15 May 2005

grey sky morning

I stare at you as you sit before me, devouring your dinner with the hilarious speed that was always one of the quirks I loved about you. You catch me staring at you, and you smile. "So, how are things?"

I shrug. "Same old. You?"

"Same old boring me," you reply in that adorably humble way you always had. "I haven't seen you in a long time."

"I know. I'm in self-exile." I laugh, then turn serious. "I've missed you."

"Aaaaw. I'm touched."

It's funny how we're just friends now, how we can sit here and talk about mundane things like nothing ever happened between us. It's strange how our conversation seems so forced and awkward, when you used to be the only person in the world I could bare my soul to. It's scary how easily we let each other go, when we both knew what we had was different.

If soulmates are real, then you were mine. But you've moved on, and so have I. We've grown. Apart.

You're suddenly serious as well. "That day..." you trail off.

You don't have to say anything else for me to understand. That day. How could I not remember?

"That day -- why did you walk away from me?"

I'm caught by surprise. I glance at the other table, not wanting to meet your gaze.

The silence hangs in the air. You're waiting for an answer.

"Do you really want to know?"

"Yes. It's not that I want to start this again. I know it's over. But there's this nagging voice at the back of my head that keeps asking me what went wrong between us. I guess... I just want to understand why, so I won't make the same mistake again."

I swish my coffee cup around, watching as the dregs of coffee slowly settle on the bottom of the cup. Finally, I dare to look up and meet your gaze.

"I was so in love with you it scared me."

The doors of the restaurant swing open before you can react. She walks in and waves at us.

She doesn't know.

She thinks we're just friends.

But we are friends. That's all we are now. That's all we can ever be.

I gaze at her and see how much better she is than me in so many ways. "She's wonderful," I say, setting my cup on the table and gathering my things. "You two are very lucky to have each other. Have a safe flight back, okay?"

You reach out for my hand. My fingers entwine with yours -- but our hands no longer seem to fit perfectly anymore, the way it used to. We let go quickly, because we're nothing more than friends now.

So this is what good-bye feels like.

But it's not so bad
You're only the best I ever had
I don't want you back
You're just the best I ever had
- Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)
Vertical Horizon