I waited. I waited outside the parking lot of that old convenience store, the one where there was always that old,red, beat up truck parked, that hadn’t been moved in ages; thats where I waited. I waited there until dawn and then a little bit more after that. I waited until I knew inmy heart of hearts that this was an ending of some sorts.. and also the beginning of something different. Something that would shake the very core of being. Something that will take hold of me and shake things up around here because I didnt realize how much time I spent wandering around these little niblets of you. Every room I entered, I looked for you or at least traces of you. Every sound that I heard, I waited for that crackle that your laugh always made. My eyes and ears and nose were friendly and quite aware of your presence in the room and in your absence.. they too went a little dormant. So I waited. Everywhere I went, I ended up waiting. And nothing was different about that night.
I waited where we had decided that I would wait for you and I knew that this was going to be one of those big, gigantic moments in life which were going to define us in more than one way. It seemed like one of those big moments where you knew they were big even before they happened., and that was so beautiful. And I waited to be defined by you during this moment and you did.. you actually did define me in that moment where you decided to not show up. You defined me as somebody who was heartbroken and in love and was left to pick his pieces up, all of them; even the ones that he didn’t like and walk away. You defined me as someone who; no matter how awful the situation, would walk away from a toxic relationship. This was toxic not because you didn’t show up that night but it was toxic because somehow I always wound up waiting for you and you somehow never showed up. You always kept me waiting and I always waited.
In that moment, you defined me as someone who walked awwy. Who put an end to the waiting and finally, FINALL Y walked away from a lifetime’s worth of waiting and not saying anything about it. So, Thanks for yet another defining moment.
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.
And he will never be what you were to me. He will never hold me the way you did. Never make me shiver with his touch like yours did. He will never be able to make my laugh till my lungs are out paced and my belly aching from the laughter. He will never hold me late at night talking about everything and nothing. He will never tell me that Im being an annoying pain in the ass like you always did. He will never call me in the middle of the night after that terrifying dream that He just had.
So when you see me walking down the street, hand in hand with him, laughing carelessly at something he just saw or heard, remember that you your chance and you blew it. You could’ve been here holding my hand and jumping with me and holding a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning but you friggin blew it. So stand back and watch me leave knowing all the while that if it came down to picking, I would always pick you. Always. But you never stood for the picking. You never turned around and came back.
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.