She was lazy Sunday afternoons spent on art museums, she was chill Friday nights on Spoken Word poetry. We met under peculiar circumstances, and we almost never did. We’ve never been affectionate towards each other, perhaps because we respected the rule of never touching masterpieces. We made up for awkward silences, filling the air with enthusiasm over our crushes. We had a silent agreement never to mention all the promises we’ve already broken. She was a metaphor caged around expectations on things she never loved. She was an explorer, discovering new forms of art to delve herself into. She was, however, too temporary. She loves photography one day, and film making the next. And in the dark silence, under the moonlight, we talked under hushed voices, too afraid to wake up the monsters we’ve both come to terms with. I was her confidante, and until now, I have no idea why.
He was sunsets on beaches, and ocean waves at night. He was serenity, humanized. Every cell in his body, every beat of his heart, resonated with the ebb and flow of the sea. He was guitar strings echoing in a silent room, the burning bush Moses found in the cave – glowing sotfly with contentment and hope. He was pure white, innocent and childish, and I have marred him with a broken friendship, because he saw my dull grey, and thought it to be a mistake that needed to be corrected rather than forgiven. As if my flaws had to be cleansed, as if people were made to be perfect. It was then that I decided that white was not the color for me, the sight of sunset on beaches was a miracle too precious to be beheld by a pair of mortal eyes like mine, and the sound of ocean waves at night had to be drowned by the drums of self-determination – every beat defying the change that he wanted from me, every rythm resonating the words, “no, this is me, I will not change”. And so, like oil and water, nature gave way and drifted us apart. Differences in opinions have led us to different paths, yet I will not forget. The little I was able to salvage, I kept close to my heart. The fact that my time with the ocean was so little made every second my feet touched the sea all the more valuable.
You can count on him to have the grooviest dance moves during every party, and he has the loudest laugh you’ll ever hear. He’s the comedian in every gathering, and his best joke? Himself. To be honest, he was a ball of anxiety and self-doubt, and his grooviest dance moves were just socially acceptable ways of slamming his body to the floor. He is the subtle frown in confusion, the silent way his eyes calculated a problem, the small twitch of his lips in dismay. And I’ve always been unsure if I preferred seeing him in such a fashion, rather than the facade he’s always showing, when seeing him in such a state has made his vulnerable expressions imprinted at the back of my mind. But the fact that only I have ever seen him on the other side of this spectrum showed the amount of trust he’s given to me. So here we both were – dancing, it would seem, to most people. When really, we were just gripping tight to each other as we allowed our bodies to thrash around the air. We see through each others’ facade, and it is both a burden we have to carry, and a secret we were willing to keep.
He was, out of all the boys that have ever came and gone, the most comfortable one I’ve ever been with. He was a pillow among these beds of rocks and boulders – so who could blame me if I leaned on him a little more often? He was comfort and safety and a drive on an empty highway as the sun retired for the evening. He was a shoulder to lean on, a constant warmth at my side, fingertips lightly pinching sleeves. He was peaceful lunch times at that secret corner where no one passed by, and loud pop music at the end of class when no one else was left in the room. It was his hands I held as we skidded across the hallways laughing, his arm I clung on to as I crept towards the uncertainty of tomorrow. He was the pillow I kept hugging, even when I was finally on a bed full of cotton. He was childish laughter and gross picking of noses – and as we aged and grew apart, I couldn’t help but cling on to every pillow I could find, trying to ignore the fact that every single one were just feathers wrapped in cloth, sans warmth, sans childhood memories, sans a friendship I’ve grown too fond of.
She was a sunflower crown on a wavy brown hair and she was pink rosy cheeks, cheerful eyes and melodic laughs. She was a bubble of awkwardness, tall and perfect. She was an angel, brought down to the soil while the world around us was burning. She was hipster Instagram posts and 10+ faves and retweets on Twitter. She was all I looked up to, and all I could never be. I never dared to dream of embracing her, for I knew she was never mine to be held. She was the beautiful song you’d hear on the radio, the one you’d never buy on iTunes, not because you were broke, but because you know you only deserve to appreciate her on that exact moment when it would play. You know she is not for you to claim and play whenever you wanted. She loved photography and being behind the camera, not knowing that she was the perfect picture I’ve always wanted to take. She was miles and miles beyond my reach, and I was glad she need not have to be dirtied by my mortal hands. She was so lovely in all sense of the word, that even her flaws were like a child’s drawing book – others might see a mess, but only I could see the splash of color and call it art.
He was the cold gravel of small stones, his hard facts of reality resonating solidarity underneath my heels. He was mud in the midst of mist after a rainy day, his softness oozing in between my toes. He had cracks and bumps and uneven flooring, but it was exactly that fatal flaw that made him see the cracks and bumps and uneven flooring in me. He saw through my pretenses, despite the fact that I’ve tried so hard to walk straight so no one would ask if I were doing alright. He knew without asking that I wasn’t. He felt it in the way I dragged my legs just a little bit heavier than others, in the way I tripped and stumbled over the smallest hills, and in the way I stopped to stare at the nighttime sky in the middle of the city roads. There were times, though, when I’d feel like flying, and he’d feel like the skip in my feet would make it impossible for him to reach for my toes. He thought my “I’ll come back”s were simply empty promises, and that I’d leave without even saying goodbye. He assumed without asking that I wouldn’t. He thought he felt it in the way I wore the thickest slippers to cover myself from his rough edges, in the way I jumped to avoid him for even the shortest second, in the way I slammed myself back to him with equal force. That was all he believed he was for – something you’d never touch if it weren’t for gravity pulling you towards him, never knowing that you would be falling into an abyss forever if it weren’t for him. How many more days will go by of my shoes embracing his surface before he realizes that flying was a temporary bus ride, and he was the permanent destination?
He was the first to take interest in what I was studying, and for that, he has captured me. His voice was low, quiet but childish, as if we were always hiding under a fort of blankets, sharing scary stories, flashlight in hand. His eyes were that of constant amusement as the screen illuminated his face dimly. His laugh was that of a home in the middle of a meadow that was away from the noise of common people. He was an umbrella, his presence a reminder that there was something out there he was protecting me from. I felt safe when I was with him, as though his towering height and hand on my shoulder had the power to fend away my fears of cars crashing towards me. He was amused at the smallest droplet of rain, and loved all the dance steps of the wind. He hated the chaos brought by storms, but laughed whenever I was carelessly splashed by mud. He was an umbrella. But he was never really there to shield me from the rain – rather, he was there to give me the feeling of protection. The feeling that, “darling, it’s just rain, you shouldn’t worry.” Because of him, I never did.