He was about a mile away, standing directly under the bright, neon sign of the car rental store. “Lenny’s Car Rentals”, read the sign. He liked that place. It was where he went the first time his car broke down. I remember it almost like it was yesterday. I was with him. He was standing right under it now, with his hands in his pockets, apparently waiting for something, but that wasn’t me. He wasn’t waiting for me this time. I was only the person who witnessed his car break down now. I’m not the person I was before.
He never dressed so formally to meet me. He was always a casually dressed guy. It was one of the things I really liked about him. He always dressed in shorts and any shirt he would find lying around his bedroom. He wasn’t too obsessed with his appearance like the other boys of today, always trying to impress the ladies. He was nothing more than the perfect friend, that was ever so humble in both his appearance and his words. I’d never seen him look so happy before though. Why was he so happy?
I remember meeting him. Nearly two years ago across the internet. We didn’t get too close at first. He was making his way out of a breakup at the time, but that wasn’t something I had known until later. I began to speak to him more often somewhat around a few months back. Alexander. His name. Alexander. Oh, how beautiful the name was. But I could only ever see it as his beauty reflected into words. You’d hear of the idiom “a heart of gold” all the time, but he gave it literal meaning. His words were some sort of massage to my soul, my mind, my everything. I’d speak to him for hours on end, hours that to us meant more than just that. I’d never looked forward to speaking to a person before, but this wasn’t just a person. This was Alexander. This was the person who was a potential reason for my happiness. They say it’s impossible for one person to change a life, but who ever told you to underestimate Alexander? Who ever told you to underestimate the power of love?
Alexander. The name would ring constantly in my head, in some sort of rhythm that I couldn’t escape from. I couldn’t escape his beauty. I couldn’t escape him.
I’d speak to him everyday, simply because he made me happy. Simply because he pulled me out of that loop I thought I could never manage to leave myself. My loop of sadness. The sadness that resided in my heart, and wouldn’t move out for the world. But this wasn’t the world, this was Alexander. He didn’t only pull me out, but he joined me. He assured me I wasn’t alone, and that he was right there. We would climb together, he would say. He’d wrap his hand around mine, that would be completely enveloped in his, and show me a world where I was happy. I’d refuse to have him trouble himself, because how could I possibly allow a boy like Alex to suffer the pain of someone like me? I couldn’t. But he would always insist. He would always fill my heart with joy and feed my mind hope. He showed me the perfect world, but in the perfect world exists the perfect people, and in that world, my perfect world, only Alexander existed.
This was the past. This wasn’t the present. This wasn’t going to be the future.
I made a mistake.
I need to fix it.
He needs to remember.
He doesn’t remember me. He remembers her. Who’s she? He’s waiting for her. He’s standing directly under the bright, neon sign of the car rental store. Waiting for her. Who’s she?
A fire would burn in my heart at the contemplation that he wasn’t spending his hours on me any longer. I was a person of the past. Something happened. Something...supernatural. I don’t exist in his life anymore...Why? Why is he waiting for her, and not for me? It doesn’t make sense to me. I wake up one morning, I text him, and I receive a notification informing me that I had been blocked. In one night, he had lost any trace of mine in his memory. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense.
I am staring at him from afar, and he had spotted me a few minutes ago, but he looked away as if I wasn’t there. Where am I? Where is he? Who, is she?
The hours I spent with him would remind me of what I called the best time of my life. The time where I met someone who accepted my flaws and accepted just as rightly, my strengths. Someone who empowered me from the inside and made me feel better every time I looked in the mirrors at my reflection that I once despised; that I was once disgusted by. A person who would make the tears running down my wet cheeks dry in a matter of seconds, with only a few words. Amor vincit omnia. Amor vincit omnia. Amor vincit omnia. He’d always say it. His grandmother said it to him every night before he went to bed, just to remind him of the significance of love in a cruel world like ours. Love conquers all. Amor vincit omnia.
Love conquers all. He conquered all. He was love, and love was him. He saw beauty, he knew it. It was him. Alexander was the beauty. Beauty was Alexander. He had the whole world’s beauty in his hands. He knew how to use it well. He showed me how to use it well. He showed me life, and love, and passion. He was Alexander. He was love.
He’d always try to compliment me; insist on my greatness that he claimed I didn’t believe in. He was eventually bored of it. He was bored of how stubborn I was. I never listened to Alexander. Alexander was fed up. Cupid had fired his arrow, and slowly but painfully, pulled it out of Alexander’s heart. But Cupid forgot his arrow in mine. And Cupid won’t respond to my cries that call out his name. Cupid won’t listen. Cupid won’t return the arrow to Alexander, nor rip out mine. But Cupid, I’d rather suffer the pain of you tearing away the sharp arrow from my macerated heart, rather than the pain of knowing Alex won’t ever see me the same again. Cupid is neglecting my calls that all yell out one thing. Amor vincit omnia.
But if love could really conquer all, where is Alexander? Waiting for her. She wasn’t love. He was love. She wasn’t. Oh but Alexander, how do I miss you. How do I miss the someone who was helping me be the best I could. I stare at you and you no longer see me. You see just another person on the street. Does love blind, and then sight? Does love blind you, so when you see again you remember not what you couldn’t see before? You don’t remember me. You’d never seen me. But I’d seen you. And maybe my passion could strike in your heart the force of a hundred Cupid love arrows.
I ran up to you at a speed of which I had never run before. My vision blurred; my surroundings unclear. The world was rotating around me, and I started to see darkness as I got closer to you. Your pale face blushing into a crimson kind of red, with your dark hair slicked back neatly with gel, for the first time in ages. I remembered the last time you used gel. We were messing around, and I emptied the gel container in its entirety over your head, and tousled your hair around until you looked like one messed up guy with a porcupine on his head. Somehow, amidst the chaos, I managed to grin slightly, feeling my lips curl up in joy of the happy memory. One that I had needed. However, my lips fell back down at the sight of your face directly above mine, with your arms coating me, and my body leaning back on your knee. I felt safe. It felt normal. It felt right. I remembered, but you didn’t.
I had unawarely fallen into your arms, and as I stared into your confused, hazel eyes, I felt a thrilling sensation that you needed to know. You needed to be reminded of whom I was; of whom we were. The position we were in was rather awkward, and I adjusted it as soon as I was let out of that trance that had overtaken me in your eyes, but I stared into them once again, until you figured there was something going on.
You asked with utter genuinuity, “I’m sorry, but do I know you, miss?”
“Erm, yes. Yes you do,” I responded hesitantly, anxiety drawn on my reddening face, and clear in my croaking voice. “I’m Mais.”
“I’m not sure I’ve heard that name before. Maybe you’re mistaking me for someone else. But are you okay? The way you were running a few minutes ago kind of made it look like you were panicking over something.
May I help you?” You responded ever so politely. I knew now, you were my Alexander. I wasn’t wrong. It was you. And you had forgotten.
“You know me, Alex. You know me. Please give me a chance, you know me and you know who we once were,” I stuttered, trying to hold back the tears that were begging to escape my eyes.
“I’m sorry, miss, but you’re scaring me. I don’t know why you know my name or who you are, but you need to go before I call the police,” you threatened, with intensity and confusion evident in your voice, and in how your eyebrows curled downwards until the tips met.
“Alex,” I called. “Look into my eyes, Alex.” I continued, holding your hands firmly, and tightening my grip in such a way that you wouldn’t be able to forget my touch. I was trying to remind you. I carried on, “We spoke everyday Alex. You showed me the happier life I always sought. You taught me how to be myself, and stand tall doing it.” His face now represented shock and uncertainty. “You were Alexander. Please, please remember me,” I begged.
“Okay lady, now you’re creeping me out. I tried to be nice at first, but you’re getting weird. And you better get those hands of yours off of me, like right now,” you snapped.
I could hear my dented heart break and shatter into little pieces that would never be found. There wasn’t hope. I had lost you. But I ought to try one last thing, and I wasn’t giving up until I had tried it.
I further strengthened my grip on your cold hands, and slowly uttered the words “Amor vincit omnia, Alex. Amor vincit omnia.” You stared at me with eyes wide open, yet squinted. Your mouth gaped and your head somewhat tilted. You didn’t expect it; I could tell. I hoped, desperately, that that look might mean you had recalled something, but hoping doesn’t always do the trick.
“Erm.” You hesitated. “I don’t know what to say to you, kiddo, but I’m not the person you’re looking for.” You said it with such uncertainty, like you remembered and were trying to solve the puzzle yourself, but didn’t want to admit it. You were in denial, although you felt something go on in your heart. You felt it too.
“I’m sorry to bother you then, Valentino. I hope you live a splendid life.” Valentino. My Valentino. I called you that. I’ve called you that ever since you asked me to be your Valentine last year. You weren’t going to remember. I felt a disappointment that cannot be described as I pronounced those words, and took a few steps back before turning my back to you, and with my head bowed down, walking away from you forever. It was over, but I’ll never forget something. A word. A word you said in the last sentence I ever heard from you. Kiddo. You called me that everyday, and that was the last time I would ever hear it come out of your mouth.
But you never know Alex, because amor-vincit-omnia.