Lost Souls Forever
I stand high. Every bit of me is up, up, up. I look at the horizon;a melted crayon of yellow and orange. Under my feet is a completed puzzle of red bricks brought together by several hands of not too long ago. I take one step. I take two. I take more until the rail puts the border.This is the line and this line lies the question of which the answer is what I have to figure out right now. I cannot put this up for the next day or the next week or for the upcoming years. I need the answer now. This is something I can’t put in a trunk and pushed under the bed, only to be opened up when it’s too late.
I am alone but with the comfort of the wind. I am still. I stand high. Up, up, up. Underneath me are the streets of life. People that I don’t know and probably would never know go around their daily routines. Their faces mask what could be a thousand page story. I see them from afar. Zoomed out people. Just the surface but not beneath it. They will and always will be what I see from up here. I, too, is just an unknown figure that they could barely see. I am up here waiting. Is there anyone out there who would go beyond? I think not and that’s the problem.
I take one last glance at the golden light. I close my eyes and bask in it. I let it through my skin and inside my mind. The tranquility of now makes up for a whole day of bullshit. When I start opening my eyes, it is when everything starts becoming dark. This is the part where up here loses its magic and I breathe out a very long sigh. I leave and I join civilisation again. Tonight will just be another night. Tomorrow will just be another day.
Another day. Another damn day. I carry myself like a cadaver dragged by a slow vehicle. I go to class because that is what a High school student like me is expected to do on a normal weekday. Usual day, usual time, usual class and usual seat. It normally sums up another day of going through a monochromatic event. Just the same, just the same, oh just the same.
And then it’s not.
Suddenly, it changes like what stories normally promise you. A gift of salvation in the form of a friend. A new student called Graham.
Out of everyone in the class, he chose me to be his friend. I honestly don’t know what to feel. I’m usually just the silence amongst all the noise. No one bothers and I tend to not care. After all, it’s always been ‘just me’.
And so it all begins as books or films would tell. We become thick as thieves. We start every morning with a ‘Hi’, we end the evening with a ‘Hello’. A friendship I thought I could never really have. The times of just mucking around and having fun and of being just there. Life was this circle for us and it just keeps on going round and round and round.
“What are we, Lou?” He’d ask me out of the blue and in the middle of an exhausting Physics homework. He would unconsciously roll his pencil between his hand while he looks me in the eye, waiting for my answer.
“We are bored High school students on a Friday night figuring out what the answer to question number four is.”
“True.” The pencil is on the floor. “We’re also fucking nerds. What were we thinking? Answering homework that’s due on Tuesday! I think we should spend the rest of our life doing nothing and wait for the world to end.”
“I concur.” So we head out to wherever is convenient. The park, my backyard or the corner before the library. We do a lot of things because there are an infinity of them but mostly we just sit down and maybe have a drink if there’s one.
We stay at one of our usual places. Somewhere where no one really goes at night. The edge where the park ends and where the woods start. It’s a place meant for silence. The only noise allowed is the crackling of the fire.
We talk of the times we stayed here. How two years of friendship created this bond. He knows. I know. We both know. I used to be the lonely girl. He used to be the new guy. People have always wondered if there was something more and we’d just laugh. It’s just Graham and Lou or Lou and Graham. Nothing more, nothing less. We are like fraternal twins separated at birth and adopted by two different families.
I have my ups but mostly I have my downs and whether it’s one or the other. He was always there. I try too when the tables turn and it puts me into shame. I could never be that good of a friend even if he tells me that I am.
Things are fine. Things are like my routine but with a simple twist. I am alright with this because it’s better than being alone. Graham and I, we sail on. Life is our Pacific ocean.
If there’s one moment I could never forget, it was when Graham cried in front of me for the very first time. It’s not that he never cries but when he does, I was never around. Actually, he makes sure that I could never see him cry.
“Why?” I’d ask all the time.
“Because I don’t want you to see me weak.”
“I would never think of you as weak.” I’d tell him and he’d smile.
The day that he cried in front of me for the first time was the day his grandfather died. It was around 3pm in the afternoon and I was doing my shift at the book store. He called me and asked if he could disturb me and I agreed.
He stood in front of me and I could see on his face what was happening. I didn’t say anything because I know I could never find the right consoling words. I knew how his grandfather had meant a lot to him and I let him be. When he was done I said:
“I could never think of you as weak, G.”
He shakes his head and smiles. Because he understands what I mean.
And now, I stand high. I am back to my place of isolation. I am 50ft. from the ground. I have never been here since the day before I met my best friend. I stop when I feel the rail in front of me. I look at the golden skies and wait until it goes dark. I close my eyes and I don’t open them until I feel tears on my eyes.
This is when I run down and to our usual place. This is how I would see him for the last time. Silence and nothing but the fire. Graham sits across me.
“Were you crying?” He asks. I shake my head. “Don’t lie. I was too, you know, crying.”
With that he sits next to me and we both stare at the fire.
“How do I even begin?”
“You don’t.” I tell him.
I think of what tomorrow will bring. I will wake up the next day with the knowledge of Graham not being a few blocks away. I will wake up knowing that my best friend will be 17 hours away by plane, a vast ocean away.
“Growing up sucks.” He speaks.
“Tell me about it.”
“Oh God, Lou. Why did I even have to apply for a college that’s far away?”
I shrug because I don’t know. We both give out a huge sigh.
“What are we, Lou?” He asks me the same question only this time I don’t have the normal answer. This time, I have the right answer.
“Lost souls forever.”
He grins because he gets it.
The next day we say our goodbyes with a smile.
We are and always will be connected by our friendship. He is my only friend. I know that being alone isn’t so bad. The difference between the Lou before Graham and after Graham is that the person that I am right now isn’t the same miserable person as before. I don’t need to be up high anymore waiting for the day and night to end. I don’t need to wait around because someone had bothered to see me up close, to understand what I truly am. Somebody bothered. In return, I bothered too. I actually cared and I understood.