She had recently seen a quote floating around the internet, “According to Greek mythology; humans were originally created with four legs, four arms and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them apart, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other half.”
She took stock of the situation; they had been here before but was this time breaking point? How could they have been in each other lives for so long and yet have been so oblivious to each other’s feelings. How could they have lived so harmoniously for so long and yet never known that they were so in love?
She feels as though her heart could at any moment explode into fits of Jane Eyre ravings “Am I a machine without feeling?” Is she condemned to live her life without her other half, her soul mate?
Theirs was a typical story, girl meets boy. Well not so typical. They were brought together at a young age, meeting at infant school. Both being a little shy they were drawn to each other. A friendship that would stand the test of time. A friendship that would continue through separate junior schools, senior schools, colleges and universities. A friendship that would even continue over different continents, but now things had changed.
He chose the corporate route securing a fancy job in the city; she chose the carefree lifestyle of travelling and teaching English to underprivileged Africans. He was what you would call nouveau-riche and she was of the grimy hostel class. His parents had money and her parents were the typical benefit claiming, work dodgers. This had never mattered to him. It had mattered to her. She had always known that one day she would be forced to face reality and admit that they belong to different worlds. She knew she would never be good enough for the likes of him and he would end up with some corporate type from the city.
Why did it matter? He loves her, shouldn’t that be enough? Yes he never told her but there has never been a time in his life when he doesn’t remember her being around. She has been such an integral part of him for so long that losing her would be more distressing than losing a limb, maybe even losing a couple of limbs. He has built his career around a fantasy life he has mapped out for them. She travels for a few years and then finds him in the city. They marry, buy a house, have 2.4 children and the rest is history. Sure his parents wouldn’t approve but once that see how in love they are they’d come round, eventually they’d be happy for them. Maybe he would even relax his aversion to animals and they could get a small dog, nothing too energetic. He had it all planned out.
She could see in his eyes what he was thinking. It was the same every time he flew out to visit her in one of her ‘exotic destinations’ as her parents liked to call them. It was the same searching. Did he know how she truly felt? Would she have to go through the same heartache every time they met? She had tried breaking contact, making excuses when he had wanted to visit, but he had found her anyway. It was futile to keep their friendship alive when she wanted so much more but knew he would never want that with a girl like her. That’s the trouble with having mutual friends. The trouble with having mutual friends that were convinced they were perfect for each other but they didn’t understand. Sure they were but she wouldn’t be the downtrodden working class girl thrown into the upper class world where she was hated and scorned by everybody but him. She wouldn’t spend her life being grateful for acceptance into a society she has no intention of entering.
He could see her mind working overtime. He knew he was going to get the same response as always. He knew that she didn’t feel the same way. He was thinking of his parent’s reaction, thinking of how awkward it would be for her integrate herself into his already close knit circle of friends in the city but how he would look after her. Her damn pride wouldn’t let him look after her. All he has ever wanted is to go through life with her at his side and deep down he knows she will never let that be, she would never want a man like him, but for some reason he can’t let her go. Is he destined to spend his life longing for her?
She wonders how god could have been so cruel. How could god have presented her with this perfect soul mate? He was perfect in every way. He had lost his earlier shyness and now had an easy confidence that allowed him to be liked by all and all of this was packaged in the body of a Greek god. But why oh why couldn’t god have sent him in the form of the local mechanics son rather than the son of a local judge and a doctor?
He wonders how god could have been so cruel. How could he have dropped him into this life of prosperity when all he wanted was her? He would give all of this up for her. If only she felt the same way about him. If only he could find the courage once and for all to tell her how much he really loved her and that everything else was nothing without her. That being away from her was like somebody has suddenly switched his HD TV for a 1960s black and white affair. That she is his rose coloured glasses. That he feels like he needs to hold onto her and never let go. The world around him disappears, the nearby tram sounds like it is on some distant horizon.
If only she could find the way to tell him how she really felt, to tell him that she has travelled each and every continent, seen the wonders of the world and they all pale in comparison to him. The nearby tram brings her back to this moment.
“I love you.”