I miss you.
I miss the coffee I’d get from that one cafe — brewed fresh from a cacophony of preferences and served by biceps too huge to have come from lugging roasted beans processed by fair trade workers — and how I’d sit under one tree and watch you pass by.
I miss the grass at the reservatory, that poorly-kept secret everyone assumes is their own; the view is amazing and the air musty enough for one to imagine that nobody else knows. I don’t know the name of the flowers that bloom large, almost obscene, from low dipping trees in the middle of a sea of brick and mortar and steel, but they add to the charm. A sandwich and the grass and the air and the cold and a sweater laid out because you don’t breathe in oxygen this strong anywhere else.
I miss you. I miss how we used to fight all the time, smiles on our faces, pretending that we’re not secretly pissed off at each other. I miss how we’d miss each other’s point and not let it go until someone sighs, tired. I miss how you and I argue while orbiting each otherconstantly, as though afraid that the first to let go will be the one to win. The first time we met you wore shorts and a gangly patience. The second time we met we became fast friends. We argue over boys and what they mean, and people and what they say, and the Middle East Crisis (in capital letters, because we’re sad that way), and I introduced you to rendang and you make fun of me and it isn’t the same when we try to pull it off away from each other. We’re just tired and upset. You taught me how to physically threaten people in your first tongue. I miss you.
There’s faint music coming from that hall, and you go in quiet and alone, with maybe a pastry in your hand. You lean back and let the music sweep you in. It’s free, you think, so you can’t give it up, and you always go. But how can anything so wonderful be worth nothing? This is charity. You seek it.
I miss your sweeping dress and the way your eyes never hid away from your heart. You’d sweep me up in a hug and a laugh and tell me how the days have passed, although really, it feels like there has been no time between then and now. I think maybe I use you and forget you easier than I should. You always come to the mind unbidden when I see height and grace and a loping gait.
I miss the unreality that was you. It was intoxicating and untrue, and I swam in every inch of it. I made up this person I wanted you to be, and the reality was harsher, but less crushing after I’d been pushed away. I don’t think I’ve forgiven you, but the heart is foolish and wants foolish things and that image of you is as close as it gets. I hear of you now and then, and see pictures of you, and it’s not hard to remember how or why I built you up in my mind as I did. There is so much regret between us, and so much pain.
I miss that you and I have only met a few times in our lifetimes, and yet we have become each other’s anchor in this mess we wade through with the pretense of comprehension. I miss how we talked and how we still do — long lines, long long lines of symbols and laughter and inside jokes and sorrow and tears at three in the morning and not sleeping until late and after our hearts are spent. I learned a lot about heartbreak from you — our heartbreak shared and dissected and analysed within an inch of their lives, away and apart. You hold as many secrets and as many worries as I can give you and only rarely do you spit it back at me. I feel like I’m losing you to life and the pace you’ve chosen. We talk all the time but I miss you, I miss you.
I miss how little space we had between us. I lost you to insecurities, and you to time, and how much have we lost in between? It’s hard to say. And I cannot promise you anything although I still say the word — ‘Promise’ — and hold onto it like it’s the only thing keeping you from going away where I cannot follow. I miss our late nights together, laughing and dispensing secrets and advice in odd intervals, and how we’d walk down empty streets hand-in-hand as though into a sweeping tide. I don’t know when we let go, but we have, and there is not one day that passes that I don’t miss either of you or either of those moments or how we felt.
I miss you. We used to talk beneath that doorway, between those sliding glass doors, and between locks that threatened to trap us all within. You have an accent that grew on me eventually, but that didn’t stop us, did it? We went on and talked and you usually laughed and I’d make you and you’d always give in. She loves you more than you know, but until then, we are stuck in between knowing and pretending not to. Despite our glaring stories, you are one of the truest friends I know and love. There was that night when we worried about growing up and taking on more than we were ready for, and I wish we’d talked for longer or that we’d spent more time together. There is so much left to be said, and I wish we had words enough and time.
I miss you. And the words are only a symptom of things I wish I had more words for. I miss you although it never seems enough.