(I wrote this about a dear friend of mine…hope you all enjoy it!)
As I think of you, I remember many instances, over the many years that we’ve known each other, where you’ve reappeared into my life in such a sudden, intriguing moment that it should have seemed out of place. More than once, you’d appeared on my doorstep, likely having walked through the mere few hundred feet of dusty grass, peppered with the trees still left standing after the development of expensive homes that made mine look out of place, that stood between you and I.
We lived technically a couple miles apart, by road, but that short trip through the yard at the end of the culdesac was the magical shortcut that unlocked many memories. It had always been there, and yet it had taken us so long to finally figure it out, to figure out that we had never been very far from each other. It has always been that way with you and I—a strange connection, forged from energies beyond either of our comprehensions, which was both the easiest and most difficult thing to ignore. And so, though your appearances should have seemed out of place, they never ever did.
They may have never felt out of place, but they did certainly always catch me by surprise.
They were always spontaneous, and normally came after periods of silence, where I had not heard from you in some time. It was during these reprieves that I believed, or rather told myself that I believed, that whatever strange power the world might have over us was finally finished with me. Love is not a very easy bond to break, but I could get on with my life if I believed that you were doing the exact same.
It was easy to believe that my life without you was normal when I convinced myself that you’d forgotten about me.
But then, there you’d be. Appearing on my doorstep, raising money for the same band and choir trip that I’d been trying to raise money for a few days before. Awkwardly shuffling your feet in front of you as you averted your eyes to the ground, asking to use my phone after you accidentally blew out the tires in your mom’s car. Knocking on my window in the middle of the night with my best friend in tow to laugh with me and play guitar at 2 o’clock in the morning. And then, years later, staying the night at the house I shared with my boyfriend who didn’t quite want to leave me, but also didn’t want to stay, and telling me the things I wished you could have told me sooner.
The more I think about the time that you’ve spent in my life, I think about how you really have always been there—even when you weren’t. Like a twinkling light that can only be seen on the clearest of nights, you were still there, gleaming behind the clouds and waiting for the right time to shine. And each time that my breath caught in my throat when you stumbled back into my life, it was as if you’d never left it. Each time, it was as though the world was reminding me of something special—something that could not be ignored, or forgotten, or pushed away. At one point, I realized that it would be impossible to ever leave you behind.
I don’t remember exactly when that point came, whether it was as we watched movies and played Guitar Hero at your mom’s house, or if it was when you played the bass, and I played the drums, to a song in the spare bedroom of the place where I grew up, or if it was when you asked to read the poems that I’d written about you during the first time that I believed you were gone from my life forever. Perhaps it was even as much as the moment that you approached me in the bright, sunny, half-melted snowcaps of a ski resort and hugged me, apologizing for not talking to me for so long and insisting that we should talk more. I’ll never know for sure.
But what I do know after all these years is that even when it feels like it might be the end, it will never be the end.
We may agree that there has never been a ‘spark’ between us. And I’m glad for that! A spark is a short and very temporary thing; it creates a lot of power and light at the time that it ignites, but then it’s gone as quickly as it came. Sometimes, it can start a wildfire—but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Sometimes the hottest, most unstoppable wildfires can be caused by a single wisp of heat smoldering and catching in the breeze.
I’ve stopped trying to convince myself that your departures, however inconsistent, will ever be for the last time, because it will never be true. I regret ever allowing myself to believe otherwise…but now I know. I know that the world I see inside of your eyes as I strain to peer into your soul is something that I will always want to be a part of. I think I’ve always known it, but sometimes it’s just easier to close your eyes and live in the darkness. It might be easier, but it isn’t half as rewarding…at least not for me.
I know you’ll always come back to me, as sure as I am that I will always be there to welcome your return.