There were few people near the cinemas where they agreed to meet after another 2 long years. There were sounds of arcade games nearby, people chatting near the popcorn stand, a crew calling out orders on a fastfood chain. Somebody called out her name. She didn’t know if it was said loud enough, or the voice was just familiar that she instantly turned her head in his direction. When she saw a guy in red shirt with a camera hanging around his neck, she automatically grinned.
“Heeeeey!” she exclaimed, almost running towards him, arms stretched as if she were ready for a huge birthday present. They hugged that they almost fell. She imagined how foolish they must have seemed if they weren’t able to keep their balance. But that could have added up to the excitement of that “reunion.” They laughed at their clumsiness and at that point, she remembered how great it felt to be with him once again.
There was nothing extraordinary on that meeting. They spent what, four, five hours together, had lunch, did some live performances singing and laughed like crazy. Probably that was the best part of it. Yeah it was a bit odd. Every time he said something, she automatically burst into laughter no matter how stupid it was about. You two are weird, his brother even commented. She could’ve probably spent an entire day with him just listening to his “concert” and watching him concentrate on his pasta, as if trying to figure out how the entire plate can fit into his mouth. Who am I with, a five-year old? She teasingly thought.
Before they knew it, the day was over. He walked her to the train, where they would leave the last traces of that day. For the third time in nearly 5 years of knowing each other, they said good bye. They hugged. Still, she managed to tease him but then, she felt strange. Nobody has hugged her that way, as if telling her how much she was missed, how much he didn’t want to let her go or that he didn’t want it to end. Or maybe, it was just her mind playing tricks on her…coz maybe she was the one feeling that way.
She slowly walked away, giving him a last look. She smiled and even tried to reach out for him while she was being carried away by the line towards the train. They would probably meet in another year or so, and at the thought of it, she sighed.
And… she sighed. That was all. It was as if there was nothing more she could add. She held a pencil on her right hand, slightly tapped it on her head, lost in oblivion on what to write next. On the corner of the table was a trash bin, half-full of crumpled papers. She’d been trying to do the story for weeks, but all she could do was to stare blankly at her nth sheet of paper, with drawings of circles and twirls. Of course she could’ve used her computer in front of her, but she felt more of a writer with the pencil. Besides, saving the trees was not her top priority at that moment.
She let another sigh. She decided to get herself a cup of tea, the one with flower contents and that said: “a soothing drink to aid relaxation.” She held the back of her head and realized she badly needed it.
She threw herself on her bed and reached for a Mitch Albom’s. Maybe she needed some inspiring thoughts that would disguise the sadness she felt. She flipped the pages but the words barely registered to her mind. Unconsciously her thoughts slowly drifted from the time she tried to sense the relaxed feeling from her tea, to the time she didn’t even have to exert any effort to feel complete, just months ago.
Shaking her head, she tried to push away what had been haunting her. She got up and went back to drawing circles and twirls on the paper…
A month after, they accidentally saw each other in messenger. They chatted as if they hadn’t seen each other in years. It was the continuation of the … of the day they met, if there really were a … on it. And she actually didn’t think there could be anything else besides their usual senseless conversation that only they could understand. One thing led to the next. She was more puzzled on how things were going. He would call her on special occasions, chat with her everyday, not failing to be extra thoughtful. He would plan up a getaway with her, telling her it was his first time to really plan on something. Now, what was that about?
She crumpled the paper again, frustrated. She felt it was useless telling a story that was as unreal as Cinderella’s tale. What then is real?
They’ve known each other for 5 years now, 11 hours of it were spent together, the remaining practically as strangers, trying to know each other behind their monitors and phones. And all these time, they claimed to have known each other well. They spent these 11 hours comfortably that made her think that what they had was something special.
She knew what they had shared in 5 long years was the exact definition of oddness. She could’ve looked up in Webster and found its meaning as: an invisible friendship that started as a joke, shared apart, deepened despite the distance, continued to infinity.
She could’ve been contented on their friendship, but the 4, 5 hours of it changed it all. And the invisibility that came after ruined her dreams…coz she could never believe it could, at any point, be real.
She smirked at herself. Was there really a point that any of these things became real? Looking back, nothing seemed to make sense. Probably it was only her that laid an imaginative sense on everything. And now reality had finally found its way to bang her head and cruelly say that it was him that existed, not the one she had in mind. And it kicked her unmercifully. Who was she trying to convince that the story is convertible to reality, when it was her denying what’s already in front of her?
Hey, it’s been a long time since I last heard from you.
She wanted to ask why it did take him that long. She was damn bedazzled on what really happened. A ghost... She already pushed that idea away. She couldn’t believe that after all this time, he’d only been a ghost in her life. She wanted to tell him but then, she chose to say it plain: Yeah, nothing much has changed.
They say dreams do come true. But you’ve got to distinguish a dream that is plausible from something that you’re stuck with, just because you can’t let it go.
She sighed… She crumpled the paper once again, paused, and decided to keep that page. Some stories are better left untold. Indeed, it was just another story that would add up to her collection. The realization was already gazing at her, waiting for her to claim it, and yet she was reluctant to even give it a glance, coz she knew that when she got a hold of it, that signified the end of her story.
Did she want it to end?
She tried to sense any possible sign of anything at all. But she couldn’t discern a thing. Lost in that situation, she felt helpless. But then again, she chose to let things be.
Was it a mistake?
I’m coming back this year. Maybe I’ll see you then.