Confession

What a friend you turned out to be, one I never quite imagined at all.

It is the thought of you that keeps me from my craft, impressing a desire to write of our friendship. Admittedly, it is not only today you occupy, but the various yesterdays.

Friend of a friend, connection loosely strung over the social network. Converse we do, and we find ourselves in an interesting situation — while mostly strangers, we are much alike.

Gradual texts of a growing length, subjects aplenty. Music, books, and even the question of life itself. Who would guess that these two reticent humans would find each other?

In real life we hardly meet, constant lurkers of the online space. Yet I forget not the day you came for a significant event when another thirty would not. Despite the traffic and the pouring rain, your arrival meant a great deal to me. The only one of them all.

You asked then confused at the scene, why did you invite me here?

I replied poorly in my concealed gratitude, why not?

Why not, truly.

Distance increased over the years, and while our speakings dipped with the trough and peaks of life’s tidal wave, what wonders a simple message would do. A reconnect, tardy as some may be.

It is possible that I may never be coherent enough to express your importance in my life, especially when we are not close in relations in the end. But bless you I do, in these secret writings and feelings.

Un du evari’nya ono varda.

May the stars watch over you.

Don’t forget how angry injustice makes you feel. It’s terrible how crimes need to be judged by severity, when wrongs against humanity are the scum of the earth.

A woman’s sense of pride is scorned, when one speaks of indecent glances. Women are pages in the catalogue, perused and felt up to the corners. Eyes are made to travel, don’t go feeling special or personally targeted.

We are bodies made of stardust, and some take more in the name of entitlement. A skirt too short, a figure too svelte, it must be her fault that hands desire to lean in for an impolite touch.

Girls are indecisive, they say, girls know not what they want. Others take their voices and speak in false mellifluous promises. It’s easy to know what they need, turn their loud no-s into secret yes-s. Catch one alone, in a crowd if there is a sense of daring.

In this world, the voice of a female falls on deaf ears. The wrongness committed has become a norm and there is no need to raise a fuss, unless the case strikes as strange or unexpected. Late nights and teenager years are too ordinary to be given a second thought.

Yet it remains unjust, that in an era of spaceships and underwater kingdoms half the population have to be afraid simply for being a woman. Things shift in time, be it gold dust or night constellations, and so I will continue to hope for better tomorrows for the sake of the future generation.

People are afraid of being alone. Visit the city, that’s how one will see.

The sole ones rush quickly, earphones in, phone on the ear, the downcast face of shame. In a world so connected, solitude is a sin and loneliness is the immoral conclusion perceived.

Or must it be? For being alone happens to be my affection.

This is my secret: that in a space colossal and imbued with human energy, I stand still to watch it all. Instead of running and dashing about, my feet grow roots. I wish to recognise the life of this immense atmosphere.

On the park bench, on the windy pedestrian bridge, these places find my soul slow to a halt. I appear in their memory a flitting image, but to me they stay a little longer. These are lives by the abundant and they are stories I will never unravel. These moments can make me weep.

If I could, I would be in want to touch as many lives as possible. There’s incredible potential in one, how much more shall there be in a group? Crowds overwhelm me, but in my staring I am hopelessly enchanted. I cannot comprehend this enormity despite my best efforts.

I am happily alone in the city, but if you are willing — would you watch the city with me?

Years pass, and we grow up in ways unexpected.

Even so, by the way the warm sunlight bounces off your face and the crinkle of your inquisitive eyes, I know that I’ve held a love special for you.

I don’t know why I write of these things now, yet maybe I do. There’s been a gap in time, where we’ve spent our lives apart. While we’ve not faded from each other’s thoughts, change has taken one another for a ride.

We’re close, able to speak of many things despite differences. I remember supporting you in the hardest of times, to perceive your strengths when you no longer did, and you’ve had a way of making me try more, to do more. Never did you break me with your involuntary angry speakings, hurt as I may have been.

So have I, for I remain humanly faulty. In ways unintended, I’ve injured you, like the time I accidentally kicked sand into your face when all I wanted was to play. All I’ve ever desired is for you to grow well, and to stay honest, no matter how difficult the journey would become.

Held my weak hand with strong ones you did, through my terrible episodes when the nights seemed forever long. I recall those dark eyes watching me with such caring, a sight I could hardly believe lest I misunderstood. To trust in the tender attention of another is an experience incredible. Sing me to sleep and stories told, simply to battle the rage of my restless heart. Wordless conversations across the room, a little ruffle on the head.

While outsiders prodded at our relations, we remained steady. What more could I ask for?

I’m coming home, and I wonder deeply as to who I will be meeting.

Will it be, that your hair has grown in a new style, or that you’ve gotten new shoes I’ve never known of before? Are there unfamiliar hobbies picked up, or forgiveness to be extended? What have you done in my absence? Will I find in myself still a heart to embrace you?

I remain shy and impossible with fierce expression, yet may it be that in my soul there’s a bravery mustered to know you all over again, if there’s a need to do so. I don’t intend to be like a passenger facing backwards on a train, endlessly pining for what’s already gone.

I promise this in the quiet, where in a world permeated with outrageous displays of affection of loose kisses and meaningless tangled bodies, my pinky finger loops yours.

This one, this I write for the one who’ll never find this.

This one, it’s for you, for the senior who held the door wide open and smiled for me.

Almost three years ago, around this time, you expressed the said deed. I’m not sure why, but I think of you as of late. What makes it remarkable is the fact that I no longer remember anything of your physical self.

It must be, that your smile made me feel warm in my heart, touched at the genuine kindness of a stranger. Even as I slipped past the glass doors, a part of me had been left behind. I wondered what you were doing back then, to linger close when you had no business to attend in the same area. Were you waiting for someone? Perhaps.

And all I know is this: that I said only a pity exchange of thanks. How would I have known that months down the road, I would have yearned to say more? What words should I have offered?

I see you, two or three more times. Close enough to hear your laugh, a melody that transforms the air, carefree and explicit, according to that of my ghostly memory. A ghost that is deader than memory, silly as it is. Yet I never catch your name. Timid child that I am, I have not the ability to gravitate into your sphere of influence.

The last time, surely, is that by the examination hall. While we differed in our education level, the hall was sufficiently spacious to occupy differing papers. You walked in, jacket dark and shoes white, or so I’ve chosen to believe. My memory, it has waned and I’m forced to make up something to hold on to.

While you eventually turned out to be someone I didn’t expect you to be, in the midst of my ambivalence I knew that you were always someone I searched for in the bustling crowd.

Where are you now?

It’s an incredible shame, that you could walk into my life by chance one day and I would not recognise who you are. I will hold on to the you I knew, of whom I’ve spun a story more than one in my attempt to wrap loose ends.

(In this timeline of bytes and hex codes, I have made you immortal.)

I’ve never known anyone quite like you before.

You make the smallest and simplest things seem the best of them all. In a world that never stops talking, silent wonderment became your palace of glass.

Transparent, stunning and yet, not without a hint of being terrifying.

You find flowers in concrete pavements and with your attention to intricate details, surely even tired bones will rise.

You have diverging tendencies — your head either up in the clouds or fixed on feet. If there was a mystery to do with the foundation of this city, I’m certain that it would be a spell undone by you and you only.

It’s the morning song you hear and the night lullaby that brings you peace. While you remain a hidden shadow in the midst of the bustling crowd, it’s the frozen moments that makes me see.

It’s people like you that captivate me.

The slight drawl that colours your voice has a way of making me stay, even as the streets fall asleep.

I wonder how the world looks to one like you, are the things I once thought. Met by the storm in your eyes, and despite its burning uncertainty, I promise not to run away.

A response to this.

I’m not used to saying this aloud. I have a tendency to clam up and say nothing for a while. Sometimes, I find myself watching from a glass coffin, so forgive me if you try to reach in and return empty.

I’m not used to an unwavering command of attention. Too many times when I finally formulate the words I want to speak, it’s an empty street.

I’m not used to the fact that a pair of feet remain by me, even when I have a tendency to stutter, or hide nervousness in the intricate folds of an origami crane.

I’m not used to the idea that a person would wait in unbroken silence just so that I can whisper a single passing remark, catch ephemeral laughter in the fleeting wind.

I’m not used to making this confession, but I must admit that there is a permafrost in my heart that hurts, that I fear letting it thaw. To be warm is unusual and unusual is the unknowable. Both extremes scare me, the warm and the cold, let alone braving along this spectrum.

I’m not used to considering that I might choose to change, not only for you, but for myself. Yet one day I’ll lift my chin. Take a full account of the world above with confidence. And if you’re still here, be pleasantly and timely warned that this is uncharted territory—

I’ll look at you in the eyes.