Sunday, March 8, 2015

 ***
They sit there with their pints of beer, him at his third round of Asahi, her still at her first round of Paulaner. She never knew how to drink, how to gather her thoughts well once the alcohol starts kicking in. Not drinking is a way for her to stay safe, to be the sane one between them. Ironically, three years ago she would drink pints after pints, just to keep up with him, impress him, be in his state of mind.

Months of not seeing each other led to this awkward moment where none of them knew what to say, what to do. They knew nothing of what's happening in each others lives. Is he happy? Is he healthy? His decision to disconnect from the outside world meant that if he didn't call today, she'd never know what's happening, if he's alive, if he's injured, dead. When she got the call to meet up she was surprised. Wasn't he 12 hours away, away from her?

She saw him first. That wavy hair with a color that she could never describe. The way he leans on his car door when he waits for someone. The way he scratches his eyebrow. So nothing's changed. "D. How are you?" He turned around. A hug here, a peck on the cheek there. They decided on what to eat, him, as usual, letting her make the decision.

"You gained a bit of weight," he said. She smirked, punched him in the arm. "So, you drive now? I heard you moved houses." She nodded. "Too bad they don't sell the pulled beef rib sandwich that you like anymore." So he still remembers. "I'm not hungry. I'll just steal your fries, and your salad." He raised an eyebrow to that sentence. The eyebrow that's scarred because of something he never wanted to tell her about. "Salad, really? So they're right. You've changed." Have she?

"You still haven't told me. How are you, D?" And that's when she noticed. Those eyes. The ever-changing eyes that she used to be mesmerized about. It's different somehow. Hollow, much, much emptier than what it was before. She looked at him again. He's much skinnier. Has he not recovered from that overdose they told her about? He's coughing. Is he sick, or is it just a result of smoking too much?

"I'm living." "Just living?" "Just living." "Are you happy?" "No." "Have you found someone?" "Do you think any girl in their right mind would want to be with someone who don't have the ability to love them, someone who don't even want anything in his life? "How's life, seriously?" "Like I said, I'm living. I'm breathing, still alive. Drifting day by day, one no different than the other." "Why?" "Because."

Their meal was uneventful. Filled with silence, apart from the occasional comment on the food, on the changes of the area, on their friends.

And now here they are, sitting at the bar. This place is filled with memories. Them drinking, eating, laughing, talking. What happened? What changed? "What happened to us, D?" "You changed." "I know." She looked at him, and a tear fell out of her eyes. He lifted his hand, and for a moment, he hesitated. It's as if he's scared that whatever he's going to do will bring them back to times they know they can no longer have back.

"This might be the last time I'm doing this." He wiped off her tear with his thumb, and smeared it on her nose. She looked into his eyes, and in that brief moment, it's as if nothing is wrong between them, as if the fights never happened, as if they were back to that place last year when they both decided to let everything go and just be. But this isn't. Things are no longer the way it used to be. She can't do this. Not again.

She stood up. "Where are you going?" "I'm sorry." She walked away. If this wasn't a place so public (though, strangely, it's quite empty for a Saturday night), she would've ran. He chased after her. "Where are you going?"
"I can't do this anymore, D."
"What can't you do? What have you and haven't you been doing?"
"I can't sit there and act like everything is okay between us when it's not."
"I never said that things are okay."
"But I want things to be okay. I want us to be the way we were. Remember that time when we danced in the rain and you promised me that you'll always be there to do it with me, over and over again? What happened to that promise? You left, D. You walked out, on me, on your friends. You left me all alone regretting me saying what I said, doing what I did. You left me to pick up the broken person you left behind, and I bled. I'm still bleeding, every day."
"I'm sorry."
"No you're not. You're not sorry. Did you know how worried I was when you left? Did you know how I felt when everyone else knew where you were but I didn't? Did you know how I felt when they told me you OD-ed and left me hanging after that, not knowing if you survived or died? There you are saying that that might be the last time you're wiping my tears. What do you mean by that? Are you planning to harm yourself?"
"I'm sorry."
"Don't give me that. Tell me the truth. What are you planning to do after we said our goodbyes today? If what we had before this meant something to you, please tell me what's in your mind. Talk to me, D. Just for one last time."
"I lost the fight."
***

1 comment:

Launna said...

I am glad you confronted him... I wish I could confront my 'D'... there are so many things left unsaid.

I can't believe he attempted suicide and then spoke to you like he was saying good bye again... unbelievable...