Once, we loved

Every day, I wake up full of good intentions. My mind is busy before my body has had a chance to catch up. I’ve already planned exactly how it will happen and when and what I’ll do and then my body catches up and somehow, between the bedroom and the kitchen, it’s convinced my mind that it simply CAN’T. Before I know it another whole day has passed with me looking through her trying very hard to pretend she isn’t even there.

It’s not so easy, that big elephant in the room. Picture this, somewhat similar, scenario: You have a friend that you were close to for many years at school. After school, she went to Varsity; you joined a band and tried to start a music career. She got married and thought about having kids, you had one failed relationship after another. You’re both living in different worlds and yet you both feel obliged to meet for coffee and talk about inane things because your own, real lives, don’t have any bearing on each other. It’s an unspoken agreement that you don’t EVER talk about the differences, the lack of actual interest in each other lives or the fact that, actually, you’d both rather be getting on with those lives than be sitting there, talking across the surface of them to try and hold on to a friendship that, you’re beginning to think, really should’ve been given a decent burial on the last day of school. If you’d only broach the subject, and take things to a deeper level, you’d realise you both have the same fears and the big elephant in the room becomes a little mouse, or even better, it ceases to breathe altogether.

This is the situation I am in with someone I once loved with all my heart. The once “object of my affection”, who always spoke the same language as me, has become a stranger and I can’t help wondering if it’s my fault or hers. Perhaps it’s both of us. You see, one day, she failed me. I had a story to tell, weighing heavily on my heart and she was the one friend who always listened and always gave me such good advice and I knew, if anyone was going to understand me, she was. Until that day. I poured my heart out, I plucked at her heart strings, then I beat them in anger, then I stroked them coercively, all to no avail. She wouldn’t listen. She refused to hear.

Naturally I lost a little faith in her. I punished her for a few days until I thought she’d learned her lesson. Again I sat her down and tried to explain how I was feeling and again she refused to acknowledge it. This time I hardly tried. I merely got up and walked away. There were a few other half-hearted attempts on my part but I always felt like I had to make the first move and she never gave anything back. Our relationship changed levels. We would sit down to talk now and then and all we’d do was rehash old stories, sometimes we’d even discuss other people’s stories just in case we dipped below the level we were trying so hard to maintain. Both of us were skimming across the surface of our glass ceiling, neither of us daring to change the pattern we’d inadvertently weaved in case we saw a crack developing. Heaven forbid we should have to deal with that. That would be actually giving a name to the glass ceiling which we had come to covet and protect like a fragile bird’s egg. Ironic, really, since it was as thick as the wall of China.

And so the days, weeks, months passed. I’d get up in the morning, walk past her, look right through her and try hard not to reminisce about the days when it was different and every day I’d think, today is the day. And every night I’d get into bed and think, tomorrow is definitely the day.

And yet, this morning I got up and I walked past her again…Except this time I’m allowing myself to dwell on my callous behaviour, and I can feel a strange tingling in my fingers and a tickle in my stomach and I’m definitely a little breathless. I’m not sure what it means. Perhaps I’m just fooling myself. Maybe when I get up from my computer I’ll walk towards her with the intention of something positive, and maybe she’ll look at me with a little hope and, perhaps even a little seduction in her demeanor, and I’ll imagine I hear a gentle sigh from deep inside the protective covering she’s placed around herself, and either it’ll draw me in, or scare me off. My fear of her rejection makes me want to keep walking past, but my arms are aching to hold her and my fingers are tingling with need. With a heart heavy with feeling I wonder, which emotion will out itself first?

I’m not sure where we will end up today. I’m not sure if it will happen…All I know is, this morning I woke up thinking “I WILL play my guitar today”.

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