Inspired by A Roller Coaster, by Lang Leav
You will find him in
my highs and lows;
in my mind,
he’ll to and fro.
He’s the tallest person,
that I know—
and so he keeps me,
on my toes.
It was his fingers that left their traces on the palm of my hand, unlike a memory that fades. It is his voice, the whisper of my name I crave when I’m at my peak. It’s his smile, the sure, strong signal that he’s proud of me even when I’m flawed and falling. It’s his light that I seek on the other side of the tunnel. But it’s his absence that greets me, leaving in its wake, a heartache unlike any that I’ve ever experienced.
It’s been almost six weeks, and I still wake up from the dreams of him into a nightmare. As I remember – two seconds after I’m up that he’s really not there in my life anymore, my will shatters and I dissolve into a horrible mess of getting excited every time my phone buzzes and writing words in my diary; of clenched fists and grinding teeth, and watering eyes. I felt like even his proclamation of eternal hatred would have been better than this. Anything, anything would be better than this icy silence.
It dulls, of course. Some days are better than the others, but then there’d be a song on the radio, or an article in a magazine and I’d wonder what he thinks of it. And then I remember that he walked out that night and never returned. And my heart shatters all over again.
The morning after, I switched off from the world, but I hoped he’d come knocking at my door, literally. For the next two days, I felt horrible. Why was I unable to function? Then, I took a month long sabbatical to Melbourne, where my cousin stays. I was especially glad it was off season, and could afford travel to Melbourne. However, after that one month, the real agony began: I had returned to daily life, and I didn’t see any messages or texts from him, and now that I was available on phone, his not calling was agonising. Five weeks of helplessness, and hopelessness later, I realised that it was probably not worth it. But the horrible part was that what I wrote during those months gained me the most followers and somehow that made me want to hold on to that feeling. Was I a horrible human being? Maybe. But did it work? Yes! I wasn’t horribly alone, anyway. I made a lot of new friends in Melbourne, even though the pretext was trying to replace the void he left me in.
Even though I was a strong independent person, it felt horrible. Because how can you just forget? It’s not that I didn’t have anything else: I had amazing coworkers and bosses, who were fine with me working off-site, and I had friends who were happy to stay away when I needed them to stay away, and my parents didn’t mind my whining- even my mum stopped asking me what was wrong after a while, and one night I even heard my parents arguing about how I can handle myself, while all I could do was sob into my pillow to stop myself from screaming out loud. But breaking down had to happen, right? It wasn’t just that he was someone I was in love with for years, but he was my best friend- someone who didn’t need words to understand me, and yet, yet he failed to understand an important part of who I was. He didn’t see the pain I was in- well, he did, and he didn’t ask about who was causing the pain. He didn’t ask if he should wriggle his neck on my behalf. What was it? Was he hoping I’ll tell him one day, when I’m ready? Did he, somehow know it was about him, and refuse to accept it? Did he not see? Was he blind to my affection? Was he- oh, well. I choose to fall asleep, with my thoughts running wild, and dream of him. Again.
All the talk of independence felt like a joke: yes, I was promoted at work, yes my readers were more satisfied, and yes I made new friends, and yes, I was happy for myself, but every time a happy incident occurred, the first person I wanted to share it with was missing. He was the first one I wanted to share all my joys with, and his was the only congratulations that mattered. His approval was the only real thing- and nothing I did, or wrote felt authentic to me, because he was my muse. He wasn’t the reason for my life, or my living, but his was the energy and motivation that fired my imagination. He wasn’t the beginning or the end, but he was the thread that filled the gaps in the middle. And now that he’s gone, it feels like I have to work harder to keep afloat.
It was a January morning, when I decided to walk to the café a few blocks away that I run into him again. I was just handed over my morning coffee and croissant, and I was contemplating whether to sit at a table there or to go home, I heard his throaty laughter, followed by a “Hi, Jane.” He looks tan. I punch him.
He explains, on the way to the hospital (because I broke his nose) that he was sent away for six weeks and there was no way that he was going to talk to me on the phone. Agreed, that was a dick move, but he was too shocked that night. He said he knew it was about him, how could he not? I’m not that great of an actress. But he didn’t know what was to be done in the event that it was now in the open and he had to deal with it. So he went home, with full intention to run away. Except by the time he got home, his boss asked him to go to Argentina for an assignment, for six weeks. And he arrived last night. He was apparently going to call me, but the idiot thought it would be a good idea to let me sleep and was there to buy me coffee. “Where did you run to?” he asks. I had blocked him on all Social Media, so obviously he had no way of knowing. “Melbourne.” “Ah, always hated that cousin of yours. He knows you better than I do.” I roll my eyes. I really want to throw up. I can’t understand what is it that he wants. For the past half an hour or so he’s been explaining in excruciating detail everything about his stupid trip. He says he wanted me there by him, like he always does. And he says I’d have enjoyed this and that, and something else, and I zone out. I don’t hear a thing, because he doesn’t get to have that satisfaction. He doesn’t touch upon the subject of our last meeting and neither do I, and I think that’s a testament of how well we know each other – because we both know we’re both still confused and that there’s time to explore feelings and whether or not they’re mutual (well, for him).
But this is agony. And I really want to know what this means. But at least I know our friendship isn’t ruined. Because I’ve not felt more myself till this very moment. He apologises for running away, but he’s determined to make it all right. We both are. And you know what? It is. Everything is perfect with him around. Not because I’m dependent on him, but because he’s my partner in everything. And we’re a great team. And we understand each other more than anyone else. And that’s enough.
That’s it, folks!
February 11, 2016