🔸By: Alicia Lidwina🔸
You asked me once:
“What would you have done differently if we were born in this world with a different circumstances?”
I just laughed and teased you for being too sappy all of a sudden. It was truly too strange of a question to be asked on a whim–I still remembered you flustered and told me to forget you ever said anything.
And on the surface, I did as I was told: I pretended like you never asked the question.
But as the conversation moved on, and we talked about hundreds of other more interesting topics, the question haunted me: What would I have done differently?
Maybe nothing, was the very first answer that came to mind.
Maybe everything, was the true answer I had been looking for, occurring to me many, many years later.
I would like to meet you differently.
Not by being introduced by someone who we even forgot the name. Not by being classmates, but simply by being interested in one another. You would be strolling the hallways of your university, trying to memorize the material for the next exam, and I would be waiting on one side, conveniently studying the exact same material as you did.
You would ask me a question, and I would answer it fast. Not because I had been wishing you would talk to me–no. But simply because I had just finished memorizing the very answer to your question. And we would then spend hours studying for the exams together, never caring what happened with the world around us.
Years later we would be sitting in a cafe, pondering how we first met. And instead of trying too hard to recall what had happened, the memory would still be lying fresh on the top of our minds. We would laugh together as we thought that our meeting was too good to be true.
I would like to be friends with you differently.
Not that I didn’t like our relationship right now. You had always been a very good friend of mine, and I should have no problem with that. In fact, our friendship might be one of the best things that had occurred in my life, and I would be forever grateful for it.
Being best friends forever.
But in another world, I wouldn’t want to settle by being best friends forever.
I wouldn’t want to gradually be friends just because we were put in the same team together. Not by helping you with your work, and you by helping me with mine, but simply because we shared a lot in common.
You would one day talk about your hobbies. About how you had always admired the space and the celestial bodies that never seemed to vacant the night sky. You would share your ridiculous ambition to become a musician when you were a kid, only to find out later that you couldn’t even play one instrument, no matter how hard you tried.
I would be there, beside you, mutually sharing your sentiment. I would already have picked up a music class or two–and you would play a very horrible tune on your guitar, while I sang the night until my voice grew sore. I would know a lot more about the stars and the galaxies, and we would spend more nights talking about supermassive blackholes and how the dark energy were stretching the universe wider and wider by the minutes.
And although for some time we would be best friends, we wouldn’t stay best friends forever.
I would like to fall in love with you just as hard, but differently.
If I were given a chance to redo my love, you wouldn’t find out about it before you were ready. I would hide my feelings far better than I did in this life, and you would have a hard time concluding whether I really had feelings for you or not.
I would still love you for the way you laugh. For the way you grunt whenever you complain, for the way you searched around you to look for me, and call my name when our eyes met.
I would still love you for cracking a joke that nobody understood–nobody but me. I would still not laugh for the jokes, but deep down you would know that I was holding my laughter, secretly admiring how you could brighten up everyone’s mood so easily, like it was in your nature.
I would still love you for taking too long to get your point through. You would use more sentences, more phrases, more examples to make the other party understand what you were trying to say. After some time, the person you were talking to would ignore all your ideas–all your opinions and ideals. But I would be right beside you, secretly agreeing to everything you had said.
In another life, you would still not end up together with her. But you would not turn down her love and make fun of her in front of the class. You would not be labeled as a class-clown-turned-jerk, and I would not have lost my courage to confess to you on that day.
I would love you differently by listening. Not by pretending nothing ever happened between you and the girl who was so clearly into you in our sophomore year.
I would love you differently by talking. About how much I loved the time we spent together. About how much you made me feel alive.
But above all, I would love you differently by being brave.
Not by hiding my true feelings forever, but by letting it mature just enough before I speak to you about it. I would be strong enough to endure whatever answer you had in store for me. Whether I would be a laughingstock of the entire class, or whether we would be together, I would love you differently by not regretting anything.
I would like to kiss you differently.
Not by taking the chance when you were too drunk after one office drinking party, but by taking the moment to appreciate everything that we shared so far. By acknowledging that we truly were in love with each other before indulging ourselves in a kiss.
But even I knew not to hope for too much, even in my imagination.
You would still kiss me forcefully. You would still shove me onto the bed, lips trailing kisses on my neck, slowly moving down to my chest. I would feel the warmth of your body blending with mine, and drown even further in love with every single move you made.
You would undress me ever so slowly, teasing me as you take the time to memorize the shape of my body–no matter how embarrassed I got because of it. You would then discard your own clothing one by one, as I felt my face burn with desire with each passing second.
You would kiss me the same. Cradle my breasts like you longed for them. Pull my hair and enjoyed the way I moan by your touch. You would ask me to look at you. And for a moment, that would be the only thing that I did. I would let you lead me all the way, guiding your manhood to my entrance.
We would make love when the time was right. You would start slow, our eyes on each other, our hands holding together. I would shriek in pain when you took me completely. You would still ask me whether I was okay; whether you can continue while never stopping to shower me with kisses. As if you could ease the pain a bit by showing me how much you loved me.
You would increase your speed once I felt comfortable. And I would still hold my breath as I felt a thousand stars exploding in a supernova inside my mind. As you released yourself, you would call out my name, and me–yours.
We would lie in bed together for several minutes before falling asleep. And the next day you would wake up feeling hammered, and after realizing what a mess we had made together, you would still leave me alone in that room. You would not reply my messages for weeks, and then you would disappear from my life.
As I laid myself in bed every night after the incident, I would be wondering what would it be like if our first kiss hadn’t led into that night. What if our first kiss had been an innocent one–perhaps we would still cuddle in bed together.
You, me, and the love that bound us together.
And perhaps, the thing that I wanted the most….
I would like to say my goodbye to you differently.
Not by realizing that you already had someone else the next time we met. Not by spotting the silver ring on your finger, and a hand encircling yours in a very possessive hug. Not by introducing your wife to me and telling that you were expecting your first baby.
I would like to make the call first.
I would like to be more resilient–to chase you until the edge of the world if I must, and proclaim how much I had loved you. For every quirks you had, for the way you laugh and the way you grunt when you were displeased.
I would confess my love to you, so you didn’t have to feel guilty for taking me when you were drunk. I would drill the fact to your mind that I would like nothing better than being in your arms, so you didn’t have to find someone else and fall in love with her.
And even if we got together, led a happy life together for some moment before plunging into unhappiness, I would like to be the one ending our relationship. I would call you and explain how unhappy I was with our relationship. You would apologize and we would try to work it out together.
If it did work out, we would stay happy together. And even if it didn’t work out, we would walk away from one another without any what ifs–for at least we had tried.
Today, as we met unexpectedly in one bustling shopping mall, my mind inevitably replayed every scenes in my memories with us together. We were the main casts–the playful and bright hero, and the witty and gentle heroine.
As you, your wife, and I sat together in a restaurant to catch up with each other, she went about how you first met, how you first realized you were in love, and how you eventually wed each other.
“What a lovely story,” I said, more to myself than to you or your wife. And then I as I gave you a quick glance, I asked her the very same question you once asked me: “If you could do anything, what would you like to have done differently?”
She told me that she would not change anything. That she was very happy with her life. That you and she were expecting a baby very soon, and she hoped that she could be a good mother for the baby.
The conversation soon died down, and then you returned the question to me.
“What would you like to have done differently?”
As I looked into your eyes, I saw everything that we were and everything that we could be. Just like being squeezed into a supermassive blackhole, I saw every moment that had transpired between us in one singularity. And I knew you felt that too. I could see the sparkle in your eyes when I stopped to think about how to answer your question.
I looked into your wife’s blank expression, knowing that she was equally interested in my answer.
I looked to you.
🔹Art by the talented cyancoholic.deviantart.com🔹
🔹Story by Alicia Lidwina (2017)🔹