Only If

March 28, 2008
By Preet Chhina, Maple Ridge, B.C., ZZ

The fire of regret had long ago burned at my heart, tearing at my memories. Now all that was left was ashes that had sunk into my blood, every once in a while resurfacing, bringing a torrent of memories and tears with it. I had kept a secret stash of photos, pictures and diary entries hidden under my bed- a sacred emergency kit for when the ashes of the past decided to resurface and haunt me.
One hundred days. I had counted each one, listened to the tick to the clock syncing with my heartbeat, listened to the sound of time passing me by.
No one could know. It was now no more than a pathetic, cliché love story, something to look back on and wish that the hands of time would turn back, so that I could make everything right. But how many people have also wished that? The perfect two years of my life, the feeling of bliss as if nothing else mattered, was gone. Then there was a strange, blank period of my life, when he hid from me. Some secret, which everybody but me seemed to know. Then, much too late, I was told.

My fairytale prince went after another dragon to win another maiden, and rode away on his white horse and in his shining armour, the armour that gave me security and love for years.
The ashes resurfaced again today, and I collapsed into a heap of tears onto my bed, listening to every sad song I could find on my laptop, withering away in self guilt and pity. I clung desperately onto the messy scrawls that I wrote months ago, the barely legible sentences that contained my excitement and happiness of my first love.

Suddenly, the pages cramped with too many words abruptly stopped with the words, ‘he’s gone now.’
Then white, blank pages, taunting me with what could of been- but wasn’t. The spaces in between the lines were isolated, and my heart beat faster, in a panic. I flipped each page, but they were empty.

Empty like a cloudless sky, but somehow more. The sky shined with the warmth of the sun, but these pages held no warmth or light. They were more like ice- blank and greyish white, veiling thin ice and churning waters below.
I dropped the diary as my mind raced. It fell to the floor with a hushed clatter, but my mind was running over two words. The reality of these words scared me, but time couldn't be reversed. My eyes stared at the textured, grey ceiling. My heart thumped rhythmically. My lungs inhaled and exhaled steadily.

But my soul was back on the day when I wrote my last diary entry. Tears fell from my lashes and smeared the ink on the page. My lips softly uttered a song, as my pen shook in the nook of my hand. I ripped a page out of my diary and jotted down the chorus, whispering as I wrote down each scribble. The song mirrored the past, and reflected what was and what could have been.

If I wait for you will you come to me?
I’ll run
If I lean towards you will you kiss me?
If I fall will you catch me?
Till your legs hold steady
If I reach out my hand will you hold it?
I’d never let go
If I lose myself will you find me?
I’ll guide you back
If I wait for you will you come to me?
I’ll run...

Then, on the last page, in delicate, curved scripture, I wrote down two words. I could cry and scream but the past would only replay in my memories. Only if I could change it, if I could rip the wall of the past apart, and step back into what my life was. Only if he could be more than just the memory he was now. Only if he would help me start a new beginning, only if he would once again kiss my lips to reassure me that our lives were once again entwined. Only if my soul could escape this earth-bound body and be freed from this pain.

Only If.

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