In the distance,
An orange horizon,
The meek rays of the sun fight to keep the world lit,
It grows faint and slowly but surely, darkness is setting in,
She’s standing by my side at the shore while I’m seated on the golden sand,
Overcome with emotion, neither of us willing to speak first,
Only a sombre eye contact.
‘So it’s almost time.’, she whispered almost inaudibly, ‘Do you regret anything?’,
Still staring at me with eyes almost as blue as the serene ocean.
‘Everything.’, I replied, ‘I don’t know where to begin. From the very first day, with the memories still fresh and wounds still raw from his dea……’, I trailed off, unable to trust myself to continue.
Reassuringly, she bent down, gently lifted my face to look at her,
With a hand almost to pacify me,
Her azure eyes seem pained too, a depth I hadn’t noticed before.
Was I the cause of them? Did I really wear her down to this point?
‘I thought you already came to terms with it.’, she spoke, rather soothingly.
‘NO! I don’t think I’ll ever be okay with it. I’m happy for him but I’ll never be okay with this situation.’, I snapped back fiercely.
In a calm and collected manner she said, ‘You know you’re pointing fingers at the wrong person. By the time I got here, he had already left.’,
‘It most definitely is your fault. He was holding on just fine until you crept up behind him. It couldn’t have happened. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine things will end so abruptly. But everything went haywire as soon as you cast your wretched shadow over me.’.
She frowned, the disappointment in her face was hard to not notice,
‘Shouldn’t you be glad he’s not hurting anymore? Or would you rather prolong his suffering for your own selfishness? Would that make you happy?’,
There was a stunned silence as I thought about what she said.
‘Look here. It wasn’t all doom and gloom. I brought his last gifts to you, the things he left behind, didn’t I?’, she quietly slid her hand to hold mine, in an attempt to calm me down.
‘You and me, we had our good times too. Don’t deny it.’
When I faced her, I could see she was fighting back her tears for some reason,
‘You always knew I was never the answer. You kept reminding me I’m only temporary. Someone you’ve kept only to not feel lonely. From the start, I was made aware you didn’t count on me, and I know you won’t count on the one who’s to come either. So why are you complaining today?’, she said painfully,
The harshest bit was that I couldn’t even fault her. That’s how I really felt.
With the gentle breeze, her hair were dancing about as she still expectantly waited for a reply,
‘Place yourself in my shoes. You’ll know why I said that. It was never anything personal, I just want to rush through to the point of my rendezvous with the girl who promised me the world. Until then, things will always be this way’,
‘But not everything was dull. You helped me get through this semester, and you introduced me to people whom I’d never have met otherwise.’ I said, after a brief pause, ‘It’s just that, you weren’t meant to be the one. You never were.’
The sound of waves crashing by the shore orchestrated the perfect melancholic backdrop,
‘You know full well you’ll be dissatisfied with her too.’, she whispered meekly, alluding to that woman who’ll soon be taking her place.
‘You keep finding flaws, searching for something even you’re uncertain of. If your mind is made up, then how do you expect to ever be content? And yet you wonder why happiness eludes you.’,
‘Tell me, what was it that you were seeking from me? And what is it that you’ll be looking to find in her?’.
More waves as I pause to think,
Reflecting and introspecting,
‘I’m still adamant on wanting to leave. And you refused to take me there.’,
‘I told you before, I can’t take much more of this. They’ve been driving me crazy with their incessant bickering and their overbearing demeanor. Things have only kept going downhill since ’14. And my patience is growing thin, I’m growing so weary. Only thing I want is to be liberated or at least to be appreciated. And if possible, also to finally be loved by someone, anyone.’.
‘It’s not far then.’, she smiled,
‘The day that you can finally be happy. Or at least, that’s the way it seems for now.’.
She sits down beside me, looking in the distance at the ocean,
‘I only wish I could be there to see you then. To see that side of you, a side you said you had so long ago. One which even you’re slowly starting to forget now.’.
Taking a fistful of sand in her palm,
She looks at me and says, ‘Life is much like this’, she tightens her fist and some golden sand slips through, ‘The more you worry, the more you try to take a firm grip on things, the more the situation seems to get out of hand.’
‘Instead, maybe it’s best to not overthink, to take things as they come. If you only live in the future, then there remains no present for you to fall back on. You’d feel neglected in both planes. You’ll only grow more distant from your current self.’.
Her voice keeps growing faint,
She’s inscribing something on the sand,
Playing with it with her fingers,
‘You’re not like the others.’, I subconsciously blurt out loud, ‘There is something different about you. You’re so much wiser than the ones I met before at the same place.’
‘That’s only because you’ve changed too’, she chuckled, ‘You’ve hit rock-bottom. Depressed and uncertain about what the future holds for you. It’s harder to perceive the finer things in life when you’re down on your knees trying to figure a way out.’,
‘That’s the thing with struggles, it has a way of humbling even the most narcissistic of persons and reduce them to a shadow of their former selves.’, she looked me down straight in the eye, waiting for a reply, a retort, that never came.
‘Maybe I should have appreciated you more.’, I lamented,
‘Everyone says that eventually’, she smiles back rather ruefully,
I was resting my head on her legs when a sharp voice interjected from a distance through the microphone,
‘Alright ladies and gentlemen, the countdown begins, say it with me.’
This is it,
This is really the end,
I quickly get to my feet,
And look in her direction.
’10….. 9….. 8…..’
She’s already ready,
Lightly, she wipes away my early tears with the sleeve of her dress,
‘I’m sorry if I was bad to you.’, she apologized, wrapping me in one last hug.
‘7…. 6…. 5….’,
Her grip was loosening,
Her fingers weren’t as firm as before,
I felt as though she was slipping from my grip,
Weakening slowly, but surely,
Becoming one with the saline air, and the shifty sand.
‘Appreciate her more than you did me, will you?’, she smiles wryly,
I nod solemnly, rather taken aback by how I took this disappearing woman for granted,
The realization only striking when she’s fading into nothingness.
The taste of her lips burn brightly on the tip of my tongue,
And the imprints and memories she’s left behind,
I vow to hold on to them dearly.
When I stood there,
Peering into the infinite expanse,
Reminiscing and thinking about her,
Meanwhile, a woman crept up behind me,
Quietly, she slipped her fingers in my hand and pecked my cheek.
There she was again,
Only this time, in a different ensemble,
Even though I know she isn’t the one I’ve been waiting for either,
I will definitely be more appreciative of her.