You two have been adorable. To us you seemed like the most perfect match, despite you were so different from each other. You shared the bench on the riverside, these silent waters. You were talking, laughing, flirting, touching each other’s cheeks with deep affection. When you were looking into each other’s eyes everything around you seemed to stop moving. Even time. To be honest, we all were envious seeing such happiness.
It somehow did not last. Maybe a year or so.
Then the moments we saw you together became rare. You showed up separately, but still left together. With time we only saw you both sitting there alone on different days. He kept coming every day, though. Whereas you were and still are colourful and shiny, he began to fade. Slowly. Your freedom was his cage, it seemed. You love your freedom and your independence. We could easily tell. When you were alone – very often waiting for him – you defended the empty side of the bench against strangers frantically. But your pride, your glory, your anger could never hide your vulnerability and fragility.
His transformation into invisibility, his decline into the shadows began subtly, then proceeded gradually. Every time his face turned slightly more grey and gaunt, his body slower, his posture frail. He was withering to a dry leaf in front of our eyes. Something sucked him dry. Drained him of all his energy. We were wondering, why you never noticed anything, even when you were sitting beside him. You were looking at him, but your mind was somewhere in your own world. Where, we could never figure out.
We could see right through him, so grey and transparent he has become on that day he set foot into the river.
You could have seen him, held him back. As you were sitting right beside him, when he rose from next to you on the bench, looking at you for the last time, kissing you on the cheek. He went down the river as if he were just walking down a stairway.
At first you seemed unchanged. Did not realise he was gone.
This happened months ago.
Now sometimes you still look out for him when you are sitting there alone, and you turn your head for that familiar scent he has always left. Even though sometimes you show up with different people these days whose faces we do not really remember as they seem so exchangeable. Neither ugly nor extraordinarily handsome. Just ordinary blokes.
Sometimes you flinch, and touch your neck. For some reason your face lightens up. And you smile. We don’t see you smile so often recently. Men passing by mistake that smile as being meant for them. You smile back, but immediately freezes to false.
And there has been that day when you were talking on your phone, getting enraged and furious, almost yelling at someone we don’t know. Obviously someone very familiar. We could tell from the words you were using. Words so filthy we never could imagine that these could come out from between your delicate lips. We guessed that on the other end of the line there was one of these guys we have seen you with. With a desperate sounding four-letter-word you threw your phone into the silent waters.
This was the moment we saw you crying for the first and only time. You were crouching on the bench, burying your head between your lift-up knees and cried rivers. Endlessly.
When the river of tears ceased flowing you gazed into the silent waters with a vacant expression, not moving at all.
It was not before the the full moon started to rise in the East that suddenly your eyes blinked, and the vacant expression was replaced by a distant spark of life.
How we wish you were able to see him. He is beautiful with his luminescence, his floating shape which has been corporeal once.
Even after he went into the river he was never really gone. He was always there. Always kept coming back to see how you are doing. And in those lonely moments when you were lost, sad, confused or angry, he was there. Comforting you. Touching your shoulder of kissing your neck. You felt his presence, but could not explain how. And on that day you were crying so grimly he was rising from the waters just to hold you tightly in an embrace of light. He held you close for the whole night until the morning dawn.
To you he is nothing more now than a dream, an echo, a faint familiar feeling, unreachable. But to him you are as real as you are to us. He still misses you. He still loves you. We know he does. But you are within different worlds now. Yet he will always come back for you to see if you are still doing all right. We know he will.
As long as you keep coming back to the bench at that silent waters.