“Can I take a last bus with you?” I fumbled. Not A last bus! “I mean, a last bus ride with you?” We were approaching the end of our story and I wanted to close the chapter the way I liked it.
We missed a few possible buses because you wanted Bus 14. You said it travels a shorter route. I was getting worried you’d not make it in time to the internet cafe to edit and submit your resume. Bus 14 was going to take another 30 minutes or so because we missed one on purpose believing the darn bus arrival time board. Up 16 we went.
The night swept by us outside. You were on my right – at the window seat. Something new. I kept my gaze left, watching familiar sights pass by. They would soon be melded to memory too.
“Do you ever feel like you’re younger than your age?” you suddenly asked.
“No, I feel my age but sometimes I feel that I should be acting more like my age. If you put it that way then yeah.”
“I feel like I’m stuck at 24 or 25. Oh man I’m gonna be 30 soon! Gonna be an old fart!”
“Yeah. You know, when you’re 26 you can still ‘lie’ to yourself and say you’re a year from 25. When you hit 27..I’m sure you know the feeling – 30 comes quick.”
I sensed your worries and your heart. I sensed your internal conflicts: the struggle to be someone against flowing time that is slipping through your hands like sand; to be a responsible person; to be someone who will rise from the ashes and produce results in independence. I saw the pressure you’re feeling to live up to others’ expectations because they’ve never asked much but the pressure worsens with the more kindness they give. Then I understood why you say you feel younger. Perhaps it’s because part of you wishes yourself younger to escape and live free, or you feel mentally younger because you think yourself ill-equipped to handle the situation.
Such is life. I want to be your friend, your soul mate, your support. I want to listen to your rants and your exclamations of delight at the simplest of things that surprise you. But the story goes that we have to walk our roads separately to grow.
It is not simple to be you or me.
“We will get there,” I replied simply. In truth, I didn’t know and don’t know how I’d get there myself.
Four words – but it encompasses so much more I wish you’d know.