And then there are days when you catch a glimpse of their faces in photos you've never seen, with people you've never met or old friends you don't think about anymore, and it stabs you right in the gut... how friends who used to share their darkest secrets with you have no idea what goes on in your life anymore, and you have no idea about theirs. And the sadness slaps you like a cold wet blanket in the rain. And you know that some friendships don't last forever... but you're running out of fingers to count the ones who still care.
I remember the first flight I ever took, looking down at the world below as it flickered to life in the inky night. The first time I was ever truly alone. The last time I would ever have your heart. It was never this place that tore us apart. It was always just us, you and me against the world. And I guess the world won this time.
I am drowning beneath these sheets. I do not know what time it is anymore. I want the night to continue on for days, so I don't have to face the morning. The sun is too much happiness for me right now and I want to stay in the shadows. I want to swim beneath these waters, where I see your face everywhere... in the glints of light in this murky sea, a sliver of hope in all this despair.
I saw three rainbows in thirty minutes today upon my return home. Three perfect arcs in the sky, if only for a fleeting moment. Rainbows remind me of how precious life is, if only we care to look, to notice the little things. But three in thirty minutes? Have I been missing all these rainbows in my life, because I'm drowning my sorrows in the rain?
If I had a four leaf clover
And given 4 wishes to choose
I'd ask for eternal love
From the one I had to lose
I'd pray for the acceptance
And remove my family's noose
I'd wish for conscious living
Instead of this fake ruse
I'd ask for time and healing
For every pain, cut and bruise
If I had a four leaf clover
And given 4 wishes to choose
You would have been my lover
My sanctuary and my muse
I'm sitting alone by the phone, wishing you'd call, wishing you were here, and wishing that I would stop wishing so much. I'll have a shit day, and I'll entertain thoughts of contacting you, to complain, to dump on you, to share the grief, and then I'll start berating myself for straying so far. I would wait for hours, days, weeks to hear from you, refraining from contacting first, knowing you'll be busy anyway, and telling myself you've got better things to do and I was never a priority anyway. I'll have a good day, and I'll start thinking of a new start, to start forgetting you, to remove you from my psyche. And then, just when I had managed to do just that... you say hey. And I'm back to square one again.
7am and she wakes me up. We get out of bed and come down the stairs together. I prepare her breakfast and she eats with gusto. I brush my teeth, open the curtains, make a coffee. She follows me to her blue mat, sits and starts cleaning her face. Our breaths creating little puffs of steam in the cold morning air. The fog outside distills the early sun rays, enveloping everything in a misty pale cloud of light. There is steam coming off the deck railings, only in the spots where the sun can reach. If I strain to listen, I can hear the faint bubbling of the tiny stream at the bottom of our garden. Everything is so still. Time is immortalised in those moments, when it's just me, her and the world. It feels good to be alive.
I am not a bag of rainbows. I have a vortex within me that I could drown in... and you along with it. I am the baggage that I carry deep within that I cannot cut loose. I wish my hatred didn't overshadow my happiness. I want to move on and yet my heart is anchored in concrete. I try to be present but the shadows follow me even in sunlight. You saved me when I felt like I was dying... and now I can't undo you. I am not a bag of rainbows. I am rain, and storms, and the howling wind.
I was dying on the inside
Drowning in the night
Burning in the sunlight
Trying to take flight
You came shining like a ray
Took all my darkness away
Turned my pain into play
I wanted you to stay
You were my ride or die
You made me want to fly
You raised me up so high
You never saw me cry
Torment still clutched my heart
It was there right from the start
Though I tried to hide it so hard
It eventually drove us apart
You're so beautiful... you don't even have to try. My knees go weak... heart flutters, heat travels through my veins at lightning pace. You close your eyes... I want to get lost in your eyelashes, drown in your mouth, sink into your skin. You're so far away... over oceans and seas, where night is now day, this longing is killing me dead.
When you look at me, what do you see? Can you feel the heat rising from my heart? Can you feel the passion boiling in my blood? Can you hear my heartbeat pounding like a distant thunderbolt? Can you fathom how much you really mean to me? Can you see that you are the reason there are stars in my eyes? Can you feel my world revolving around you? When you look at me... do you see me at all?
I'm sinking beneath the surface of all that I thought I could be. I've been here before, and I'm not proud of it. I thought I had standards that wouldn't be compromised on. I'd rather not look back but I can't help myself. I recognize the patterns, the increased heartrate, the uncertainty, the butterflies in my stomach... the anxiety. I have fallen from grace, yet again. And I don't know if I can ever get back up again.
I check the screen again. Nothing. I let out another sigh. Surely this torment isn't completely one sided. Surely he's thinking of me too? Maybe he's busy at work. Maybe he's in a meeting. Maybe he's having a conversation with someone else. I wonder what he talks about. We haven't talked for a while. Like really talk, about things that are deep and meaningful. Maybe I don't just figure that much in his life anymore. Maybe because I'm safe, I'm there, I'm not going anywhere. Maybe because he thinks I'll be around forever. Maybe I won't. I glance at the screen even though I know what I'll see. It's still empty. I am empty.
Look into these eyes
Don't pretend you cannot see
The worlds I had to conquer
Just to be free
Look at these shoulders
Can't you see they're weary
Holding everything together
Through the light and the dreary
Look beyond the smile
That hides a million tears
Just listen for awhile
You'll hear my deepest fears
... I do not want to keep carrying the world.
There's a spark I can't put out, no matter how hard I try. I cannot forget the way it made me feel. The tiny flicker of light from within, the hope that carries me on its wings, all the way back to you. It's not going out, no matter how hard the wind blows, no matter if it rains down on me. This flicker was once a flame, engulfing me whole. A hurricane of heat and time and passion, all simmered down into one tiny glimmer. You are the light that never goes out.
I look up at the sky, and the pink petals of spring have started colouring the air into shades of blush and candyfloss. I've seen pink trees in my mind since I was a child, never assuming that one day I may actually get to see them in real life. As I sit here on the grass, eyes glinting in the sunlight, dappled shadows across my skin, a single pale pink petal lands on my cheek. As soft as powder, a fragrance so faint it feels like a memory. I drift among the petals descending on me, carried away in my thoughts of you, wishing you were here to sit beneath this tree with me, so we could float away together.
I do not understand why loving someone has to hurt so much. Why does he hurt me so much? Why do I feel like I really don't matter? My heart is bursting with all the things I do not want to say, because I know they will hurt but they are drowing me in my own tears. I hate how he makes me feel like I am the least most important person in the world.
I thought we were meant to get each other. I thought being together meant supporting each other. I thought that shared victories were meant to strengthen each other and make us feel proud of who we are and what we've achieved. Sometimes I think that I think too much, and maybe I expect too much as well. I thought it would get easier. I thought wrong.
I look at you and once again, you don't notice me looking. You're caught in the web of the light emanating from your screen, like a hypnotic kaleidoscope created to take you away from me. Will you turn away, and give me your light instead? I just want to open these eyes and be greeted with warmth, a smile... something, from you, from within. Perhaps I'm just wishing in vain.
Today was the day I was brought into this world. 4 steps forward, 3 steps back. And then one day I discovered love. 4 broken hearts, 3 different reasons. I had to go far, far away. 4 different time zones, 3 different airports. I learnt how to survive. 4 friends made, 3 friends left. I struggled to get any work after graduating. 4 job interviews, 3 rejections. And when life finally seemed to have worked out, all I felt was alone and empty. 4 achieved life goals, 3 failed relationships.
A single matchstick burning in the darkness. The way tall weeds blow in the wind. The smell of fresh rain on a tar road. The sound of electric trains as they pull into a staion. The air conditioning inside a long-distance bus ride. The confines of one little darkroom. The forgotten train ticket I used as a bookmark. When Bon Jovi plays on the radio. Every single Mini Minor I see on the road. Every Terry Pratchett book. When I spot a rolled up tshirt sleeve. When I see black oil under my fingertips. When I close my eyes and hear the rain falling.
I don't know how to forget you.
I will scatter flowers at your feet... if you promise me you won't trample on my dreams. I will fill your head with swirling colours... if you promise you won't turn a blind eye at my spirit. I will drip dew onto your lips when you are thirsty... if you promise not to drown me in your tears. I will perfume your thoughts from afar... if you promise you won't forget about me.
I cannot stop these thoughts from taking over my being... my heart starts pounding, my blood starts gushing through my veins... my head starts to swim with watery images of you clouding my brain from thinking straight. I want to stop these visions from haunting me in my sleep... in my days that I'm wide awake... everytime I hear a song about a heart breaking to pieces. How do I save myself from drowning, when I can't swim? How do I stop my eyes from seeing, when you're there even when I'm dreaming? Can you save me from myself?
Every morning, I awake from slumber, tearing myself away from you.
Every day, on the road, trying to make a living.
Every break time, on the phone, looking for ghosts of you to pop up at me.
Every evening, driving home, not knowing if I'm feeling dread, or hope, or nothing at all.
Every night, my demons come back for me, waiting for me to fall asleep.
Do you look for me in the in between... where nothing is really black or white? Do you find me in the cracks of your crumbling walls... the ones you built around your heart? Do you see me when you close your eyes... when the lights go out and darkness takes over? Do you think you can still love me... when all my colours start to fade? When everything is cold and grey... do you... do you think you'll stay?
You keep slipping through my fingers, and you don't even know... everytime I try to stop you from falling, I whisper your name out aloud.... I try to catch you mid-air without you knowing that I messed up... that I looked away for a moment... and I'll be paying for it for the rest of my life, watching you disappear between my fingers.
There is electric in the air... I watch you from afar, and my skin tingles. You don't know I'm there, and I see you smile. My heart breaks a little as it starts to beat faster. I don't know how to stop all my pieces from falling apart. You weave a spell over me, and you don't even have to try. I close my eyes, willing it all to disappear, and your dimples flood my vision. I open my eyes again, and you are gone. My skin still prickly, breath still ragged... I search for you in all the faces of the people I see for the next 20 years. And still... everytime I close my eyes, you are there, like electric, like magic... like a ghost that I simply cannot erase.
This must be God's cruelest joke... to make you meet the one you will love forever, and you fall like you've never known gravity... and then, when you've forgotten that you know how to fly, he takes them away for good. Gravity doesn't let you go, and your forgotten wings are now torn to shreds. So you keep falling, deeper and deeper, as he disappears as swiftly as a broken feather in the wind.
I come home in the cold. There are memories of him still scattered on the floor. It's eerily quiet. I almost expect to see him bolting around a corner. But no, nothing. He's never coming back. The emptiness pervades the space that was always there, yet it feels so much bigger and so much emptier. I close my eyes and try to remember his warmth. But it's fading fast in this icy air. He is gone. Gone. Gone.
I am supportive. I look up to your aspirations. I admire your tenacity. I don't think I have the same conviction. I am weaker but I'm not weak. I asked you a question. I don't choose you over me. I am genuinely curious. I cannot understand why you're getting mad. I didn't accuse. I didn't want to make you feel bad but you did. I am not responsible for how you feel. I am responsible for asking a question when I don't understand. I am punished for my inquisition. I am made to fight. I hate fighting. I hate this argument that was just a question. I hate your rising tone. I ask you to calm down. I hear my heart racing. I hate all of this. I hate that I am responsible.
Sometimes you think you will be ok. That time will heal all wounds. That the past will somehow dilute in intensity like a drop of ink in the ocean. Sometimes you tell yourself that your heart will stop bleeding one day. That his name will not make your gut roll like a storm. That the car he used to drive will not fill you with a longing that you cannot explain. And then... there are some days when you realise that there are no bandaids for the broken hearted.
I was born to breathe fire, even when I was standing in a flood. I am the raging storm that just doesn't know how to stop. I am the lightning bolts chased by the thunder, never quite getting caught. I am the deepest rumbles from the earth within that makes you question your sanity. I am the drowing rain that soaks right through your skin, into your veins, tangles up your heartbeat and leaves you with a heaving sigh. I am the burning fire that was never meant to be put out.
Rip this heart open and you will find that you are still there, no matter how many times I try to drown you out, no matter how many tears I cry to weep you away from my weary soul. Rip this heart open and you will find your words tattooed on the inner walls, the poetry you wrote with broken pencils. Rip this heart open and you will find images of our yesteryears permanently etched in my chambers, your dimples still visible, your curls wrapped around my veins. Rip this heart open, and if you find any space left without you in it... maybe, maybe I'll find a little spot for me.
It's 6am and the sun has barely risen over the horizon. It's rare for me to be awake at this time, and I relish how it feels for a moment, lying there, listening to the gently falling rain outside, the occasional breeze blowing. I strain to hear more, a distant car starting up and leaving, a muffled bark from 2 streets over. I close my eyes for a moment and I hear my heart beating, a steady, slow rhythm. I try to remember when was the last time I had taken a moment to hear my own heartbeat like this in the darkness. I'm sure I've done it a few times, though I recollect nothing of those exact moments... but of course... heartbeats, darkness, rain... who else could I think of but you. I open my eyes, and wonder if somewhere, somehow, you're listening to your own heartbeat too, and I wonder what you think of when you do.
Some days I don't know how I ended up here. Feeling like I'm going through the motions. Doing what I need to get done. Being who I thought I should be. Sometimes deliriously happy, most times feeling like I'm living a half-life. I don't know what happened along the way. Perhaps getting my heart broken so many times had made me a little cynical, a little cold... a little less. I wish I could feel more than this.
Do the stars seem to shine the same to you? Do you think of the same things when that songs starts to play on the radio? Do you still love pizza and ice cream and oreo cookies, and hate all forms of veges? Do you still escape into your world of books when the real world gets too much to handle? Do you still play the guitar when you're all alone in your room? Do you still do the things you used to do, cos they made you you? Or are you all grown up now, and you've stopped rolling your tshirt sleeves up? Do you eat better these days? Do you still think of me when the wind blows the tall grasses and the rain starts to fall? Do you remember me at all?
I'm trying and failing to stop all the sounds that are wrecking me from the inside out. I want to reach in and grab ahold, yank it out and toss it far, far away. I want to shut the outside from coming in, and I want to shut my insides from spilling out. I don't know how to stop my world from spinning me into the ground. I shut my eyes... and I see nothing but red. Blood, rage, passion, fury, heartbreak, anger, fire... all of my demons come alive.
Can I turn this page over, dog-eared and tear-stained, worn down all along the edges? I've read it a thousand, million times now, and I know every curve of every letter, every word that seared right through my psyche... reading my tragedy through another's eyes. Can I escape the hurt, the one I keep reliving over and over? I don't know if I have the strength to put this book down, to hide it at the back of the bookshelf, to let it collect dust over the years... I don't think I have what it takes to turn your page.
Every day I wake up not knowing what I'm really searching for, feeling a little empty, just a little lost. I try to be happy, to remind myself that I have many, many blessings... and then I struggle to smile remembering them. Can happiness really feel so blue? Can memories really take over some days? How do I bring back the rainbows when all I can feel is rain?
It starts out with messages that don't get replied as soon as they used to. Then an unanswered email. Then a letter that never gets reciprocated. Then silence for weeks, months... years. You stare at their number that's still on your contact list, wondering how can a person be worlds away when you can reach them through the telephone line in 10 seconds? And why do they say that they miss you, and yet never call? How can this silence, this nothingness slice you so deep... when really there isn't anything there at all?
Do you remember that one time, we sat in the rain, and the whole world around us disappeared? I wanted to sing the words to a song we both loved, but I didn't want to ruin the silence. Do you remember holding my hand, a promise of an entire life ahead of us, together? I can still see the raindrops dripping off your curls, your eyelashes wet in the misty rain... and that was when I knew that I would never be able to erase this from my mind, even when we're grey and old... you will forever be immortalised as the boy who stole my heart away and never left me whole again.
There are days when I can smell the fresh rain falling on the hot tarmac, and instantly I'm transported through time. I wonder if you remember the same things I do. I know the years are passing by, and that life is happening to both of us whether we like it or not... and slowly, if not surely, you must have forgotten so many things by now. I wonder if you know that I'm still here... stuck here in 2003 when life was painfully simple and we dared not think too far ahead, for fear that reality would break our little bubble. The truth is, life did break us... and perhaps we are where we are meant to be now. But I'm still here... are you?
Jon's playing the guitar softly with his eyes closed, Adam's in the dark corner playing a tune on the piano. You and I watching them from another corner of the same room, pink and purple lights in the darkness, the oil stains still smeared on your khaki cargos, your breath smelling like toothpaste, my denim jacket draped over a chair, your curls and mine intertwined... this is where you and I end and begin.
Stuck between a smile and a tear
Between the shadows and the light
Fighting to stay afloat and not drown
To burn just as brightly under the sun
And sink even deeper into the night
Joy resurfacing between the frowns
I am both black and white and grey
I cannot remember all the names
But I see all the faces in my mind
Of all the things I can and cannot say
To break a heart or leave it intact
I am so afraid of what I will find
When boys and men used to stare at me
Trying from a distance to delve
Where I still failed at trying to forget you
In a land far away trying to be free
At twenty three
Who would have thought we would be here
Trying to open a closed door
At thirty four
Why can't I stop seeing you in my mind
Where you still keep me alive
At forty five
Which heart will we be carrying deep within
A broken thing we need to fix
At fifty six
How do you keep on pretending to live
Waiting for a little heaven
At sixty seven
And maybe the time will finally come
Even if it's just a little late
At seventy eight