Ray by the Bay.
I sat there wondering if you handed me those three cigarettes to smoke away my tears or had found yet another toxicating way of sticking around a little longer, before we part ways and say our final goodbyes to each other. I really didn’t want to see you trying that hard, but you did make it very obvious with all the nail biting, extensive fidgeting, heavy breathing and of course the pulling out of threads from the t- shirt and tying knots with them. I noticed, your hands were getting all sweaty and clammy because of the nervousness you were trying to hide away from me and due to the untying of the knots just tied. Ha, only if it worked that way. I wish you’d teach me how you bind all these open-ended strings together, it did seem like you were pretty good at it. The way you roped me into your chaos and tangled up every single thing. I couldn’t blame you for everything though. Deep down I knew, I was the borrower and lender of this yarn.
A couple of drags in, I realised you weren’t leaving anytime soon. You even carried that colourful little notepad, on which you made note of every single thing. Everything had to go about the way you had planned, because I knew how much you hated surprises. Wonder what you had in store for me today. Slowly, you started making yourself comfortable, kept aside the yellow pillow you were sitting on, took off those blueish black flip flops that I had gifted you a few years ago because Ray stole your previous pair. I still remember how furious you had gotten back then and the number of days it took me to turn that frown upside down. Ah, NO. Zoning into you is the last thing I was supposed to be doing right now.
I got back into the moment and thought about how this was supposed to be a short farewell. You stood up and walked away in a particular direction. I started getting a little suspicious because, no one apart from Ray knew where I hid my favourite bottle of vintage port wine. Ray couldn’t drink, so he would watch me try being all fancy as I tried to swirl, sniff, sip and drench myself in it. He was the only one to see my ‘wanna be’ professional wine taster self. At first, he used to give me that disappointed, hopeless look but finally he would leave his beloved bowl of treats and his special yellow pillow that no one was allowed to touch and help me clean up, licking me all over my face. I wish he was around. Things would have been so much easier. And once again very evidently, I had spaced out. But it seemed too convenient to lose track of time.
You found the bottle, picked up 2 glasses, and walked towards me with that smirk on your face. You took out your phone, searched for your music library, and went on to play my most favourite playlist of all time, “Ray by the Bay”.
I knew better, but did nothing. I knew you were making this difficult. I felt like the wind has swept me onto this crossroad, I know the road that I’m supposed to take, but I’m afraid I might not see you at the end of that path. I think I’m certain, I will not. I think you’ve sensed that too. I think that is what took us this long. You put your head on my shoulder, but I turned my face away from you. Not that I could feel your touch anyways. I knew you always wanted to be there for me, but it has been difficult every time you’ve left me all alone when I’m surrounded by hundreds, longing to be heard.
This is when I began to question, why I see you, but not your reflection, feel your presence but not your touch. I’m scared to ask you if they were right all along about me, about us. I have seen imperfections and you don’t look familiar. Could someone even be so stainless and absolute? I always knew you weren’t the candle I was supposed to light, to eliminate the darkness and the silence it brings with it. I couldn’t let you occupy that hollow space, even if it meant floating in empty skies.
Alright, this was it. You were stubborn but also lethal. A mere imagination, something I’m afraid isn’t even real. You had already given me too many frames to look through, which have taken hours away from my eyes. I gently moved your head off my shoulder, being unsure of the pressure used, as I still could not feel a thing against my skin. “Not anymore”, I said walking away, finally making a conscious effort.
This is over.
Until the moon shines, the sun hides and waves these tragic goodbyes…