“Yes you.” I said.
“How are you?”
“I’m good. What about you?”
“I’m good too.”
“Why are you here?” I ask.
“Just. Came to see you.”
I smile. She smiles too.
“What have you been doing?”
“Just. Living.” I smile. “You?”
“Just. Living too.” She smiles.
“Do you hate me?” She asks.
“No I don’t. Hate’s a strong word. I was a little angry. Mostly at myself but I’m fine now.”
“It’s alright. Wasn’t your fault.”
“If there is one place you wish you can take me now, where would it be?” She asks.
“Strawberry Fields. Have a nice little dinner. I’ll have Spaghetti Bolognaise and you can have anything you want because it’ll be on me. But ofcourse you being you would refuse and I’ll insist and still pay. We’ll talk and I’ll smoke and we’ll watch Across the Universe and listen to Strawberry Fields Forever on my iPod together.”
“Do you miss me?”
“Every time. Sometimes when I’m driving, when I got nothing to think about, you drop in.”
“What’s the one thing you miss about me?”
“No you can only choose one.”
I thought for a bit and then I replied, “I miss waking up next to you and watching you sleep in the wee hours of the morning when everyone else in the world’s still sleeping and the sun’s still coming up. You look really peaceful and contented. I enjoy the look on your face whenever I bring you your morning coffee. That.. satisfaction. Miss it.”
“I miss looking into your eyes. They’re beautiful. They’re sad. They’re deep and I wish I can just jump in and submerge myself in them. I know for a fact I can never drown myself in them even if I tried to.”
“Do you find me beautiful?”
“Yes. Very much.”
“What’s so beautiful about me? I’m just an ordinary girl.”
“You’re annoying, a little egoistic, immature, confused and loud. And yet you’re true, honest, caring, loving and deep.”
“If you get to tell me something now, what would it be?” She asks.
“I would say I’m sorry that I couldn’t do much to take your pain away and I only ended up making things worst. I wish I wasn’t too much of a burden. I wish I could have controlled my temper. That’s why I left. Because I realised I wasn’t ready. And you weren’t ready either. And also because I didn’t want to hurt you anymore.”
“No you didn’t.”
“You’re just being nice.” I smile.
“If you have a song to sing to me at this very moment, now, what would it be?” She asks.
“Jimi Hendrix’s Angel. I can’t sing like him and neither can I play the guitar but I’ll try.”
“What do you regret?” She asks.
“Because it was worth it.”
“Would you give love a chance again?” She asks.
“I hate the word ‘chance’. Sounds like a game show. But yes, love deserves a chance. Hate doesn’t.”
“I think I’m too weak for love.”
“Love makes you strong. Never weak. You didn’t lose love. You just lost faith in love. You built all these barriers by yourself. This imaginary prison. Love played no part in it. You just chose to ignore it and become the very thing you feared of becoming.”
“Do you still have faith in love?”
“Yes. Always have and always do.”
“If you could do one thing to me now, what would it be?”
“I wish I could do something to take away your sorrow and pain. Perhaps invent a powerful umbrella made out of solid steel that prevents the world from falling onto your head.”
“I wish those kind of things exist. But what would you make do with things that already exist, that you can do for me?”
“A hug. I’ll hug you. Tight.”
“Do you still love me?”
“I would be lying if I said no.” I smile.
“Why do you love me?”
“I can still never answer this question. I guess, love has no reason. It just… happens. If love had a reason, then that’s not love anymore.”
“Love. It feels right. Everything fits like a right key on the right lock.”
“Do you hate love?”
“Love is love. I can never blame nor hate it. It’s.. beautiful.”
“Then what do you blame?”
“Nothing.” I smile.
“If there is one thing you want from me, what would it be?” She asks.
“I want you to be happy.”
“I hope you didn’t mind me keeping my distance. You wanted to be left alone in the first place..” I say.
“I just had to do it but it was painful seeing you suffering alone.”
“Do you think I’m strong?” She asks.
“If you’ve managed to survive for this long with all the thing’s that has been going on, you’re definitely stronger than you can imagine despite the fact that you’re broken inside. An iron is placed in an hot oven and hit repeatedly in order for it to become a strong and powerful sword. Once all these hitting has stopped, so would you become stronger than you can ever imagine. Pain and suffering are just passing fleeting moments. The world doesn’t hurt us. We hurt ourselves. This is the truth.”
“I doubt this suffering would ever go away..”
“You stumped me again” I smile. “I wish I can come up with a good philosophical quote that sums everything up and make you feel better and confident. Unfortunately, I’m out of words and I’m no Rumi.. I’m sorry.”
“I keep having these bad dreams.” She says.
“Dreams. Sometimes when I’m alone, I cry to myself. I toss and turn in bed. I try to sleep but I can’t because thoughts and memories just haunt me..”
“How do you know?”
“Intuition, clairvoyance, you can call it anything you want.” I smile.
“Want a hug? That’s the least I can do.” I ask.
And we hugged. And there was a beautiful silence. We hugged for a good minute which seemed like eternity. Just letting in and taking in each other’s warmth. That pleasantness, the scent of each other. I could feel her hair on my right cheek. I sighed slowly, letting out every ounce of love I had, every ounce of care I had accumulated without her presence and I’m sure she did the same too.
“Why were you so cold to me? I didn’t cheat on you or lied. I was just a little immature. It was my way of showing you that I cared.” I whispered into her right ear.
“Why didn’t you ask me to stay? I would have stayed if you said yes. It wouldn’t have stopped all the problems, but you would have had an extra shoulder to cry on.” I asked.
“Do you still love me?” I ask.
And that’s when I opened my eyes and I realised she was gone. She was just a mirage my mind conjured up time and time again. I stared at the empty space between me. I stared at my hands. I could still feel her warmth. Her scent.
“Living is easy with eyes closed..” Now I fully understood what it meant.
I smile, stood up, lighted a ciggie, paid at the counter for my dinner, popped in my earphones and played The Beatles. Slowly, I walked out alone from Strawberry Fields and into the arms of reality. But deep within my heart, I thank her for dropping in for a visit.
On this day, November 24th 1966, 45 years ago, The Beatles recorded one of their most famous song, Strawberry Fields Forever. This song stayed on in the imagination of many Beatles’ fans and is still celebrated as one of the greatest song ever written. The song inspired novels, movies, bands, theatre groups, people from all walks of life because this song, despite being sad and beautiful, gives hope and freedom. If one Google’s for a Strawberry Fields restaurant, one can find it in Petaling Jaya. It’s a recommended place to take a loved one out. I recommend it to you. Take her out