Worth the memories but not the words

For more than a year, waking up after a good night’s rest has been a rarity except on Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays were the worst because of the impending thought of work the next day.

For more than a year, my relationships with people – be it for direct and indirect reasons – deteriorated. It was a clear reflection of how much I withdrew from people went things became harder to bear. A part of me has no regrets over this because it was the best coping mechanism I knew while another part is saddened over the prospect of irreparable relationships.

For more than a year, belief was in short supply. Confidence was never something I had a huge proportions but somehow, I had to find them somewhere, somehow. Almost everyday my self-belief took a beating, borne out of an extremely caustic environment.

As one chapter of my life slowly grinds to a (hopefully) peaceful end, there is now the hope that the new one would be better.

***

Our gaze met many times. The first time it happened, the look in her eyes was one of connection as her memory was jolted before it spoke of attempts to recollect.

The second time it happened – a few weeks later – there was more of calmness. Her eyes told of how the question of who I was became somewhat settled. I was someone from her past – something she might or might not acknowledge – and that was enough for her. However, there remained a hint of how she hasn’t figured everything out yet.

When our gaze met for the third time, both of us were talking. No, it wasn’t a conversation between old friends. As we were both at work, there wasn’t much time to do any reminiscing or even pose questions to ascertain the guesses she had about the small role I played in her past. We lingered in each other’s presence for a few minutes, standing next to each other and observing people in the meeting room.

As she left to chat with a couple of business associates, I knew some things are worth the memories but not the words.

Breaking the silence

The silence that filled the past two months is not an indication of the uneventful nature of my life. Everything happens in a day and it is merely a matter of how one chooses to stop to smell the roses, observe the little nuances in body language of a young couple in love whom you passed or watch the elderly woman lovingly but painstakingly wipe the perspiration off the brow of her grandson’s.

Everything in life happens (or does not happen) for a reason.

***

On the request of colleagues after a hearty dinner last week, we trawled the back alleys of Geylang where women barely into their adulthoods lined the streets, cajoling men who ogled at them openly by touching their arms. A younger version of me would have entertained all thoughts about the story behind each face, each tale about an unreasonable client or the kind of dreams of the life each of them would rather lead.

In between the bits of trivia supplied by colleagues, I nodded, smiled and walked on, avoiding any eye contact with any of the girls and ready to squirm the moment my arms receive a gentle but tempting brush from their hands. It is a trade between two parties with nary an emotion involved or that it only satisfies needs albeit differently.

***

From here:

“But there’s something I really need to know cos it’s been bugging me. Have you ever liked me before, in a special way?”

The answer came to mind pretty quickly. But it wasn’t one easy to send out.

Yup, I think I did.

And it prompted another message from me, as if it had to be said. That was, when I sent the quote of the day.

Before I could send it out, his reply below reached me.

“Do you still? Cos lately whenever I think of you I’d wish I could be a jumper(sidenote: the movie, geddit? Uhm… Yah… I know… Er), and just teleport to be beside you both.”

“At what point really?”

I thought hard. Though it was easy to say at which point it was, but I think it all boiled down to how every element just fell into place and made things irreversible.

Too many things had happened. Bad timing, people. All are contributing factors there isn’t really much point going into it.

“Can I have a chance of you liking me again?”

I honestly can’t answer the question. I think some things are just too late.

“I don’t like to be pressured, so I won’t give you pressure. In the past I always thought you didn’t like me enough, so I wasn’t honest with my feelings. Guess I was dumb on my part. Oh well, gonna miss those times we talked and laughed… It was good while it lasted.”

So I guess, this was the closure we both needed.

I believe those times can still happen between us as friends. It was nice, indeed.

We have the stories of our lives, which raise more questions about “what should have been” and conjure fantasies of perhaps a different life.

So is it a case of capre diem to ward off a season or even a lifetime of regrets?