A Memento

Freezing palms, a tiny blackbird sitting on an outcrop, a literal deer in the headlights. All the cues to replay my recollections of you. Hints of cedar and patchouli when your wrist rested on my shoulder. The contrasting tones between your ash-coloured tees and ivory skin.

You were so judging, so blunt, so awfully young. All the things I should’ve never yearned for. But I dug it. Still do. Morning disputes when you misplaced my butter knife, an afternoon debate about which track was the better one in the last Beirut’s album, and a nighttime quarrel after you forgot to water my calatheas again.

We were so presumptuous about our future that we just let ourselves be, the way we wanted us to ever be. Yet now so distant, so parted, so sudden—can’t even fit the two of us in the same side of the tiny globe that you put on my office desk before you left so abruptly. I smell notes of blooming daffodils while you’re frantically trying to cross the slippery street amidst the snows. Sunrays peeking into my bedroom while you’re heating your leftover dinner. I spend my rare weekends in nearby tropical islands while you’re off climbing another peak of the Alps.

We met not long after you got your driver’s license, and all we ever wanted was to drive around that foreign, lusterless city that we barely understood, the city that we called home for a little while, before our time ceased and we had to watch each other sleep their weeping away for weeks. Two Cathay Pacifics heading to opposite routes on that night of November 9th, 2018. One bent promise that we knew was never supposed to withstand the time and distance.

I was so reckless, so mad, so saturated with the quarter-life crisis. All the hints meant to throw you off. But we were so annoyingly stubborn about: “Enjoying things while they last.” The most unwise, immensely naïve advice ever conveyed, and yet we lived by that motto for a while.

How are you now?

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