Still, I remember her. It’s been more than a year since we both sat in this bench facing the lake. Same warm sun, same cold wind, same paddled boats, same pedaled swans, same dome of yellow blooms above our heads. Same everything – except her.
Right there before we have entered the park, I could have said what I felt, what I was suffering from; but her imperfectly orchestrated ways got the best of me. She flew me right to the other end of the rainbow even before I opened my mouth.
She was silent until we sought refuge at this bench. She was in between a smile and a frown, in between laughter and tears. She spoke no words – as if I have never taught her to perfectly choose and use them, or maybe, because she felt like they were awkward – more awkward than her silence.
We just stared at the lake. It wasn’t actually a beautiful sight. Thus, we sought beauty in the eyes of lovers passing by, in the smile of kids riding their bikes (I still know looking at them makes her happy and envious at the same time).
We left with the usual parting words. I would have liked to hug her and tell her things the way I did that cold December night, or simply give her a high five so I can catch and hold her hand – that she’ll find security in me and that I’ll feel assurance in her.
Months after, she told me she wanted to talk to me. I asked her to meet me at the library. Eight in the morning. Just us two. She nodded. She smiled.
But when I woke up in the morning , a message from her said she cannot make it. She already left the night before for something more important but she promised she’ll save the words. I insisted that she tell me still. I asked, yes I did, and she let out the words. It wasn’t the most beautiful litany – it was more of a random set of words she confusingly put together to make sense, but its chaos was concrete enough to understand what she was trying to say.
I did not know. Maybe I found something inadequate, or maybe, I found myself uncertain. Things kept coming and going in and out of my mind. For once, I did not know which words to choose. Seemed to me, a “goodbye” was the only remaining thing that made sense. And that I said – without a hug, without a touch, without a bitter smile.
She spoke foreign words as her farewell. I never heard of her since. But sometimes I feel her – in sincere smiles, in soft drizzles, in loud laughs, in smiling eyes, in girlish giggles. Weird though, I remember her in winning playstation matches, in warm well of coffee, in nighttime study breaks, in comic films. and yes, I do think of her and her stars when i brush through Exupery’s The Little Prince.
I wonder if she has already turned me into literature – calling me different names, utilizing different metaphors like what she did to my yearbook testimonial.
I know she comes here every now and then. I’m just not sure whether she sits at the same spot and feels the same way again.
It was our last long walk and talk together. Now i wonder where’d she be. Who she’d be walking with, who she’d be sharing a bench with. But with her imperfectly orchestrated ways, which I actually find interestingly beautiful, she must be flying right now. She’s probably flying to places only a few people could find and explore – but not the way back to me, not even to back to this bench.
I’d rather not call you that way, but how else will I? Anyway, something reminded me of you, although I’d rather not be reminded of you in that light. Same news reached me days ago, it coincided with your birthday. It didn’t concern you though, it just made walking down memory quite painful. But that’s just how it goes. You’re way better now anyway. Hope you always will. That, and a Happy Birthday.