The Road to Ithaca – 8


This wasn’t something I had anticipated. I should have, but I had not. What was going on in my mind is hard to explain. Here was this girl whom I….loved? I’m not sure. But who was definitely special to me in more ways than one, and whom I wanted more of. And now she was leaving. Agreed, she wasn’t going to a different planet, not even to a different country, in fact not even to a different state. But she was going to leave this town behind. She was going to a new place, to a new life, with different people and different priorities, to a life where I would no longer exist. I would no longer see her every other day, even for a few passing seconds; I could no longer predict where she would be on a certain time of the day. I could not do anything. And that scared the hell out of me.

What do you do when something like that happens to you? When there’s something that you’ve began to cherish, something you’ve taken to calling your own although from a worshipful distance, something you’ve admired but have always avoided approaching, because you had nothing to offer; and then suddenly it is about to be taken from you. The first reaction is almost always numbness, then a feeling of helplessness, and finally regret.

It’s the regret that comes with the realization of what a dumbass you have been.  It comes in the form of a quiet but persistent voice inside your head. A voice that points out, with reason as well as mild rebuke: “you could at least have tried. There was nothing to lose.”

This, I should clarify, does not apply only to lovelorn and lost teenagers who dare to fall in love with someone way above their pay-grade. It happens to us all, throughout our lives. We don’t buy the form to an exam because we believe we’d flunk anyway. We give up job offers that were our childhood dreams, so that we can have the so-called safety and comfort and all the attached drudgery of a corporate HQ. We shy away from calling our parents, thinking it might be awkward. We resist the urge to join in a game of street football with kids on a rainy day, to avoid breaking our sorry image and decorum. And through all these small surrenders, we give up who we are, who we would have been, in favor of whom we’ve resigned ourselves to being.

Anyways, perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of desperation or perhaps out of the sudden burst of courage that comes with the realization that you really no longer have anything to lose, I decided to try. Not to profess my feelings for her, just to say Hi and possibly a Goodbye.

So I called her number on a rainy afternoon, without a clue about what I was going to say. She picked up on the third ring with that delicious “Hello” which I’ve described earlier.

“Hi..” I mumbled, my heart thumping rather loudly against my ribcage, “I’m ……..”

There was a stunned silence at the other end for a few seconds, a silence that for some reason I just loved.

Then she spoke.




6 thoughts on “The Road to Ithaca – 8

  1. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 9 | The Clever Dog

  2. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 10 | The Clever Dog

  3. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 11 | The Clever Dog

  4. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 12 | The Clever Dog

  5. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 14 | The Clever Dog

  6. Pingback: The Road To Ithaca – 15 | The Clever Dog

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