If I could write a story about us, I would start at the beginning. And that beginning ends there, just there. Some people call it a cliffhanger, I call it a missed opportunity.
The first time I saw you, you didn’t see me. After all, before you knew my name, I was a ghost to you when you weren’t one to me. But knowing a name isn’t the same as knowing the face, the body, and the mind. Who are you? How are you? What are you?
“Hi,” you took my hand quickly, in our effort to be formal. “Hi,” I whispered back, your voice rumbling at the back of my mind. I fall behind as you strode forward, the sun at your back. I wasn’t shaken at first, maybe because you didn’t scare me in the way others usually do. You were distant all on your own, but as the seconds turned to minutes, even the coldest person bathed by the sun turns warm. And even if we didn’t see eye to eye the first time, I knew that you were something. Not just something, were.
“How is this city treating you?” I piped up, as I felt that familiar feeling of fright in me. Your eyes flickered in my direction. “It’s all right, but it’s not the dream most people believed it to be.” I don’t know what led me to believe that you were even a possibility, even if I know you usually have to treat every person as an opportunity to connect. But even some beliefs are proven strong by faith, and I’m glad to know that later on, we would find common ground in some aspects at least. We existed in the same space, but not necessarily together. There was a slight fence between us, and no one reached a hand out until I did. And you took it with openness right away, your stories spilled onto the table and flowed towards me, like your words yearned to come out. But that was your personality, that was who you are. You flowed, you flowed right into me.
But I wish we didn’t stop with the stories, because I had questions on my own that I wanted answered. “What’s your favorite television program?” “Do you read?” “If you were the last man on earth, what brand of beer would you want to keep you company in your solitude?” Even if I didn’t ask, your eyes crinkled with a refreshing innocence that doubled as “been there, done that” and as I watched you color your world for me from the sidelines, I knew that maybe this could be. This could be– I don’t know, a question worth asking? Someone worth?
“So, yeah, nice meeting you.” You said, as you took a stride forward and your arm took me in. I fell into your ten-second embrace as I wrung my arm around your neck. “Good luck with everything.” I rubbed your back a little, like I wanted a wish. A wish for you to stay longer, a wish for you to ask me to stay.
I knew that the story was already written. Journeys end in lovers’ meeting, as Shakespeare said, but we weren’t anything. We just met, and the journey already reached its end.
I wish I knew it was the epilogue right there, so I knew how to say goodbye. But some endings were meant to be put there. And now as I stare into the blackness that is the ceiling of my room, I try to remember your crinkling eyes, your deep, throaty laugh, and the sound of your voice (or admittedly, the way your eyes would briefly flicker towards me), but instead I only remember you in stills and in faces I have associated similarity with. It was as if you were a memory made to be forgotten.