Dear best friend,
It felt different to wear the school uniform and those shoes that I had worn for a long time, on that particular morning. The collar on my school uniform had felt tighter than usual as I was prepared to return to you the memories you had given to us concealed in a valedictory speech. On the desks of the quiet classrooms, the things we had doodles from way back had already begun fading with the final bell chiming loudly, with your memory of us. The weight of the school bag that we would carry in our right hand wasn’t changing, a new door had opened for you, a gateway to your dreams and it seemed like to get through to tomorrow, you had to leave us at the door. Though miles apart, we had chosen to remain friends with the promise that upon missing each other we would look up at the same sky and sing in unison.
Maybe we choose to stay in touch with old friends even when they don’t serve a purpose in our immediate lives to learn about other old friends, memories made of moondust, lost only to be found again. And, maybe we stay in touch with them because they can become warp holes to the past, like the old books that sit on my bedside table gathering dust, the poetry collection that is unread but never fails to remind me of a simpler time, even when I couldn’t un-yellow the pages, sometimes yearn to return to the relations we can’t go back to, the stories of longing and belonging have woven their way into the tapestry of my existence, it’s been a life in longing, maybe it is a craving for a simpler time, a toothache for a simpler life.
The day I had gone to meet you, I had spent a long time looking at you from the transparent glass door at the coffee parlor, without your knowledge and I wondered if you still did stink of cigarettes, I saw you get dismayed waiting for me as I waited outside to learn how much the person I had known in the past had changed, how much of him was left?
You would’ve been impossible to recognize had we not met a little more than the five times we did in the past ten years. When I finally made up my mind to go on, you had gotten up from your chair, in courtesy, the wrinkles that would form at the side of your eyes, indented themselves even more prominently into your skin, as you broke into an eye-smile, a sign of tender old age tells me we can’t turn back time.
I’m sitting in the comfort of my room now, which is only simply lit with a yellow side table lamp and by the light coming from the notebook screen, I’m pretending to keep myself busy, an act I often put up for myself, I can listen to the men gambling away on the street, my room door opens into the verandah and I am looking at the men taking walks in the park in the middle of the night, the moon is slowly revealing itself from behind the clouds and with that I see time lapse in front of my eyes.