I want to rummage through stacks of memories with you. Memories we have collected all our lives before each other. Dusty, mouldy bundles that rattle with the sound of all the skeletons in our closets. I want to lay them out and match them with the most similar looking ones in yours. I want us to hold each other and look at them together and sigh about how things were, smile at how things are and choke with joy about how things will be.
I want us to sit on the floor – me with my legs crossed, you restlessly trying to get yourself into a comfortable position next to the pile of adventures we have been creating. Every now and then you will hand me an idea that will make my eyes sparkle, you will stroke my hair and whisper-sing a “This is for you” sort of song. And I will giggle. No one makes me giggle the way you do.
I want to acknowledge that the world takes on a silly shape when we are together. Have you noticed? It oddly looks like a snowglobe and we are two figurines spinning around in magic and unadulterated happiness, separate from the rest of the universe. So what if every once in a while we get shaken and displaced? There’s only so far we can go before we are brought back together.
I want to be lost in a story more beautiful than the best fairy tale fiction ever written because with you, it’s all real and we’re already on Chapter 2. When the horrors of the night and the realities of day seem like they will take over, I want you to shush me like on the night we created the first of our many “most beautiful verses”
I want you to be everything with me because I am everything with you.
When we were young, the little Pea didn’t want to go to university because all sorts of crazy shit happened there. For one, college made you clumsy – there you would be, walking without a care in the world, a couple of books in hand and before you know it, you’d trip. THIS HAD TO HAPPEN. That was the rule. You’d drop your books and when you bend down to pick it up, some other crazy guy would come and try to help you. Your hands would touch and you’d awkwardly apologize to each other and when all the books have been picked up, she’d have to look at his eyes to thank him. And then, and it’s completely inevitable, you’d fall in love.
“YUCK, I don’t ever want that to happen. I don’t ever want to go to college” – said the little girl who grew up to fall in love with an amazing boy she met while at University in England.
A few years later, we happened to be talking about soul-mates and relationships. I was being my usual, cynical – screw all romantic movie ideals – self. And she was talking about how if she ever fell in love, it would be with just one person whom she’d eventually get married to and raise babies with. So naive. As if such a thing can actually exist. Real life doesn’t happen that way – you meet someone you get along with and eventually it’ll all flicker out until you meet someone else who’s fantastic. Marriage happens when you’re jaded and tired of sharing different parts of you with different people. So you compromise. Everyone knows it’s easier to share all your stories and feelings with one person rather than throw it around. When you grow older, it just gets harder to keep track of who knows what. Right?
“No, I know the universe can be cruel just as I know that when I fall in love, it’ll be for good” – said the little pea when she said yes to her best friend and the only man she has ever loved.
There were nights when I would hear her cry herself to sleep. I’d just lay there and listen because I didn’t know what else to do. She was growing up to find that the world is cruel to people who are different. People are less understanding of people who aren’t skinny, who won’t compromise on their beliefs, who are too strong and opinionated. There were boys who she liked who could never take her seriously. There were girls who were condescending because she believed that you could be loved for whoever you were minus the makeup and skimpy clothes. From where I lay, I could hear the sound of her heart break at the realization that packaging mattered no matter how much people denied it. As the elder sister, I wished I could’ve protected her from it. I did what I knew best – I held her tight as she cried, hoping that she’d eventually build walls to protect herself from further hurt.
When she loved, she loved deeply and completely. When she gave, she gave it her all. And I’ve watched her suffer for it and I’ve watched her dance at the thrill of it. She never abandoned the hope of magic.
One bad night, as I was holding her, she sobbed “I’m never going to find anyone, am I? You can tell me the truth. I can handle it”. For the first time, with all the conviction she instilled in me, I knew that she would find someone incredible. If there’s something I’ve learnt from her, despite all my crazy cynicism and pessimism, it’s that sometimes, the universe works for you. It really does.
My phone beeped in the middle of Kilimanjaro – I hadn’t heard from my family in a while and finding a working signal meant I had to climb trees. Looking at the moon rise over Kili, I received the single most moving message of my life.
“I have a boyfriend :O”
Two days ago, I had the most incredible chat
My baby sister is getting married in less than a year. I am in shock!
Either I only truly get attached to people who stay or … well, what else can it be? Like a web, I’ve built a solid foundation from which I jump from place to place knowing that even when I fall, I can drag myself back because of that strand that binds me to my architectural masterpiece.
This, this is home. A place that you carry with you when you go looking for adventure in strange lands, a place where you can make friendships with people you never would have otherwise interacted with. A place in your being that reminds you that you can go where you may because when you come back, things will always be the same. People will be here. Waiting.
I’m not always here – on this side of a goodbye. The last two times I was, it was a blur of pain and tears and some dark place I never wanted to visit again. There’s no Doctor to rescue you in his blue machine. There are no smiling faces of children in exotic lands that’ll carry you through it. Just you and the them size hole throbbing inside you since they left. That and the urge to set fire to the airport and the harbour and the front door – just so that there is no place left for anyone to say goodbye.
If you hadn’t captured my imagination like you promised you would, perhaps on lonely nights such as these, I would just curl up, read a book and fall asleep. But my hair itches for your fingers to run through them. My ears miss your mouth singing it messages of how everything would be okay. My eyes yearn for the twinkle that would light up in the corner of its dark recesses. My nose longs for the musky scent of you. My mouth misses the little gurgles that escaped it every so often when you tripped on purpose. My hands ache for what once it held close.