One of my best friends for the past decade of our lives is currently on a plane, crossing time zones and country borders as she travels from Singapore to New York. Despite knowing that she had some twenty-odd hours of recycled air and uncomfortable airplane seats in front of her, it hadn’t stopped me from sobbing at her over the phone for nearly an hour while she juggled luggage, rogue trolleys, and phone, all while offering words of comfort. The mark of a true friend – no judgment even though you’ve pretty much been the biggest idiot the world over, and a trans-Indian Ocean phone call when you’re most in need.
I finally saw you again last night.
You didn’t see me. I was sitting at the corner where we’d first met, partially hidden by the ATM that was right outside the lounge. I was just on the right side of tipsy, feeling the alcohol and thumping bass wash away the funk of the day when my friend S nudged me and said, “Hey look, it’s him.” And I, fool that I was and caught in the pleasant haze of booze, looked. The first thing I saw was a girl, dressed in a tight satin bustier and jeans, with legs that went on for miles. Then I saw you. You were still in that sweater you wore when we had gone out the very next day, still the same dark blue. You seemed thinner. You didn’t see me.
Never have I so profoundly felt the significance of the old adage “be careful what you wish for”. I’d yearned to see you again. I knew that wasn’t your usual haunt, your watering hole, but I yearned all the same, with despairing hope – or is it hopeful despair? I’d dress carefully, painting on a mask of perfection each time, just in case. Yet last night, when I hadn’t any fucks left to give and had blithely thrown on a dowdy sweater and jeans, you came. C’est la vie, non? I’m only glad you didn’t see me.
The funny thing is – it didn’t hurt. It doesn’t.
If there’s one thing I learned from last night, it’s that heartbreak, while painful, is transient and fleeting. Yes, I downed my beer once you disappeared from my view. Yes, I sobbed uncontrollably on the walk home from the station, in the shower, on the phone. But you know, in all honesty, I’m completely fine. Last night was the push I needed to finally let go, to stop hoping, to stop expecting. To stop thinking, stop dreaming. To stop.
Tomorrow marks one month since I met you. Today is the first of April. The first of the month – time for a mental restructuring. Priorities need to be set straight. Goals need to be made and met. Attitudes need to be adjusted, bettered.