There’s a half moon today. “Not now, not yet but soon,” it seems to say. My best friend once told me that life is like being caught in a half moon. It’s just one transition after another. Nothing is ever completely finished, otherwise there would be no life left for us to live. Funny how the moon and my best friend can be so hopeless yet hopeful at the same time.
There are moments when I question if I made all the right decisions. What if I held on a little longer? What if I said some things? Would that make any difference? What if I was a little too rash? I was never the type to wallow about regrets but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any.
The memory plays like a movie. I can almost hear the projector hum. It was the eve of John’s absence and for the most parts, I was fine about it. Of course, I would miss him. We’ve been best friends since before I could remember. But people move on. They move forward. Sometimes, they move away. If you stop moving, you stop living. Who was I to stop my best friend from living his life?
We threw a huge party at his house and all of our closest friends were there. Somewhere between drinks and goodbyes, he asked to speak to me in private. I never did get to see how that party ended.
“Oh no. Here it comes. Time for teary goodbyes,” I joked as we went up the stairs to his room. He was strangely quiet. He’s usually a loud drunk but I guess he was more affected about leaving than he was letting on.
“How do you like your party?” I asked as I took his picture with a rusty Polaroid. He was still quiet. It seemed like he needed to tell me something but couldn’t find the right words. He closed the door and slumped down on the floor. I sat down beside him. The tiles felt cold but it was nothing compared to the chill that had managed to follow us all day.
“I’ll miss you,” was all he said. It was all he had to say. I tried to be strong. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry but there I was silently weeping. As best friends, we shared everything except our emotions. I wasn’t sure if he could handle it but when the feeling in my chest became too heavy to hold, I decided to let go.
“Me too. I know it’s selfish. I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I really wish you wouldn’t go.” He looked into my eyes and I could see just how hard this whole thing was for him.
“There are things I want to tell you but I don’t know if I can. I’m sorry if I haven’t been honest.” I wasn’t sure what he meant. Was he not leaving? Was all this some elaborate prank?
And then he kissed me. All my life, John was always John-my-best-friend. True, I was into him but I never dared to do anything about it. He knew I was different but I had never known that we had so many similarities. I didn’t know he could feel that way about me too. He lay his head down on my lap as a few warm teardrops flowed from his eyes to my denims.
“Why this? Why now?” It almost seemed unfair that all this came to be on our last night together. “Why couldn’t you have told me sooner? Why bother telling me now?” There was a pain that my voice betrayed. I tried to hide it but it was as clear as the nighttime sky. I had so many questions but I didn’t ask him. I didn’t think either of us could afford the answers.
In a most awkward and verbose way, I told him how I felt about him. Truth is, a part of me knew all along but it wasn’t until this night that I finally put the pieces together. I waited for some form of response from him but he was quiet. He was always quiet. Why the hell was he so quiet?
“John?” I called. He mumbled incoherently. He was asleep. In a few hours, it will be morning. In a few hours, we would have to say goodbye again. I wanted to wake him up so we could spend our last night talking but something in me told me otherwise. “Not now, not yet but soon,” the voice said. “Not now, not yet but soon.”
True to form, life moved on for both of us. It’s been years and I don’t know where John is anymore. Funny how at one point, he was always within arms reach. I have nothing left but pictures and memories of him- our last ones being the most vivid and incomplete. In my heart of hearts, I know this is not the end. There are plenty of things unspoken and unheard. I know one day I’ll see him again. Not now, not yet but soon.
Photo Credit: M. Hartmann
Original Post: Lullaby
Friend of Mine