Here I am in this unfamiliar place, yet I could feel the presence of two persons that I miss quite a lot; one more than the other.
You, and you.
Both of you were born only two days apart in November. To be exact, 14 years and two days. There are things that both of you could have a conversation about with each other, and visit certain places together without having to worry about boring each other out.
You, with whom I held hands while walking along River Thames last year. It was with you that I spent days of smiles, laughter or even a bit of anger. You were, and are still, the person who could understand exactly what I feel, without me having to say a single word.
We dragged those heavy bags together, up and down the trains and their stations deep underground. It was with you that I had such a harrowing experience of riding a crowded elevator, 11 floors deep into the earth. It was you whom I waited for, while you were going around Tate Modern, understanding things that I could only half appreciate.
It was you who were annoyed with my fear of dogs. Yes, I do find them adorable but I just don’t like their fangs and bark. I’m sorry.
We walked around from sun rise until it’s pitch black. We ate whenever we felt like it, and that is not very frequent. Even a snickers bar would do for lunch.
It was a trip that I did not regret even a second of it. When you left home, I felt thankful that we spent all those days together, because I don’t know when would be the next best time for us to go for such a trip again.
It was because of you that I asked him all about London and Edinburgh and where should you visit to encourage your already profound love for all things beautiful.
Even up to this moment, I could not understand why you were so important in my life. It came as a surprise for me when I realise it. You came in my life for such a short period of time but I guess you don’t know how much you meant to me. I doubt you will ever know it.
Here I am, arriving on a gloomy day, in this city with its red- (and grey-) bricked old buildings and narrow one-way streets. I wondered what I should do here, where should I go first. It’s not like I did not make a plan, but since reaching this place, I did not feel like doing anything at all.
You see, before coming over, before even deciding on where to go after the exams, I contemplated on asking you about this place. I knew, many other people have come to this place. They could have told me what to do, but most of them said, “there’s nothing there, go somewhere else.” The city intrigued me so I decided to come anyway.
Unlike the rest, I knew you would not say “there’s nothing to see.” I knew the traveller in you would have listed down a few places for me to visit and things that I could perhaps appreciate. I knew you would have encouraged me to go and explore this old city. Anyway it was you who wanted to be a travel journalist, while I dreamt of being a travel photographer.
It could have worked but it just won’t.
I decided not to ask you. In fact I have lost your phone number. Well, actually I did not lose your phone number. I changed to a new phone and your number is in my battered Blackberry. Because of our circumstances, I thought that it’s better for me to just leave it like that.
Now the dreamy part of me regretted not getting your opinion.
The rational part of me said it’s better for me to do this on my own.
* * *
I know you miss me as much as I miss you, and I know you wish to be here with me as much as I wish you were here.
And you, I don’t think I ever crossed your mind anymore, especially not these days. But it’s ok. Wherever you might be, whatever you might be doing at this moment, I hope you are well and happy.
* * *