She had a dream. Not the Dr.-Martin-Luther-King-type mind you. It was a vivid one that seemed so real whilst it was occurring, but the moment she regained full awareness of the darkness that consumed her vision and the firmness of the pillow under her head, the inconsistencies of it made her conclude that it could have only been a mish-mash of past events and manifestations of her own sub-consciousness. As she tried to recall what had happened in the dream, it started to fragment and she wasn’t sure if what was floating in her mind was in fact what had arisen…
She remembers seeing her deceased grandmother standing at the kitchen sink washing the dishes. She remembers the soft face that broke out in harsh-sounding Cantonese as the older lady recounts how she had been working and earning money back in Vietnam at the tender age of 12. The girl could feel herself rolling her eyes behind the newspaper she was holding up so as to keep her exasperated expression hidden from her grandmother. Someone rang the doorbell. In reality, the girl would have been the one to go and answer the door, but for some reason, the grandmother went ahead to see who it was. For some reason, the grandmother could speak perfect English and let the visitor in. For some reason, the girl paid no attention, until the visitor walked up to her chair and tapped her on the shoulder. She remembers the feeling of shock that vibrated through her body as she saw the face that she’d been intentionally ignoring for the last few months each time thoughts of the past would surface involuntarily. She could feel the colour drain from her cheeks as the visitor smiled the smile that had slowly broken down the wall she’d built around her heart a year ago.
“What are you doing here?” she remembers asking. They both sense the fear that rose in her voice. He just stares at her and opens up his arms ready to embrace her. “What are you doing here?” she asks again as she shrinks further back in her chair.
“I missed you,” he responds quietly as he returns his arms to his side. She snorts in disgust at his answer. “That’s a bit rich considering all you put me through.”
He hangs his head, and she shakes hers with determination. “I told you I can’t do this anymore. I made my decision and you’re just going to have to accept it.”
He clenches his fists and lifts his eyes to meet hers, the look sending chills down her spine. “You can’t just cut me out of your life! You promised, no matter what happens, you’d always be my friend.”
She remembers suddenly feeling a wave of nausea wash over her and she turns to face the wall as she fights back the tears threatening to spill over. He reaches over to grab her shoulder but she shakes his hand off (Grandma has somehow disappeared from the scene). He heaves a loud sigh. “Didn’t you say you forgave me? You are not acting very forgivingly.”
She feels her mood change once again and this time anger laces her words. “Stop it. Nothing you say is gonna change it. Just because I’ve forgiven you doesn’t mean I still need to hang out with you. I’ve moved on, okay? I’m getting on with my life… but you just complicate things too much. I’ve tried, okay, but I hate riding this emotional rollercoaster. Just let me go my way and you can goes yours.” She remembers grinding her teeth before she asks, “Does she know you came to see me?”
“Of course, she does. She wants to get to know you! You’ll love her…” He tries to smile as he says this but it soon fades as a scowl is given in return. He tries another tactic. “Look, you were the healthiest thing in my life and I know I’m asking a lot… but can’t we just go back to the way things were? Can’t you just forgive and forget? Don’t you remember? You said it yourself, we’re kindred spirits… you were my best friend, my bestie… remember?”
But his pleads falls on deaf ears. She takes a few deep breaths, composes herself and her voice is steady as she looks him square in the eyes. “You have no right to make these demands. Sure, I said those things once long ago but things have changed, haven’t they? You can’t be my best friend in the same way that I can and I should not be yours. Maybe we could be close again one day, but for now I think we just need to give it a rest. Friendship is about a bit of give and take and presently, I don’t think there’s anything left here that I need… that I can’t get elsewhere. I’ve given so much of myself already and you have nothing I want. Until we can be on level ground again, please just let me be. Let me live my life, you can live yours and if our paths converge at a later stage…we’ll see what happens.” She remembers feeling satisfied with her delivery but that’s the last thing she remembers before reality hits her….she can’t quite explain the upset feeling she has when she sits up in bed at 4am. She sighs. “I thought everything was fine already…why is this coming up again?”
‘Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.’ – Inception (Cobb)
[edited] **DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional piece that does not necessarily represent the present sentiments of the author.