I guess I didn’t know what to expect so I did what I always do. I lived in the story I wrote until the moment came. Only this time, it was different. I don’t write fairytales but this time I indulged myself. Wrote an ending worthy of a Disney movie. A happily ever after so sweet it might make the cynical sick. The more I get hurt, the more I believe in an almost mystical kind of love. The more I believe that one way or another, it’ll find its way to me.
I’ve been in so much pain, I let my mind run away right up until I picked up the phone. Let the Hope* of my literary canvas run away with the you of my imagination. I ran and ran until I was so far away that I almost believed it into existence. Almost.
That’s the problem with treating life like a tessellation. Reality is a cloak made of circular patches. Reality has holes, gaps, scars, cracks — the events don’t tessellate. And there’s no magic pair of scissors to make a broken woman anything but damaged goods.
Hellos and how are you’s and I want know you, want to know you, want you to want to know me but you don’t. I’m so hurt all I want is for you to want me. I guess that’s the problem with writers having real life conversations. I have so much to say, so much to say and so much I want to hear you say but you do something I never anticipated. I’m a planner but little Hope didn’t plan for you to turn the faucet off. To say you’re glad I’m doing better now. I wanted to be wrapped in a blanket of verbal reassurance. But there’s no blanket. There’s no words.
You and little Hope were joined at the hip but now the only thing we share is the same sun here and wherever you are. I wanted you to be here. I don’t even know where you are anymore.
We both started off as caterpillars and now we’re butterflies but I always thought you were beautiful. I stood up for you and cared about you until you were the first to join the ranks of all the boys I loved before. What I just can’t seem to shake is how I got here.
Because I remember growing up with you. I remember sitting with you at lunch and laughing about Anish’s* chicken nuggets. I remember playing soccer with you every day. I remember coming over and beating you at Trivial Pursuit. I remember little Hope telling you we were going to get married. I remember how sure of myself I was. I remember the joy I felt.
And I know I pushed you, you didn’t just drift away, but you were my last man standing, the only only only one who knew me before I was broken. Back when people thought I was going to be somebody.
You’re somebody now and I still think you’re beautiful. I ask you to tell me about yourself just so I can watch the way the sunlight dances on your wings. I want you to miss little Hope the way you did in the story I wrote to get myself through the day but the love of your beautiful, nonfiction life is calling and you have to go. I want to watch you instead of looking my own damaged wings. Want to peer into the world that could have been mine if anyone loved me even half as much as I loved them. I want to see what it’s like to have a family like yours. To see who little Hope could have been if everybody hadn’t lost hope in her. But it’s good night, it was nice to see you and you fly away into the distance, into the truth that the only thing we have in common anymore is the sun.
I want to crawl back into my cocoon, want to wrap my wings around myself, want to tell myself someday I’ll be beautiful like you, anything to not look in the mirror. I don’t want to accept the fact that the reason I don’t know you anymore is because of how deeply I’ve been hurt. Because of how much I’ve changed.
You were and are and always will be you. I see the way the little boy still lives in your heart. But I can’t find little Hope. We can’t run away together. Even though just like all the boys I’ve loved before, even though it hurts to say so, I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that’ll always love you. But as I finally scatter the ashes of little Hope in the river Ganga of my heart, I have no choice but to wish you well, to pray that the wind carries you when your wings are tired, to hope that your beautiful self will make it back safely to your beautiful love and your beautiful life. I knew how beautiful you were when you were a caterpillar. I always knew who you’d grow up to be. I just didn’t think I’d be the one watching you fly away.
*Names have been changed.