friends

The Way I See Things


I got a feeling that I’m not gonna be here for next year
So lets laugh a little before I’m gone

Running away from me but I’m not giving up on you
It’s just the way I be
It’s just the way I see things

 

I’ve had so much time to think, too much, in fact, and I still can’t make sense of anything, not one thing.  The one thing I keep coming back to is a question I can’t shake.  Was any of it real?  Was it really?  Or was it just the initial attraction of two lonely, broken people falling together at a time when they needed to the most and once reality set in, it fell apart?

I’m not allowed to say these things to you anymore so this is the only outlet I have.  You destroyed me the first time you left.  The second time, the damage was already done.  I feel betrayed, let down, like all of my trust was so misplaced.  I trusted you with everything I have and you still did the one thing you told me you wouldn’t.  You left me alone when I needed you the most.  I never expected that of you, not in a million years.  I never imagined I would sit night after night for weeks on end wondering why we, why I wasn’t worth fighting for.  Why am I not enough?

Even now, when you’re at your worst, and have been, I’m still here, foolishly so probably, because you’ve told me enough times that you’ve asked nothing of me and that in itself hurts.  How could you have let me in, promised me the world in words full of emotion and so much passion and hope and then pushed me away when it got too difficult?

How is loving you overstepping boundaries that were just once never there, and such a short time ago?  Why are you so cold?  I always promised you I would be here no matter what you were going through, even if it never got better for you and I’m still here, I’ll still be here. Why is that not enough?   I want you happy, I want you healthy, I want you to be okay, I want you around for a long time.  You have to know that by now.  That I do care, more than anything.

What happens now?  Do you find that new feeling with someone else at some point and I become something that is just a memory, until the memory itself fades to next to nothing?  I don’t believe that.  Because that initial passion fades, it evolves into something else and that’s where the hard work begins, and I wish you could understand that.  I’m here, I’m patient and I’m willing despite my heart being broken into a thousand pieces as it has never been before.

I want to repair everything, our friendship first more than anything.  I say ‘I miss you’ and it upsets you because you just hear it as I miss our relationship.  Of course I miss that, but I miss everything.  I miss talking to you, I miss laughing with you, I miss smiling and waking up every day looking forward to you.  I miss the companionship, the secrets we shared, the stories we made up that were just about us, fantastical places and situations that are not yet dead to me.  They’re all still very real.  I know they’re there for you too, somewhere.  I know it.

I don’t want the impossible, I want to rebuild, I want to just be here and for you to let me be here until you’re okay again, and even if you’re not, I want to be here then, too.  No one will love you quite the same as I do, I can promise you that, and I’m not making any more apologies for feeling that way and expressing it.

Let me back in, you are everything to me.  You are my best friend and I’m lost without you.  Please don’t shut yourself off from the world, I’m here.  I’ve always been here.  You once said to me “You and I have fallen from the same branch, drifted apart through winds and seas, and have managed to find one another again.”  I don’t want to drift apart again, not now that we’ve found each other.  The chances of that alone are one in a million, it means something, it means something huge.

I made you happy too, remember?  And I’m still here, beside you, offering you my hand, always.  Take it, please, mine is cold without yours… and I can’t manage an entire kingdom on my own.

 

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That one night in Limsa…


Suddenly, you were just there. In an unexpected place and time. Surrounded by the familiarity of friends and everything else that I had come to know, I first saw you. Why it was nothing more than a fleeting glance, a small smile and a polite tip of the head before you went on your way and I, mine, I have never known. Perhaps that is the greatest yet most beautiful mystery of it all.

 

Running across the plaza as fast as she can while taking care at the same time to not slip on the rain soaked tiles, Piper hurried to get to the meeting place where she could see her friends were already gathered. All but her by the looks of it. She was late and she hated the fact already that she’d spent a little too long fussing with her hair and shining her boots, even though with these long dress skirts she was wearing who was going to see them? She cursed under her breath and self consciously slowed down a little, smoothing her skirts and trying to brush the stray hair from her forehead as she saw one of the girls waving her over and shouting.

“Piper, over here!”

Mustering up the biggest smile she could manage while trying to look calm and happy to be there, Piper raised her hand and waved back enthusiastically. Internally she was a mess, but externally she hoped that she didn’t look as disheveled as she felt. She came to a stop beside one of the other women, garbed in exactly the same dress as she wore and took a deep breath as she nodded and smiled around at the fairly sizeable group that was already standing around, waiting on her. The one day, this one time where she had actually been handed any responsibility for this group and she had arrived late. The company head was already standing up front, his wife beside him, and the tall imposing looking man beckoned her forward with a not so discreet wave of his hand and she nodded once, her cheeks turning pink as she quickly pushed through the small crowd, all eyes on her, or so it felt like.

These gatherings were not a new thing. Indeed, this was one of the many that she had been present for since she had joined the ranks herself. She now stood beside the leaders and smiled down kindly at the two new members waiting on their induction, plain clothed and looking nervous, remembering exactly how that had felt. It didn’t seem so long ago that she had been standing there herself, in their place. The only thing different about this time was that the location was different, and there were a lot more gathered around for this particular ceremony than there had been when it had been her turn. She was thankful for that much, at least. Piper wasn’t good with people as it was, let alone crowds of them and even now, as she stood in front of them all, it was at a different point in time and these people weren’t strangers as they had been then, in the beginning, when they had first found her.

She startled for just a moment when the tall Au Ra man shouldered her gently and whispered, while handing her a neatly folded bundle of uniforms intended for the people in front of her.

“Your hat, where is it?”

She fished around in her coat pocket for the red beret she’d almost forgotten about and fixed it on her head quickly, tucking a loose hair away under the forehead band and then straightened her shoulders, clearing her throat at the same time.

All eyes on her, she made the appropriate speech before stepping forward to officially welcome the newest among them, handing them their uniforms before stepping back to her spot in front with a polite bow of her head, glad in part that it was over as raucous cheering and clapping erupted around her.

Oddly, although these occasions were usually full of laughter and good feelings all around, the woman could only but think of making an exit out of the crowd to take a breather. She couldn’t place a finger on why exactly. Maybe it was just the sheer exhaustion borne from so much interaction with so many of these people in recent times or the fact that she was just plain tired, but standing around making small talk with everyone was the furthest thing from her mind.

“Excuse me for a few minutes, “she murmured to the other leaders on either side of her but didn’t wait for a response before she moved through the crowd, scanning ahead for somewhere to sit or stand to regain some personal space. Nodding politely and smiling, she didn’t stop moving until she had cleared a path through the others, with nowhere particular in mind. But she halted for a moment once clear of her friends when she saw him.

Suddenly, he was just there and she saw him, for the first time. There was a new face, a stranger whose eyes immediately met hers and she found herself unable to look away. He looked at her from underneath the brim of the tall hat he wore and there was a curious familiarity there that caused time to almost stand still for a moment, and were she not so transfixed she would have realized that she was staring. That was until he smiled and that was when she smiled back, a slight flush turning her cheeks pink as she dropped her gaze to her feet, wringing her hands together in front of her for a moment, not sure what to do next. A sudden ray of late sunlight broke through the grey clouds overhead and caused her to look up for a few seconds, breaking a potentially awkward moment and when she looked back again, he was gone.

Stifling a momentary and probably ridiculous feeling of disappointment, Piper looked towards the edge of the plaza, suddenly needing more than ever to sit and take a moment, her legs heavy and feeling oddly disconnected. She didn’t even look really to even see the man again before she almost ran right into him, sitting on the very bench she was headed towards and once again she faltered, stopping and meeting his eyes again. Dumbly nodding at the space beside him as if asking for permission to sit, he simply nodded, the hint of a smile turning his lips upwards and she did just that, her eyes again transfixed on him.

Later, back in the comfort of her inn room as she sat in front of the fire, her thoughts were very much on that afternoon and of him, that man who was still nameless to her. Did it matter though, really? Why so much analysis and over thinking over such a simple and chance meeting that was really nothing beyond a few small words and a smile or two? Important or not, she still couldn’t shake the way she had felt each time his eyes had met hers and the curious yet familiar feeling that they had already known each other before that moment. But that was ridiculous, wasn’t it? She wouldn’t entertain such thoughts of fantasy. He was just and had been a stranger to her, after all, nothing more.

Yet as she lay her head on her pillow a little later and closed her eyes tight, willing sleep to come, even then, as her body and mind began to fall into unconsciousness, his eyes still lingered. She had to see him again.