At the Terminal

Fiction by | May 6, 2018

Dear You-who-have-left,

I hope you are doing fine.

I hope the sun’s warmth wakes you in the morning and the cold breeze tickle your toes. As the rooster crows and the smell of your brewed coffee combines with the scent of freshly washed linens, I hope you long for home. I hope you have seen the waves that chased after each other as they crash altogether on the arms of the shore. I pray that you have watched the stars as they not only form constellations but reminders of the promises you made. And as you sleep, I wish that you dream of the love you have left and that your heart may always remember.

I have felt how her shoulders heaved on your last embrace. How she forced her knees to unshaken. How she forced her lips to curve, to make you see she is fine. How every drop of tear was stopped on the brink and how she bit her tongue to unlet the words “don’t go” spill-out. I have watched, as you slowly stepped on the train’s platform; the heaviness of her shoulders have let her arms just hang low and her heart, sank in an ice-cold ocean. I have watched, as every tear came rushing as you waved your hat and bade her goodbye. I have seen, as she ran to catch the last glimpse of you and how her frail voice cracked the words “I love you.” But you could hear no more. The train’s whistle and your dreams have drowned her little heart’s voice in tears.

And sometimes, you know, I wish I was you.

I hope there was someone who would shed tears as I ride the train too. Someone who would keep a photograph of me in a wallet, on a purse or underneath the pillow. Someone who would softly touch her lips on my forehead and say “take care.” Someone who would give me a long embrace as the conductor calls for the last passengers. Someone who would hold my hand firmly and look into my eyes and say, “Dear, I will be waiting.” I hope there was someone, hoping each night to be with me and would be waiting for my return patiently. And when I finally come home, someone I could wrap my arms with and I could say “we belong with each other. I wouldn’t leave again and I am here to stay.”

But sometimes, I also wish, I was someone who was left.

Someone, who awaits your crashing into my arms, like the shore patiently waits for the waves. Someone, no matter how long it takes, will wait and hold on to every promise we made. If there was no more you who would come back, I will feel every piercing pain in the chest. It would take years to heal, but at least, at least I have felt. And if one night, you appear on my front door, you will grab me by the hand and we’d kiss and we’d hug and you would swing me and we’d dance under the moonlight. We’d sit under the stars and you’d tell me of how you have reached your dreams; of how you have discovered that you can be an author, an astrologer and that you can be anything you want to be. You’d tell me about how your soul has been searched, and yet your heart yearns for me. I would rest my head on your shoulders and nuzzle into your hair and I would tuck you into my arms and never let go of you again.

I wish I was either.

But I am just here. Meant to watch every departure, meant to see every arrival. I was just, meant to see, meant to watch and not to feel. Meant not to belong to anyone, meant to love no one.

I still hope to see you together very soon.


Ten Ilajas is currently lost in the dunes of the Middle East.

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