What if it was her?
Sooner or later, we’ll find ourselves discovering the most important moments of our life, not just birthdays, the graduation, the wedding day or the greatest goal achieved. These moments, they come to the door of our memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these. I became completely aware of this fact a few weeks ago when my best friend revealed she was going to migrate to Taiwan with her fiancé. Until at this point of time, I realised that I was quite irrevocably in love with her, my best friend, my childhood friend, Holly.
It was one of those moments that you expect to see played out in some romantic movie. Throughout the years I’ve known her, I’ve heard her laugh and looked up to see that cheeky grin of hers flash across her face, rarely seen her erupt in anger, horror, confusion or sadness, and to see her smile was something that made my day. And so I counted it as one of my personal pleasures to see a smile break across her face. So when I felt her finger stroking my nose, leaving a trail of white flour, I sneaked a hand and grabbed a handful of flour we were going to use to bake muffins and tossing it in her direction. I saw her ducked and teased as she launched a handful of sugar at me. In the end, the muffin mixture was left on the counter forgotten, as we chased each other around the kitchen throwing ingredients.
I sighed and sat up on my bed. I tried to turn in early for that night but I could not sleep even though I was tired. I rubbed my eyes and heard the thunder clapped. As my eyes came to rest on the window I was assaulted by a memory from my childhood.
It was during that rainy afternoon, my parents were out at work, it had been just Holly and I. Instead of going up into my room and hid under my blanket, I was crouching under the dining table. I had always been afraid of thunderstorms ever since I watched a horror movie during a thunderstorm whereby the little boy was eaten up by a tree outside his house. Holly lived nearby and she came and accompanied me under the table. We talked and it was when evening came, the rain had stopped and Holly wanted to go home. But I stopped her. I asked her if she could stay longer and she agreed. Night fell and my parents still had not come home. I felt sleepy and tired. But I did to want to leave Holly’s side and in the end, I fell asleep while resting my head on her lap.
Coming back to myself in the midst dinner with my family, and Holly and her boyfriend were invited as my parents had always seen Holly as a part of my family. I saw Holly grabbing her boyfriend’s hand under the table and smiled widely as she announced she was going to marry her boyfriend. I felt as if the time had momentarily stopped when she announced it. It was suddenly my heart was telling me I was in love with Holly, it was Holly that I love, not the girl I had just broke off with. It was Holly that my world has happiness. It was Holly that my world had peace. It was Holly that I am who I am today. It felt like ten lifetimes that I paced around my room, trying to convince myself that all the feelings I had for Holly these long years had only been brotherly love.
Holly told me she wishes us to remain as friends even if she was married and lived somewhere far away from me. I did not agree to it immediately. It felt like the world had come falling down on me. Is that to where her love for me could extent? To love me as a best friend so that our relationship would remain like this, undamaged and unchanged? The way she state her request was just too easy, but it hurt me in the heart, it made me feel as if I’m suffocated and about to die, it made me lose my nerve.
I left my room and went down to the kitchen to get something for me to drown my sorrows. As I pulled out a bottle of alcohol from the cabinet, I found myself staring at the chair where she had seated last two days ago. It had been two days and nineteen hours and – I glanced at the clock—about thirty-five minutes since she had dropped by at my place, telling me that she would be leaving today at ten tonight. It was not because I could not pluck up the courage to tell her my feelings but I was afraid of ruining the happiness she had always wanted. The radiant look on her face finished me completely. She had been waiting for this for three years, I told myself, and I can’t ruin her.
This is the last time. I asked her if I could rest on her lap for one last time and adding jokingly that I wouldn’t be able to do so anymore once she became that man’s lawfully wedded wife. She chuckled and allowed me. As my head slowly came to rest on her lap, I felt a familiar pair of hands around me, pulling me close to her. Her presence, her voice, her smell, was telling me that she was here and she wouldn’t be here again after she left this place. And when she left later, there will be no more happiness in my life, no more peace, no more me, and so I closed my eyes and told myself to remember this moment, forever and beyond.
I reopened my eyes and found myself still staring at the chair. I can’t take this anymore.
She was the only best friend I’d ever had in my life, and I know I needed her in my life as my friend—even more than I wanted her to love me.
That thought formed and solidified in my mind and somehow, without even consciously thinking about it, I found myself grabbing my jacket, my keys and mobile and marched out of the house. Rain splashed at my feet as I made my way to where Holly stayed and looking around just in case I could spot her in one of the cars moving along the road. Then I saw her. She was helped by her fiancé to put their luggage in car boot. When she saw me, there was a vague concern look on her face. She approached me.
It’s not too late now. It doesn’t matter anymore if he was her The One. Life is all about choices, not chances. I still had time to turn back. I would tell her everything. What if the one I'm losing, what if the one who's walking away from me, what if it was her?
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