I sat across from a man that I swore I would never see again. Yet, fate has a mysterious – if not a cruel – way of bringing us together, and under rather interesting circumstances too.
My heart is sore.
Your friendship has been impossible to obtain and I want to bury these memories into the cold, damp soil in hopes that they will never see the golden sunlight again.
Someday, perhaps, these tainted memories will blossom into a scarlet rose.
My mind was riddled with these thoughts and even though we picked out a small, private table outside, I still couldn’t breathe.
He was leaving the country in a couple of days and the thought of his feet touching a different continent gave me a nauseating feeling.
Suddenly, I pushed away the dainty cup – while he was in the middle of divulging details of his upcoming trip – and slammed a scrunched up five dollar bill on the round, metal table.
He paused, unsure of what I was trying to accomplish. He never liked my spontaneity because he always thought he had me figured out.
“Good luck. I have to go. I forgot that I have to work on a presentation,” I lied and gave him a polite smile.
“What’s wrong?” He asked, his green eyes searching for mine.
I didn’t answer.
Instead, I hurried out of the café before he bombarded me with questions that I couldn’t answer. I slipped my arms into the pleather sleeves of my bomber jacket and melted into the faceless crowd of strangers that rushed down the sidewalk.
I shoved my clenched fists into the pockets and gritted my teeth.
I left my sunglasses in the car, back in Chinatown, and I couldn’t help but feel stupid as I started crying in public. My tears earned a couple of concerned stares but I kept my eyes pinned to the cracked asphalt as I slipped by the eager tourists that dotted Little Tokyo and hurried down Hope St.
My heart felt like an open piñata, and all of its content was out in the open for him to analyze. I knew it was a mistake to see him and I knew that he’d win this fight – he always knew what to do and say in these situations.
He’d always come out a victor.
And at that moment, I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs and share the pain that coursed through me with the innocent bystanders that stood at the cross section with me and waited for the green light.
I was being selfish and yet, I didn’t care.
I jogged up the stairs to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion when I heard him call out my name. He reached the top, panting slightly, and the sight of him completely out of breath with beads of perspiration on his forehead made me laugh.
He failed to see the humor in the situation. “What the hell was that all about? Why did you run out on me like that?”
He was angry.
“There’s nothing else for me to say. I wished you good luck. That’s all. End of story.”
“Oh, come on! I wanted to leave this country on good terms. Why are you acting like I still owe you an apology? You were warned. You have always been warned about my reputation!”
“I remember. I just—” there were so many words that I wanted to yell in his face but just like the school of silver fish in the ocean, I couldn’t grab a hold of any of them. And, there was an array of emotions that I wanted to run through but I couldn’t identify which one of them I wanted to display first.
Anger? Sorrow? Confusion? Nonchalance? Happiness?
I started to cry again – he had an uncanny gift of bringing tears to my eyes and twisting my emotions into a cherry knot. I stood a few inches away from him and it literally felt as though we were the only two people on Earth.
No one else mattered.
“I’ll miss you, homie. Despite the pain you put me through, I still wish you the best.”
He took a deep, exasperated breath and raked his fingers through his hair. For the first time, I saw a hint of sorrow in his green eyes and that’s when I realized he was hurting too.
He pulled me into a warm embrace. “I’ll miss you too.”