Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Perfect Conversation

In the perfect conversation
We’re standing at the station
I’m begging you
“Please don’t go”

Funny how things happen when you least expect it. Just yesterday, I had been the happy-go-lucky guy who sniggers at the teenage couple as they sit side by side on the park bench staring into each other’s eyes. For the longest time I was free of such affections and the pain that often accompanied it like the shadow tailing the street lamp on a moonless night.

Yet now, I am dreading every second that passes by, these precious final moments as we head towards the departure gate that will soon separate a pair of hands held together by a desperate inevitability.

Inching closer to the platform, the events of the past twenty four hours flashes before my eyes. I can't help but feel a twinge of pain knowing that it will all end soon.


In this perfect conversation
Here in my imagination
Somehow I know just when
to say what’s right...

When our eyes had first met in the bookshop just around the corner from my house, my heart skipped a beat. As she held out her hands and introduced herself, I couldn’t help but notice her blue eyes looking straight at me, the way they sparkled and pierced through my soul. As I stuttered out my name, she smiled, tilted her head ever so slightly and gently squeezed my hand. I was a goner.

I still cannot remember what it was that I ordered for dinner that night, heck, I can’t even remember if I ate anything at all. All I could think of was how sweet her voice was, as she told me about her day in the city, the assignment that she needed to complete before she had to fly back home tomorrow for a board meeting the following week. Home, unfortunately, was a thousand miles away.


“Funny”, she says whimsically as she paused and turned to me, “I know it’s only been one day… but I feel as though we’ve known each other for a very long time.” My heart broke right then and there.

“Promise me you’ll write?”

“Yes,” I said as I unconsciously felt for the piece of paper that bore her email address and phone number tucked in my shirt pocket, making sure it was still there.


In this perfect conversation
Here in my imagination
I know just what I’m losing
Before this plane I'm on starts moving
I’m running through the door to hold you tight

Even now, her pleasantly endearing laughter when I told her of my encounter with the bank teller, rings in my ears like the sweetest symphony an orchestra could perform.

I guess we both knew that deep down inside, this could never be. Still, last night as we lay in each others' arms, her breath warm and sweet on my cheek, I silently thanked God that even if it was for just one night, I was eternally grateful.

“Ok. This is it”.

She puts down her bags and I open my arms and reach out to her. We hug tightly, neither one of us wanting to let go, wishing that this moment would last a little bit longer. I take in her smell, trying to remember how she breathed and the feel of her soft hair falling around the nape of my neck.

When we finally break apart, she looks up at me, again with those incredible blue eyes.

“Thank you for a wonderful time. I’ll never forget you.”

I could only smile.

As she hands the officer her passport and then walk through the gate, I stand there, unable to move, seeing a part of my heart walk away forever. She turns her head back to me and mouths a goodbye. And then, just like that, she was gone.

All that I can hear now
So loud and so clear now
Are the words I could not seem to find
And everything I didn’t say
Keeps coming back
A mile at a time

The drive back home on the highway is quiet, with only the sound of the a/c to puncture the silence in my heart. I console myself that it would never work out between us. For one thing the distance would be a barrier that will wear both of us down even before anything can blossom. Yes, it was for the best. Just two ships that crossed paths in the night, on different courses, to different destinations.

Then, the phone beeps, signaling a text message. I looked at the screen. It’s from her.

“Thanks for everything. I’m boarding the plane now….”

Oh the perfect conversation always ends
before we say…


Adapted from "The Perfect Conversation" by Mark Wills.


Amazonman said...

Ok guys. Be kind!

Borneoturtle said...

Hugs always
Yanni - Borneo Turtle

OiNK!! said...

ceh! adapted, how much was adapted ? For a moment I thought your writing style changed. I was going to ask you to quit your practice, enroll in UEA for the MA course and join the ranks of Tash Aw, Isihiguro, McEwan and others.

Please remember, using up excess credit!

Amazonman said...

Aiyoh Oink! U never kasi chan one. hehehe

BTW, only the song lyric (in italics) was adapted. The story's all mine lah. And yes i know about the freaking excess credit lah, thank you very much!

OiNK!! said...

OIC I think your writing is quite good. You should look up the MA course at UEA (many more blue eyes over there ;-)). They even have funding for Asian writers. I saw it while looking for funding for my intended BFA/MFA.