Yes, you now want to call that friend and tell them about how sorry you are that you couldn’t catch up earlier. You’re sorry that the present interfered with the future and the broke all the promises. You’re sorry that you were so interwoven with your commitments, and compulsions, and obligations, with your essays, and applications, and promotions, with your battle against the inevitable, and your desperation for a better future. You’re sorry that you ignored them and snapped at them and they just didn’t understand you!
And you almost tell them, because you finally are free from the hazardous past, and you are taking time off to build yourself because that one year has healed you, but also left behind scars- but then you stop. You stop because you have ignored their birthdays and dodged their calls, and they must have moved on, like you had. And you had moved on, and you had prioritized your childhood dreams in favour to your childhood best friends- your childhood dream of the big job in the big city was bigger than your childhood dream of building a castle with all your best friends and living together in that castle of dreams.
You look back and laugh at your naivete. You look back and hope that you can revive that dreamer, and you hope that you don’t lose track again. You don’t call them, because you won’t give up who you are, and you have changed. You know you’re today unrecognizable. Your soul is made of strings of multi-color, now, instead of a block of solid painted sunsets. You don’t call them because you remember only the ghosts of their pasts. You don’t call them because you haven’t read a few of their chapters like they haven’t read yours. And you don’t call them because you tore apart the fabric and no amount of stitching will make it look untouched. You don’t call them because you’ve been touched and so have they and you don’t want to change who you are and you don’t want them to change who they are for you. You don’t call them because narratives do not compensate for pain and beauty and love and heartbreak- because stories do not replace experience.
And you now tend to those roses and the thorns in the garden of memories.