Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Isn't it strange when something seems to be missing? Of course, the Ministry would know far better...

He looks at her with old, knowing eyes. After all these years, very little has changed about her. He remembers how he used to feel for her. He remembers what they went through with one another, and he looks at the frayed, waning torch in his hands. He smiles, for he knows without her, so many things would have never been possible for him. She smiles back at him, then turns away. But this time, he smiles in return.

They walk to each other and come together in an embrace completely bereft of passion. A strange union that is comprised of nothing more than pure friendship and mutual respect. All these years have been spent, growing with one another, being better human beings in the process. For that, and so much more, the both of them are grateful.

And so they turn to look into each other's eyes again. He has a very quiet air about him. But there's something remarkably different within him. A twinge of happiness, perhaps, that his state is far better than it was years ago? She is likewise happy. She has always been happy. And he tries to speak, and surprisingly, the words come out of his mouth quite easily this time. It's as though everything that has been weighing down on his chest just disappeared in an instant. But he knows this hasn't happened only now.

Indeed, he no longer loves her. For he loves someone else. And more so indeed, she NEVER loved him. He was always the weird guy. The quirky kid good for a laugh, but never worthy of ever being taken seriously. Perhaps shades of that perception still cloud her vision. But she's listening to him right now. And she realizes that she has been a remarkable standard to him, in some respects. His success is hinged on how it approximates hers. He finds some degree of sorrow in knowing that what is his prowess is now being surpassed by her. But then, it's merely a harmless machinery of coping. And she recognizes it. She herself ends up asking him what is so wrong with that. The answer: nothing.

And so she looks again, with the eyes that remind him why he once loved her so truly in the first place. The very same eyes that brimmed with tears the last time he hurt her. The same eyes that gleamed when they both realized how valuable their friendship truly is, than to let a little trivial thing like love get in the way. And it was her turn to speak. And what she had to say was, by far, the most beautiful thing he has ever heard her say to him in his life.

And he looks at the frayed, jaded torch in his hands. To his surprise, it gleams brightly as though it were never ignited. He marvels and awes at the sight- and quickly quenches the flames into the ocean, lest the smoke gets in his eyes. He is through with carrying this torch. In fact, he has been through with it a long time ago, but it is time he made it clear for all to see.

And so they walk off in different directions, each wearing a smile. A genuine smile. For something so painful has died, but in its wake, something far better is beginning. Something that is worth everything that the both of them have gone through. In spite of that, their eyes brim with tears. One has loved the other. The other never did. But now, they are truly free to choose what they wish to be for the other. And in the end, neither chose to love the other. And in the end, both have chosen the right path.

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