I needed to get there. Let’s try it again one more time. Closed my eyes. Pitch black.
Where was I? Let’s see. A bench. Okay I know this place. I sat on the bench and almost instantly, there she was. White shirt tucked in high waisted jeans, glasses, wet hair, out of nowhere, walking towards the bench and sat beside me.
“Hi. Been a while.” She smiled. “Another one?” She added.
“It’s okay, I’m here.”
I looked at her, still there smiling. She looked faded. Like whole body, whole figure of her faded, almost see through, like a ghost. This was different from the last time I’m here.
“I don’t know how to say it though, there are words in my head but i don’t know how to put them in sentences. All I know is I’m miserable. One time, a stranger on the internet told me that I’ll never be happy, because she didn’t like what I wrote. Not that I got offended by it I know what’s wrong and what’s right it’s just.. You know.”
“I know. I’d been there before remember?”
“Yes I remember. I’m sorry that it happened to you.”
“And I’m sorry that it happened to you too.”
She got up and said, “Let’s walk around a little bit.”
I followed and we’re walking side by side. Pace by pace.
“Remember this place?”
I chuckled, “Of course. This is the place where we met after your dancing thingy. Where I told you I like you for the first time, you held my hand and told me that you like me too well how can I forget that.”
It looked the same here. Just like that night when it happened. She looked at me and winked. I remember how awkward she’d look every time she did that but somehow, it didn’t look that way just now.
“One of the happiest nights of my life.” I said and smiled. Still is I guess. Despite everything. Okay no let’s not go there. This is the good place. Not the bad place. This is my safe space.
After few minutes walking in silence and looking at each other, we found another place to sit. It’s another bench, one held a particular memory of us. Used to be ours. Now it’s just mine.
“So you really like her huh?” She finally asked the question, back to the why I came here.
“Cause I can see it’s different from the others that you came here for before,” she added.
“I do. I know it’s wrong but I do. It’s real. I shouldn’t but I guess I feel what I feel. It was a mistake.”
“It wasn’t. Mistakes are mistakes. What you did isn’t one because you might feel it would eventually turn out to be right so it wasn’t a mistake. It was a mistake if you know it wasn’t gonna end up well and still went for it.”
She’s right. Maybe it wasn’t a mistake. I stayed quiet, waiting for her to continue.
“Are you devastated, that she doesn’t choose you? And if you are do you regret it?”
“Devastated, yes. Regret it, no. I haven’t felt like this for a very long time. Since you. Happiness in the moment. Love and feeling loved. Long and feeling longed. I missed it so much. And she brought the best of me, some part I never knew I have. Nevertheless, I think she made the right call. I mean who am I kidding? I can’t compete with the guy. I can’t compete with their two years. It’s the right thing for her to do, choosing someone she already has instead of someone she wants. At least for now.”
She leaned on me and rested her head on my shoulder and we stayed like that for some time.
“‘You’ look great now you know. In real life. Successful. Living the life.” I decided to break the silence.
“I do? Do I look hot and thin?” She laughed.
“Yes ‘you’ look amazing. We followed each other on instagram. We replied dms once in a while but it didn’t feel like you at all.”
“Hey I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. ‘You’ look happy. And I’m happy for ‘you’.”
With her head still on my shoulder, she looked at me and smiled.
“I wonder, if we were a bit older during the time we’re dating, you think we’d still be together? I mean if we’re a bit mature. Or if I got a little bit mature back then?”
“Like pursuing a precious yet unavailable 22 year old lady is a mature thing to do?” She smirked then laughed out loud.
“Hey! In my defense she’s more mature than her age. It was instant attraction. And to be honest she reminds me of you, well among of many other things that I love about her.”
“How so? I don’t think we look alike at all.”
“Not look wise, yes both of you are natural beauty, different ways but very beautiful nonetheless. It’s the way you like me. Both you and her. Like really, really admire me. Hyping me up. Amazed at little things that I did. Head over heels crazy about me. Her with her own ways. You with yours back then.”
“I see. Wow she must really like you. But to answer your question, I can’t. I don’t know. How can I know if you don’t, I’m in your head remember?”
Of course this was all in my head. Sometimes I refused to acknowledge that every time I’m here.
“You have to go now do you?” I asked.
“Yes. Unfortunately. Hey.” She held my hands and looked me in the eyes. And she still looked faded.
“I’m sorry I can’t help you anymore. I’m sorry that this no longer works.”
“No it’s okay. It’s about time isn’t it? I can’t use you to block any potential new pain forever. I know it isn’t healthy. And it’s not your fault. Really.”
“I’m sorry that you moved on, from me, I mean as your good memory of ‘her’, I’m happy that you did, but I’m still sorry that I can’t help you anymore. I guess you really do love her that you moved on from me. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but still, I’m sorry.”
“You know I’ll never forget you right?”
“I know.” She smiled, for the last time, perhaps for this session.
“But I’d welcome you here anytime, I mean I wouldn’t like it cause every time you’re here something bad happened but I’m gonna be here, for as long as you remember me. Don’t worry. Someday you’ll meet someone who’ll like you, and admire you, more than I do. More than she does. If she can’t make you her only one, somebody else can, and will. Or maybe she can and will just it’s not now. Who knows. Be patient and don’t stop praying. Either way, you’ll be happy soon. No matter what some strangers on internet say.”
“But it’s bad isn’t it? What I did?”
“Well maybe it’s a bad thing, maybe it’s not. Even if it’s a bad thing, it doesn’t mean that you’re bad people.”
“It would be easier just to be bad people.”
“Maybe but it’s not you. You tried once but you couldn’t. You are what you are. So what, the emotions got the better of you. But hey, we take love we think we deserve.”
Hard pill to swallow huh.
“May I just stay here? I don’t want to deal with the outside right now.”
“You know I can’t let you do that. And now I really have to go. Again I’m sorry,” reluctantly she said.
“Thank you. For keeping me company.” Even it’s only in my head.
“Well I’m your good memory of ‘her.’ If I could be with you in real life, I would.”
“I know. So I guess I’ll see you soon?”
“Yeah but I hope not. One last thing, promise me you’ll go out there and be happy okay?”
I nodded and smiled. I got up, looked at her for the last time and then again everything turned black.
I opened my eyes. And I still had that aching feeling in my stomach. Funny that I just got back from my make believe place where I keep the good memory of ‘her’ but here I was, thinking about somebody else, wishing she’s okay, safe and sound. So it really does not work anymore. It’s the thing about memory, it fades, eventually. I can’t use it as my walls anymore can I? So what now? Time?