I scanned the surroundings. There was not a soul in sight.
I quietly walked towards her courtyard, deep into the chilly night, treading on the pavement as much as possible so as to avoid suspicion from possible nocturnal eyes. I trace the boundary, and jump inside the lawn just below her window.
Now comes the difficult part, to get her attention. Of course, I could have texted or called her, but being an old fashioned guy I did the old fashioned thing, I whistled. Not the best idea I have ever had, as the neighbour’s dog went into a barking frenzy.
As I waited for that wretched dog to calm down, I re-theorized why I was there. There was only one answer to that.
I was there for her.
She was magic. She lived and breathed magic, magic which captivated me the moment I had seen her. The bold, carefree walk; the fierce and stubborn eyes, and the quick wit had me dangling on her entrails. But I stayed away. I had to go.
"So you should know this love we share was never made to die, I'm glad we're on this one way street just you and I, Just you and I.."
The dog quietened. I decided to throw some small pebbles on her windowsill. I threw a couple, and waited. Pelted a few more, and waited. After what it seemed like an eternity later, she opened the window and looked out.
I grinned, and bowed.
I expected her to squeal, jump in joy and come down running. Instead she rolled her fingers around her temple, mouthing, ‘Have you lost it?‘
I guess that is why we loved each other. Neither of us were sure what we’d do next.
Now that my expectations of how this night was supposed to go were thrown out of the window, I waited in jittery anxiety.
I remember when we discussed love. ‘Do you know a synonym for love?‘ she asked.
‘Um, affection? Desire? Endearment?‘
‘Do you believe that though? Do you believe that affection, desire or endearment or any other dictionary synonym actually encompasses in entirety what the word love means? Do they have the ability to trigger ten thousand different images in ten thousand people but still invoke the same feeling in all ten thousand hearts? Do they have the same charm?‘ She paused, ‘ The fact is, my grammarian,‘ she finally said, summarising, ‘that there is no synonym for love.‘
And how true she was.
"The more I know of you is the more I know I love you, And the more that I'm sure I want you forever and ever more, And the more that you love me, the more that I know, Oh that I'm never gonna let you go, Gotta let you know that.."
She tiptoed out of the back door, and as I saw her approaching me, I saw a mix of apprehension and worry on her face, masking utter delight and affection. I could have bet my life that her brain was planning on berating my sanity out while dropping down the stairs, but her heart appreciated my cheek and old fashioned romanticism.
She comes, and I prepare to hug her, to lift her. With a sly grin, I open my arms a little, as she completely ignores my gestures and lays a firm slap onto my cold cheek.
We stand there, staring at each other with my palm on my stinging cheek and her fists clasped firmly right by her side. Full ten seconds later, she hugs with twice the ferocity as the slap. I hug her back and lift her up, finally united, into the night, me and her. I hear a stifled sob, and I felt a little more guilty for being away, and to tell her to be strong once more.
There we stood, reunited, adrift from what anyone had to say or think. We completed each other, adding to what we had. That’s the way love is, it adds an extra range to everything, making you revel in new boundaries of happiness, sadness, anger and despair. That is the true beauty of it – the fact that love isn’t fair or noble in it’s nature – it’s just that the nobler aspects are worth it more.
"And when the stars are shining brightly in the velvet sky, I'll make a wish send it to heaven then make you want to cry.. The tears of joy for all the pleasure and the certainty. That we're surrounded by the comfort and protection of.. The highest powers. In lonely hours. The tears devour you.."
She was the free spirit you thought only existed in fables. I’d promise to give her the most exquisite date and she would ask for a book reading night with her head in my lap. I would ask her what flowers she wanted and she’d take me dandelion picking together. I would ask for a piece of her and she would give me her all.
I drifted back to us discussing love. ‘Thousands of times you may have heard the phrase ‘I love you’,‘ she said. ‘Can you tell me which word is the most important in it?‘
‘Easy. Love.‘ I answered.
‘Its the emotion! The deed of loving that makes this beautifully simple sentence the most exchanged in the world! The realisation, the feeling, the sentiments upon sharing the message.. the most important word is love!‘
‘What if I say that love is nothing without the loved? A lover can’t love anything if there is nothing to love. Love doesn’t exist if there’s nothing to love. You know, it’s the presence of something – attributes or flaws or anything – that makes it viable, substantial and capable of being loved. So the most important word in ‘I love you’ is ‘you’, not ‘loved’,‘ she said with a triumphant smirk.
If I could, I could have fallen in love with her, again, in that very moment. But I chose not to. Not because she wasn’t the one, but because she was too free spirited, and I was yet to find my spirit.
So we lay underneath the starry sky, jumping the lawn fence and into the open fields behind her house. We let the silence talk, and shared our words by rubbing each other’s hands. I could have spent my entire life there, with her, beneath the sky. I wasn’t afraid of a thing, wasn’t worried about anything, simply because she was there, with me, beside me.
"I wanna stand with you on a mountain, I wanna bathe with you in the sea. I wanna live like this forever, Until the sky falls down over me..."
They say if you haven’t loved, you haven’t lived.
But I’ve found that if you haven’t lived, you surely don’t know what love is. Living is to love as the night is to the starry sky – you can’t have the latter without the former. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anybody else.
I loved her. I loved her with all I could give. But I knew I had more to give for she gave me much more. So I had to live more, to give her more.
She said softly, ‘Are you gonna stay?‘
This was the part I feared most. She had been so brave and valiant, to be what she was when I knew I was an integral part of her being, yet so far away from her. Maybe I will never get what she’s been through. I also knew, that if I asked for more she would definitely give me more – the marvellous woman that she was. But it would also crush her a little more.
I had to go. Once more. One last time. And soon. Dawn was about to break. I told her that, honestly. This was our relationship. The kind of relationship where we put down our needs of being superior, where we sketched out the fake promises and presumptuous acceptance, where we stopped being something we weren’t. We were in a relationship where we were us, me and her, true and honest.
She took it well, but her eyes had the sadness that made me feel guilt of the deepest kind. I had to do something, to make the both of us feel a little better.
‘I love you like the sea loves the land, dear,‘ I said. ‘Sometimes I attack your peace and drown everything you have. Sometimes I pat along on your feet. Sometimes I am mellow for you to bathe in me and sometimes I am in my own tune, and you have to sit and watch me. But darlin’, that’s how the sea loves. The sea also goes away, only to come back. But worry not, hey, because when I am away, look for me, for I’ll leave a mark behind.‘
She looked at me, and our eyes met. And we kissed, ferociously, so that we could remember the taste until we finally do unite once and for all. There, arms in arms we were one, and maybe if there was supposed to be no tomorrow, we knew we will always have this moment. We kissed, and the universe melted into her scent, and I had nothing in my mind and noting but her in my heart.
As I began to leave, she held me back, hoping I’ll say goodbye.
But I couldn’t do it. Goodbyes are not my thing.
I know our love will endure. I know we will be there someday. I know, that our love lives on.
I step closer, clasp her face in my hands and whisper,
‘Wait for me to come home.‘
"I'm never gonna say goodbye, Cos I never wanna see you cry, I swore to you my love would remain, And I'll swear it all over again.. I'm never gonna treat you bad, Cos I never wanna see you sad, I swore to share your joy and your pain, And I'll swear it all over again!"
Quote lyrics from Swear It Again – Westlife and I Wanna Stand With You On A Mountain – Savage Garden.