Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'll meet you in the park

My childhood heart always belonged to you.
We didn't hold hands, or kiss or even spend a lot of time together. But there were our sidelong glances at church, and you sharing fruit roll-ups with me, when my bad behaviour forfeited my own, and countless run-ins in the park where we would walk side-by-side. I would try to time my walks to school, just so we would have those wonderful five minutes together. And the best days, were those when we would catch each other at the beginning of the green strip and have the entire time it took to cross the field to be together. I could see us dating (once we reached the appropriate age of 16), falling in love and getting married. You were perfect. And I knew that together we would be perfect.
And then I found out you were moving; A good 12 hours away.
Our beautiful life together was never going to have a chance.
And I was crushed.
But I always held a soft spot in my heart for you.
My siblings would tease me for weeks the couple of times you visited. And I would blush. But underneath that blush, I thought, yes, if only we could be in the same place again. Because years passed, but my affection for you stayed exactly where it had been; Hoping that it would again run into you in the park, and that we could walk side-by-side like we had before.
Even years later my ideal crush always carried a striking resemblance to you.
My hopeless romanticism is a deeply rooted characteristic as it turns out.
Anytime my mom would mention your family, my ears would perk up, waiting to hear how you were. So when, in our adulthood, you found me again, I welcomed you back. And couldn't help but dream of meeting up and realizing how perfect we still were for each other.
You must have felt the same. Because I saw my childhood crush, still reflecting in your responses to me. We decided to meet up again, on a weekend we were both going to be back in our former home city. We made plans for you to stop by my childhood home. And I felt such a rush of excitement to see you again.
My mother cautioned me that you were not the boy I had known long ago. But I didn't care. Because you still sounded like the boy I had once known and I couldn't imagine a world where you had really changed.
It had easily been almost a decade since we'd last seen each other.
You came in and greeted my family. And I felt shy seeing you in person again.
You commented on how tall I had become in such an amazed tone.
But then so were you.
I think that both of us had been picturing our childhood versions of each other. Where neither time passing nor puberty had occurred yet.
We made polite chit-chat but it was very clear that I was no longer that girl from the park and you were no longer that boy. As much as I wouldn't have liked to believe it, time had indeed changed each of us. And our paths had diverged greatly.
I havent spoken to you since that moment. Because I think both of us knew that the childhood romance we had held onto was another relic of our pasts.
But I still think about you now and then and wonder what our lives would have become had we been allowed to stay close through our growing up years.
And even though adulthood has pulled us far apart, I still remember how you were the first to hold my hope for the future. And I think fondly of you from time to time.

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