Like most love stories, ours was a chance encounter – shy mumblings, electrical eye contact, half-baked smiles, the twinkling magic of a shared laugh. The quiet makings of a love story. We met at a mutual friend’s wedding; I had no choice but to sit with you, this silent, strange boy whom I saw occasionally growing up. You were an Any Other to me. I didn’t really know you, nor did I want to. You were Invisible, and I was the same to you.
Until we saw a Sameness in each other’s souls and opened the tiny, rusty doors of our hearts, speaking passionately about our common disdain for a movie that came out recently.
This was how our love story began. An exciting collision between two faraway planets.
In the beginning of the end of our half-lived lives, I was this girl who loved the color purple and you were a boy who loved the color red. It was enough, having those two colors raze each together clumsily, setting the canvas ablaze with abstract smudges and streaks. It was a mess, but a good mess. We were wildly different. We didn’t know the same things, and that was also why we worked well together.
You would go on historical rants and warhammers, while I would share with you what I read in my literature books. Why I loved George Orwell, or why I thought Ernest Hemingway did not deserve Hadley.
No one at first glance could see or understand the chemistry we shared, but we did. Our exclusive worlds meshed together, rolled apart and then came back together again. You were the sharp sniper in our video games, and I was the silly one who ran out blindly and baited the enemies. You hardly flinched in gore shows. I usually cried out. You were always complaining about the heat, and I, about the cold.
In the beginning, we held our dreams and the future together like constellations in the sky. The magic we felt was mutual. In real life and in dreams. You wanted to be a policeman and I wanted to teach. We both had pieces to make this one-of-a-kind constellation come to life.
I worked on my dream while you didn’t. You kept dreaming, waiting. I didn’t know for what. You wanted more time. I had all the time in the beginning, but then slowly, time was stolen by my disappointments in unmet promises – the future was just a word, you didn’t want to make it happen.
I worked late hours while you stayed home, waiting for the stars to align. You never offered to fetch me home, all those times after my work. We never had dinner together. You told me how sorry you felt that I had to stand on the train home with a bulky laptop… while a car sat in your house.
Bit by bit, the earth spun away from the sun. Twelve hours became twenty, thirty. We drifted away like the way Pluto did from the sun. Our expectations made up the space between us.
I tried to tell you how I felt. But you were still stuck in the magic of the beginning, content with just having me in your life. You didn’t work for that dream job, you didn’t do things for me unless I asked. Yet your words were like sweet honey; I trusted you when you said you would bring this or that to life.
I was armed with the faith of a child. One by one those dreams fell away, like burnt out stars.
Slowly you undid the colors on the canvas. Things that shouldn’t have mattered to me before, your quirks, your idiosyncrasies, the way you stood shaking your leg – they really wouldn’t have mattered as long as I felt you cared about building our future together. These annoyances started like craters flying through space. They created dents on my planet. I tried dodging to retain my sanity.
In the beginning, you were this beautiful planet that I was grateful to visit. That I was honored to visit – it was a planet like no other. From the middle to the end of my visit, the luscious green trees you had were barren, their dead leaves strewn all over the ground. There were no flowers left. The longer I stayed there, the more I felt like a statue you’d find in a garden. Frozen in time. I couldn’t have that. So with a heavy heart I left your planet, and took the perilous journey home. Compressed food rations in vacuum packs – those I munched on, our memories.
We did share hopes of a life together, didn’t we?The beginning was still beautiful. We collided for a bit, and I tasted a world untouched by human hands – you always had a mind of your own. I loved that about you.
Now, having said goodbye, I am half a world away. I am writing, using the telescope to peer at you, from my planet. This is my final glimpse at our awkward but wonderful constellation that we had tried to put together. This is before I move on, before I re-enter the crowded universe once more.
A shooting star passes by and I whisper to it, hoping it’ll visit you on with this message. That you would understand; how we had loved in the beginning, how I had loved.