How long...?

July 24, 2010
How long have I stood by her side? How long have I held her hand and guided her through the stormy seas of confusion, anger, joy and grief? How long have I loved her for who she is and who she will be? How long will it take for me to tell her that she is the one? How long will it take for her to realize that I am the one? How long will I remain by her side as she falls in love with another? Will I remain by her side at all?

Eighteen-year old Jensen Slade laid on his back looking up at the night sky. Surrounded by woods, the field he was in was hidden from the outside world. Only the sounds of passing cars and occasional police sirens reminded Jensen that reality was still there, just beyond the trees. He had come to the field in search of an escape from his life, emotions, problems, but most of all, the tremendous weight growing within his heart. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, taking in the scent of wild grass, flowers, and soil. The blend of wildlife lingered within his nostrils and traveled from his lungs to his heart, calming its rapid tempo. He slowly opened his eyes and found himself face to face with the vivid, bright light of the full moon that hung hazily above him. A thin layer of clouds were no match for the moon, its light resonating across the dark sky, creating a halo surrounding its body. Jensen felt himself smile as he looked up at the moon tenderly. Its full face and body tantalizing, yet it calmed the thunderous storm within him. He lifted his hand, palm up, to the sky and closed his hand around the moon. So close yet so far away, he thought, I wish I could hold you within the palm of my hand and never let you go. His hand fell down to his side and drops of tears formed at the corner of his eyes. Emotions and thoughts from his life, from reality, hurtled itself back into his mind, burdening his heart with a weight that felt, to him, as if it could never be lifted. He rested his arm over his eyes, depriving himself the sight of the stunning moon up above. As if the moon understood his pain, multiple layers of clouds were pulled in and enveloped the moon, leaving Jensen in total darkness to deal with his pain. As he struggled to control his overbearing emotions and thoughts, one word, a name, escaped his lips, “Kaelyn”.

How ignorant and naïve she can be when it comes me. Our parents being long time friends had thrown our lives and destinies together, and with that she thinks because we’ve been childhood friends for so long, she assumes I’m always going to be there. Well, what if one day I decide to get up and walk away? What if one day I disappear and never say good-bye? Will she cry? Will she grieve? Will she wonder where I’ve gone? Or will she simply move on with her life accepting that I’ve gone, never looking back, never wondering where I’ve gone? No. I know her better than that. She will search to the ends of the Earth for me…and when she finds me, she will selfishly say how much she loves me, but not in a way a woman loves a man. No, it will be as a friend loves a friend, or a sister loves a brother. Why? Because she does not see me as a man, she sees me as a best friend…a necessity that is hers to keep, the one who catches every tear, who takes all her blows, the one who would travel to the end of the earth for her, and the person that she assumes will always remain by her side. How long will I actually remain by her side? Forever? Or not a single moment longer?

As his Physics teacher lectured the class on velocity, Jensen’s concentration drifted from the front of the room and out the window. The sun’s light lit up the world, giving life to those with lives and those without them. Jensen closed his eyes, picturing himself as a bird, flying through the blue sky and looking down at the school below. A part of him wanted to fly away and never return. The other part merely yearned to stay. Instead of mentally deciding what to do, he followed his heart and to wherever it would lead him. He flexed wings and pulled them in, bringing them close to his jet-black, feathered-body. He dived down towards the school and before crashing into the ground, he spread his wings lifting himself up and around the building. Gracefully gliding on the light breeze, he flew to the south end of the building. Finally, he located the window, the destination of his heart’s desire. Perching outside the window, he peered within and found a petite girl with maroon-brown hair at a pottery wheel. He watched as her elegant fingers dipped into a large cube of clay, shaping it into a captivating vase. He hummed a soft tune to her, and at the sound of his humming, she turned to look at the window, where he was perched. His heart melted within his chest as his brown eyes stared into her bright, emerald ones. Kaelyn Rowan, his childhood best friend and the love of his life, broke into a smile, that adoring smile she used only for him, before returning to her pottery wheel.

“Mr. Slade!”

Jensen’s mind snapped back to reality, to his own body, and face to face with an angry Physics teacher.

“What is the answer, Mr. Slade?” the teacher asked, his pencil tapping impatiently upon Jensen’s desk. Jensen glanced at the board, in search of anything that could give a clue to what had been asked of him. After several moments, his teacher sighed and turned to the whole class.

“Would anyone like to help Mr. Slade here? It seems as if he’s left his mind in la-la land,” the Physics teacher said, sarcasm dripping from his voice.

A girl raised her hand and answered, “Distance divided by time.” To which the teacher slammed a hand onto Jensen’s desk.

“Distance divided by time, Slade. The question was ‘what is the formula for velocity’ and apparently you were too busy daydreaming to answer a simple basic question,” he said. As the teacher turned and made his way to the front of the class, Jensen snuck a glance, once more, outside the window to where a jet-black bird was perched on a tree branch. He sighed, wishing he could fly into the sky and never return. As he turned away, returning his attention to the front of the classroom, the jet-black bird took flight and flew up into the blue sky, never looking back.

I find that it is I, that is always seeking her out. I am the one who goes through obstacles to get to her, where she stands mighty and tall. What if I no longer choose to do so? What if I choose to take the left path rather than the right? Or even the path that lies in between both paths? I want to run from her…run from this suffocating place beside her. And yet, I want to remain near her, for she has a control over my soul. It is as if she is Queen and I am nothing but her servant. I am not perched on the throne beside her. I am hidden behind the curtains, far ways behind her throne. Only when she beckons for me do I come forward to give her advice, love, sweets, and my loyalty. I want to resign from this position and move up, to her lover, her king, her only desire. It is what I promised her. I promised…as a child I had promised. That place beside her…the place I am, supposedly, suppose to have, is promised to me. Not in the position below. The place beside her…as a man, not a friend or advisor. But this is the 21st century. It is not the time of King and Queens. It is the time of promise…futures…and success…has she forgotten? The promise that was made long ago. The promise that I hold bound to my heart. The promise that has bound me to her. Has she forgotten?

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