London and I: A Tragedy (3/3)

If you need to visit post (2/3), here it is.

I mentioned my phone but didn’t mention who I spoke to. It was him: best friend, boyfriend, sanity-saving miracle wrapped into one.

He was working at the time, running in a gruelling 8 am to 7 pm schedule. Our time difference should have been an issue but somehow, it wasn’t. I’m not one to take favours lightly; I don’t like owing people anything I can’t immediately repay. But I’d be a small mean person if I didn’t acknowledge this: he was what stood between me and a desperately early flight home.

Rizu, there is nothing anyone could ever do that would make me forget London. How could I? I remember waking up and texting you, letting you know what I’d be doing that day. I’d send you snapchats daily: my outfit, the walk to the station, my current playlist, new boots, anything and everything that would connect my life with yours. I texted to tell you the most insignificant things, the tiniest details. And you were there, every time. Patient, understanding, loving, more than I’ve now seen is humanly possible.

Do you remember once when I caught the bus, intending to explore a new area of the city? I was scared to go by myself, afraid of getting lost or ending up with a dead cellphone and no way of getting home? You called me, stayed on the phone, talked to me while I roamed around alien shops and ate at a new pub. I was horribly anxious; you gave me your whole day. We talked when the connection was spotty, when it was too loud around me, when I couldn’t hear you properly. I would get mad, scream in frustration, and you stayed, always patient on the other end.

Remember when I actually did end up getting lost? I went too far West, and couldn’t find my way home. And it was raining pretty heavily; I wasn’t wearing a hat or a hoodie. I called you out of the blue (ha, rhyme), and you were there. We spoke the whole way home. I kept checking Maps, which led me in circles but we made it home in the end. We made it.

Remember when I called you crying? And I said I’d had it: fuck the internship, fuck my degree, I’m coming home! You listened and then you told me to keep my head high. You told me I was better than the stupid anxiety, the isolation and the fear. And that you were proud of what I was doing and how I was doing it. You said I should be proud too, that I’d won the internship, that I was doing what I liked. You said, 3 more weeks love, and you’ll be back…and I’ll be waiting at the airport. 

I believed you. I held on to everything you said because it was all I had. For God’s sake, we went to the British Museum ‘together.’ I told you that I’d never been to a museum by myself and I needed you there. We skyped for hours while I roamed around, sending you funny snaps of oddly shaped statues. We came up with memes and you told me historical facts off the top of your head.

And here’s something I will especially never forget. Remember when I visited the World War 2 Museum and saw the Holocaust exhibit? There was a glass fixture filled to the brim with the shoes of Holocaust victims…all sizes, brown and withered. I couldn’t take it and had to step outside; I was so overwhelmed by the magnitude of ancient tragedy. And you were there, on the phone. We discussed it at length, and suddenly everything was fine.

What still astounds me is this: I was supposed to be strong. I never thought of myself as a person who’d need emotional crutches and certainly, no one besides you has ever seen me that way. But I broke in London. And what still surprises me is this: I would talk to you nearly every hour of every day. And you never made me feel like I was clingy or needy or annoying. You dealt with me as if you had all the time in the world to give me. And all the love.

You are why I got through. You are why I made it.

IOU. Forever.

The End.


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