… star light, star bright, first star I see tonight.

As his words of playful enquiry sat displayed before me on the computer screen of my inbox I realised that something was missing. The silence of a thumping heart straining not to shatter into a million shards of crystal glass wasn’t there and neither was the hurt. Like broken wings of love still left behind they didn’t cause my stomach to flutter as before when I last saw him a few weeks ago. Perhaps I realised then that my heart had finally caught up with my head and the silliness of it all was over. I was no longer chained to the Squirrel and it felt good to be free. Since the only person who could appreciate this revelation was a couple of time zones behind me I had to wait some hours before I could share it with him. Talking to him would bridge the widening abyss that had somehow come between us these past few days since he left. Knowing me and knowing you* (*… a great title for a song) it was the only thing I could do. And so I did. Sneaking outside onto the cold stone terrace just beneath the cottage that I and my parents will occupy for the coming 3-weeks, I dialled the number that would connect me with my best friend. Going through similar things it felt strange being on opposite sides of the ocean again. I could sense in his voice that the realities of his world hadn’t waited a few days to reinsert themselves and it seemed as if he had never left them to come home. And while we shared news of the past few days since we last saw each other I knew as I spoke the words of my revelation it was a habit that I had to form to make it last. As was the case with the paper perfect person who failed to translate to lover I don’t think I loved him as much as I feared the rejection of friendship all over again. Later that night I got to thinking about fate. That crazy concept that we’re not really responsible for the course our lives take. That it’s all predestined. Written in the stars. Maybe that explains why if you live in a city where you can only see the stars your love life tends to feel a little more random. And even if our every man, every kiss and every heartache is pre-ordered from some cosmic catalogue can we still take a wrong step and wonder off our own personal milky way? As I sat looking up at the stars I couldn’t help but wonder can you make a mistake and miss your fate? As I sat there a little after I ended the phone call in the strange darkness of a not-so-foreign town I could hear that he felt that same. And it was official: a new year has begun for both of us that will determine our futures. Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate because without them what would shape our lives? Perhaps if we never veered off course we wouldn’t fall in love or have babies or be who we are. After all seasons change. So do friends. People come into your life and people go but it’s comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart. And if you’re very lucky … a plane ride away.

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