Have you seen the movie, “That Thing Called Tadhana”? It narrated a story about heartache, loss, letting go, newfound friendship, newfound love and that thing that is meant to be.
You know what was so sad about it? That movie would never be about us. I think my tadhana was with a bus conductor. I got on the same bus every Monday at 6 p.m. The conductor need not have asked my destination. He’d simply punch the ticket, hand it to me and get my fare in return. It has always been the same routine every week. He’d smile, I’d smile back. And he’d know right away where I was heading. It felt like every Monday, it was meant to be like that.
But us, we didn’t have that anymore. We didn’t know where the two of us were going. We didn’t even meet once a week. We didn’t have that certain smile anymore. All that was left of us was the remnant of the past, the perfect past. And along with it, we had heartache and loss. As for the letting go, I’ve been battling with it for 15 years, 15 effin’ years. And you did that just in one day.
And you know another reason why the movie would never be about us? It’s because the whole universe conspired for us not to be together. Fifteen years ago, we drifted apart. I held on, you did not. Three years ago, our paths crossed again. You ran after me. You were free, but I was not. And now it happened again. Here we were with coffee cups in our hands. I was free and you were not. And you had no idea how shattering that fact was, even if my astrology today said otherwise.
I said I’d not cry again over a love that was lost more than a decade ago. I said I’d never pull these shitty hopes up. I said, even if I see you, I’d feel nothing anymore. And now, it pained me that after all these long years, we were still not meant to be together. Then I started to question the universe. And the universe said, “You can’t have everything your way.” You can’t have your happiness in return from somebody else’s pain. You are not that selfish.
I hope that this is the last time that I’ll write about you, the then us, the pain, the ghost, and everything that has something to do with you. I want to be free again; really free this time.
“I gotta go, Jess.”
I saw that look in your eyes, a certain sadness. I tried to ignore it because that was the last thing I needed to see.
“Okay. Take care.”
But you didn’t move. I gave you the kind of smile that said I’d be fine, an assurance that everything was going to be all right. Again.
I grabbed my bag from the floor but didn’t budge. I wanted you to leave first.
You stood up. I held on my cup. I wished that the cup would give me all the strength in the world to not cling to you. You moved your chair backward. I held my cup tighter. You sighed. I sighed. You stared at me. I looked down and studied the rim of the glass, why it suddenly looked sharp. Then I saw your shadow start to move away, until I couldn’t see any trace of you except the lonely coffee mug you left in front of me. My tears fell as I swallow the last drop of my coffee.