Saturday, September 5, 2009

Foolish Games.. (25)

Greetings! I’m continuing the story 6 months from “the breakup”. This post is basically just to clear things up for you guys! Oh and stop hating me, yeah? Thanks.


*6 months later*

I felt like a fundamental part of me was missing for the longest time, it constantly seemed as if I was reaching for something, only to have it slip through my fingers in the last second. I was never one to dwell on the past, but despite how things ended, my relationship with 3azeez meant too much for me to pretend to be cavalier about it and brush it off as if it were nothing.

Commitment issues. To anyone on the outside, that’s what it must’ve seemed like. I didn’t even know where to begin to clear up those wrongful notions, so I offered noncommittal shrugs and kept to myself. Truth is, I had no problems with commitment, not anymore than the normal person would. Okay, maybe a little more, but what kept me paralyzed with fear was abandonment. I couldn’t very well let him pass up such an amazing opportunity and leave him saddled by my side, wondering what could’ve been. I didn’t have it in me. But it wasn’t completely selfless on my part; I couldn’t let my world revolve around him knowing he might be harboring some resentments towards me that will inevitably tear us apart.

Where would that leave me?

*6 months earlier*

“Wow.” he said and laughed humorlessly. He breathed out and I realized he had been holding his breath since he asked the question. I felt another fresh shot of guilt rushing to my stomach. He loosened his grip on my hand, but didn’t quite let go of it. I stared down at our hands, unable to look at him yet.

“I’m sorry.” I said earnestly, I doubted the words held any significance to him, but it was all I had to offer.

“So am I.” He replied as he stared pensively into the distance.

We both knew it was too late for us, the words had already been put out there, we couldn’t take them back at this point, even if we wanted to. The silence was deafening, I knew I owed him an explanation but didn’t find the correct words to verbalize my reasoning. I knew what he must be thinking and all the misconceptions forming in his head with every silent second that passes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to straighten it out. The damage had been done.

I mustered enough courage to look up and face him. And then our eyes met. And for the merest seconds I felt all my justifications fly out the window. I wanted nothing more than to throw myself in his arms and take it all back. It was all very cliché but I tried to memorize his face in those few seconds, I knew pictures didn’t do him justice. They weren’t able to capture the intensity of his gaze, currently tainted with pain and, despite the predicament we were in, love. It was my undoing.

I felt a tear making its way down my face, wound my fingers around his and squeezed his hand tight. “I’m not ready to let go yet.”

“Come here.” He ordered gruffly, pulled me into his arms and hugged me. I hugged him back and held on tight, as if it would magically make everything right again. “I love you.”

“I know,” I whispered back, “I love you, too.”

“But I won’t chase you.” He said determinedly.

“I know that, too.” I said and I smiled a little to myself. Mission accomplished, right?

I don’t remember who initiated it, but our arms gradually loosened from around each other, until they fell altogether. And in the silence and awkwardness that ensued, we didn’t have any options but to walk back to Khaled’s apartment. We made idle chatter on the way back, no time like the present to start acting like acquaintances. He said he would go back to Kuwait in two days to pack his things and say his good byes so he could relocate as his father had already arranged for an apartment for him, knowing instinctively he’d take the job. And why wouldn’t he? He asked if he could see me when I got back there, I told him it wouldn’t be wise of us and he readily agreed.

He hugged me one last time outside Khaled’s door, “If you ever need anything-” he started.

“I know.” I said, interrupting him. But we both knew I wouldn’t reach out to him for any reasons, it was difficult enough as it is.

“Take care, kiddo.” he said with that crooked grin I came to love.

Strangers. We should live our lives as complete strangers from now on, there’s no reason for me to be affected by his “kiddo”. I smiled back one final time and entered the apartment. Mya had already left, we must’ve been gone for longer than we thought. I found Khaled sitting on the counter and I walked over to him and sat beside him. He pushed a pint of ice cream and a spoon in my direction and I accepted without preamble and dug into it.

I found my voice a couple of spoonfuls later and asked him, “How did you know?”

He reached out, put his arms around me and simply stated, “I know you.”
Header Image by Colorpiano Illustration