What Sets Us Apart?

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You look at me. Almost shyly, I look back. There is much in these there-but-not-quite gazes, though they are silent. You are going, and I have nothing to say. On the other hand, I can speak volumes and it wouldn’t be enough. I begin to think of thanking you, of questioning you about all that has happened between us ? why you did what you did, of cursing you politely for all the times you’ve been wrong and I’ve been right (or so I think), of how long we will last when we are not together, and of so much more but the words just don’t come.

There is the question of career choices ? that we had the option to attend college in the same place (perhaps this would have made things easier), but we selected not to. We’re going to different countries and will begin new lives. For all practical purposes, we are a million miles apart and almost perpetually unreachable.

I fear that with your new setup you will forget me. I will be a distant connection, a fleeting memory refreshed only by the occasional phone call or e-mail. And I’ll forget you too. It just isn’t possible for us to be as closely linked as we are now. There will be other things to do, other people to hang out with. Come to think of it, it seems almost foolish to depend on a person so far away when there are so many people close to you.

I’ve been told that long-distance will not work. Half the crowd says that. The other half tell me that there is a remote chance it will ? that we will not have enough time together to be dissatisfied with each other, that each will only be a visitor in the other’s life for a few days a year, and that the bubbling discontent one normally expects will be put off for later, for a time when we are living together and know more (and hence can find more about each other to be unhappy with).

I think of the other option ? of us attending college in the same city. More than ever, I realize how stupid it would be if I made a career choice based on yours. What if it didn’t work out? You are going to a big city, after all, and considering that we are studying two different disciplines, we will most likely not attend the same university. It goes without saying here that if we do study in two different areas, we will have our separate lives and?

There are too many and’s, too many but’s, too many maybe’s. There is too much to say. But we take for granted the people we love, and I assume you will understand without me having to say a word. I look at you and wonder what’s going through your mind. I knew that a last and final meeting would be silent ? I’ve read about it so many times, in so many places, and yet this silence is uneasily comfortable.

I think of us many years from now, most likely having separate lives. I say a half-hearted prayer that things will work out, that nothing between us will change. Yet I know that it will be difficult, this transition from school to college, almost from one life to another. So I say nothing and we lapse into our routine of stolen glances.

And then time is up. You briefly wish me goodbye, smile and walk away. You don’t turn back ? not even for a minute. Something tells me that maybe it’ll work out, but it might not…there are a million thoughts that bombard me with the tears. And there is hope despite the apprehension, a stupid, stubborn belief that your last smile has sparked ? the belief that maybe things will be all right.

About the author:

Of an almost insane obsession with fiction, and the power of the printed word
Of strong vibes of precocious-ness and contradicting easy tears
Of various harebrained plans and sketchy schemes to change the world
Of a desire to see true equality, and to make it happen
Of natural highs from the color pink, and stuffed animals
Of not being able to have too much chocolate
Of silly decisions made on impulse
Of being undeniably, unnecessarily confused at small things
Of a heart that pushes back logic and a mind that favors emotion
Of unexplained silences and sudden outbursts of conversation
Of the quintessential desire for good conversation abiding above all else
Lies the essence of my being

Author: Kimberly Fernandes- Qatar

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