But Nothing heals the past like time and they can’t steals the love you’re born to find.– Be alright, Dean Lewis
We would often sneak up to the roof. Way after midnight, when everyone was asleep. We made that place our haven with bottles of beer and a blanket. Our safe space. We used to come out there and talk. Or just sit in silence. She had always been fascinated by the glittering objects in the sky, and I, by her.
That night I found her sitting at our spot, lost in thought. She rarely came up before me. She was so lost in her own world that she didn’t even notice me climb up. I set my bag full of beer cans next to her and murmured a soft hello. The air around her felt different that night. She looked at me for a second to acknowledge my presence but didn’t utter a word. This was unusual for her. She was one of those people who could talk your ears off.
I knew she had her issues. I knew that she was disturbed that her heart harboured many demons. But I knew better than to poke at them. I sat down beside her and offered her a can. She took a sip and set it down.
Then she turned towards me and asked – “How do you forget?”
I had never seen her look so lost. Her eyes were oceans of sadness, and I found myself drowning in them.
“What do you mean?
She turned away and stared at the stars. She looked like a lost angel in the moonlight, and I would have done anything to take her pain away.
“How do you forget? People say forgive and forget. I can’t forget. It’s all imprinted in my brain. How do I forgive?”
“What do you need to forget?”
I didn’t reply and just took her hand in mine. She took another sip and spoke,” You know people marvel at my ability to remember, but I believe it’s a curse. Why can’t I be more like you? Why can’t I just forget and move on?”
She turned towards me, her eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“What do you need to forget?” I ask again.
“Things. Things about people.”
She looked away and sighed. I knew better than to ask again.
“A song was playing on the radio today. Her favourite song. I remember how she used to fawn over him. The singer. She was crazy about him.” She half-smiled as she stared at everything but me,” We would spend hours deciphering the lyrics. It used to be a happy memory. But now it makes me sad. I don’t listen to his songs anymore.”
She lay down on the roof, staring at the sky. I lay down beside. None of us made a sound.
“How do I forget our conversations? How do I forget those moments when I felt safe with her? She was my confidant. How do I move on? It is so strange that the memories we once cherished become so tainted that they cause nothing but pain with time. That they bring nothing but tears.”
“How do I forget the games we used to play? How do I forget everything he did for me and I for him? How do I forget the feeling I had when he wanted me? How do I un-feel all that? How do I forget how happy my little self would get? My knight in white.” She laughed
“Tell me about them. Tell me what you need to forget, and I’ll forget it for you.”
She was quiet for a while. I thought she didn’t want to tell me and was about to apologize when she started to speak.
“Everything. I need to forget everything. I need to forget how we danced around the room till our feet hurt, and we couldn’t move. I want to forget how we sing at the top of our voices without caring about anyone or anything. We were so out of tune. We probably sounded like a litter of cats screeching.” She laughed bitterly. A laugh full of despair.
She looked at the sky, and instinctively I knew she was looking for the constellations she knew.
“Sometimes, I wish I had amnesia. I know that’s a bad thing to say, but I really really wish that at times. It would make life so much easier if I could simply forget about that time.”
I looked at her. She wiped away a tear. Looking up, she whispered softly, “It’s just how things have changed. I wish they hadn’t.”
But things hadn’t changed, at least not for me. We had matured, but she was still the same girl I fell in love with. The same heart that kept my beating. Yes, it was battered. But it’s the scars that make it even more precious to me.
Nothing had changed. I was still here. She was too. She was just too lost to notice. I wish she’d noticed that nothing much had changed in the past 5 years. Only the cans of soda pop were now cans of beer. She was still the one I lived for. The one I’d die for.
“Things change. That’s life. Just remember, it’s all for the best. People leave. If they didn’t, you’d never find the one who’s meant for you.” I whispered to her, hoping she’d realize what I truly meant. She nodded and then sighed, leaning her head on my shoulder; she stared at the night sky. She was looking at her stars, and I, at mine.