bizarre of things. We will never look at each across a class room and laugh about something that had just happened. We will never stress about the same issues anymore and try to the cram the gazillion lessons in a single night over group chats and conference calls. We will never look at each other in an exam hall and laugh, already expecting the outcome of that exam to be quite terrible. And we will probably never look around ourselves and stare at the wonderful human beings that are standing beside us; holding out hands before a speech in the assembly, or giving a pep talk before the final March Past on Sports day, or giving a pat on the back and that charming old smile, some how assuring that the exam will be okay, no matter how unprepared or how relevant it was.
These will be the days that we will look back on and I don’t know how to say this any more than I already have, but School is the place where you start a few friendships without knowing how brutally they will end by the time you’re done. And there will days and weeks at a time where you will hate the sight and the thought of being trapped in a building with a thousand other kids who hate being there as much as you do. But then there will a few days.. a few moments that will shine brighter than all the darkness. In your mind’s eye, these seem to be the only memories that have stayed and these moments are the ones where you are laughing at how someone fell, or which boy you liked, or the face your friend makes right before she sneezes and these are all the things that leave a lingering smile and a good mood for the rest of the week because at the end of it all, you only seem to take the good with you.
The bad stays back and somehow you are expected to move on.
Over a span of two months, you are expected to pack up your bags and move to a new city and make new friends, adjust in a new home and be perfectly stable and upload perfect pictures on the internet to make it all feel like completely alright.
How? How are we expected to leave all that behind? Some people are Golden and We can Never Leave them Behind.
I hope you look back and think of all the memories that we shared as fond ones. I hope that you are able to smile when you think of a joke we shared, or a punch line I cracked. I hope you eat strawberries and are instantly reminded of how I like them sour and tongue tingling. I hope you watch a sappy, romantic comedy and immediately want to pick up your phone and text me about all the loopholes in the plot lines. I hope you drive over that bridge at 3 am and want nothing more than talk to me about life and its continous mysteries.
I hope that one day, you can look back and think of Us without Flinching. Without any vengence or poison.
I hope that one day you look back and think of us as an experience.. As an opportunity.. As a gift.
And I hope that.. Someday when our paths cross and our eyes meet, you are able to smile at me and realize that you had forgiven me a long time ago.