I know what it’s like to go against the grain and hope for something you know for certain will never happen. I know how it feels to watch your heart and brain play tug-of-war, trying to determine which plan of action you’ll execute. I know that the pain nags you to go on anyway, just in case all your effort becomes worth it in the end (even though it almost never does). And yet, despite knowing all these things, I don’t know everything. Nobody does. I warned him for that reason. I was heard, but never listened to.
The thirst for adventure is unforgiving. It is never truly quenched—only momentarily settled, eager to eventually resurface itself again at a later time, and I yearn everyday for something new and unusual and fascinating. Unsurprisingly, I’m not the only one addicted to familiarizing oneself with the unfamiliar. He too, is consumed by wanderlust. But, he too, looks for himself in places he has never been. I am not the world he should want to explore.
There is a macrocosm out there, awaiting his next expedition, yet he is choosing to remain in the vicinity of a time bomb. I am not the furthest he can go. Nobody is. He is potential, not to be wasted on anyone else but himself. He was courageous, I’ll give him that, but never cautious.
A beep at the other end of the line. An awkward taxi drive. A missing charm. These were signs that indicated the stars did not align with the constellations he promised to show me one day. Even so, he connected the dots in the evening sky with a wavering voice, hoping that one day, I would somehow hear the story he was too cowardly to tell me. Of course, I cannot read his mind. Nobody can. I urged him to be unambiguous for this reason. This was noted by him, but never remembered in the way I wanted it to be.
I wonder if he ever reads the letter I wrote him and plays a game of spot the lies. I play too sometimes, but with the letter he wrote me, my score only gets higher every time. It’s still early in our friendship— one. It was clearly near the bitter end. We’ll make new memories— two. Funny. All effort has come from my side alone. If I could go back and relive our history, I would— three. The counting continues throughout this acrimonious transition period, as I unconsciously shift from the best thing about last year to a complete stranger. I was not the mirror he was hoping for, but I don’t think that was justifiable grounds to break the glass. I cut my hands trying to clean up the shards even though I did not make the mess. Nobody did. Or at the very least, nobody he’s willing to blame. A long-lasting friendship was planned, but never pursued.
I thought I was supposed to be surprised by how much I had changed him.
I thought he didn’t like roller coasters.