From time to time, I lurk around your social media pages for updates on what you’re up to. While I might have been removed from your personal pages, your artist page is still accessible to the public eye.
A successful audition for a prolific singing competition in Asia; press coverage in the newspapers about your public performances; securing a permanent gig at a bar; and the increasing number of personalised notes you’ve received from the passers-by you’re winning over with each day.
You’ve been doing so well, and I’m so happy for you.
And the pictures.
You’ve gotten braces for your crooked teeth, and acquired tortoiseshell glasses – according to a feature on a website, they’re a trademark of yours now. And to think how you used to lament wearing glasses while performing, because they’d constantly slide down your nose from the accumulated perspiration around the depressions flanking your nose bridge. Your hair is dyed a warm chestnut brown, and you’re wearing more stylish, and better-fitting clothes now.
It’s her, isn’t it?
She makes you want to be a better – the best, I reckon – version of yourself, doesn’t she?
I wish I could tell you that I’ve found someone who loves me as much as you do, her, and that my foolish heart is finally whole again.
But no, I haven’t.
And as much as this heart wants to believe that she’s whole, she does sense an appreciable void on quiet nights such as this one.
For the longest time, it was He Who Came After You who flooded my thoughts; you were gradually becoming a part of my not-so-ancient romantic history, and I believed I’d successfully severed any residual lingering emotions from my memories of you.
Until I decided to do a random check on your YouTube page over the weekend, only to discover a video of a cover you’d uploaded in early September.
I Wish You Love.
My breaking heart and I agree
That you and I could never be
So with my best, my very best
I set you free
I wish you shelter from the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all
When snowflakes fall
I wish you love
The very same number I’d posted a video cover of in September last year, two months after you broke the news to me over an email that came two days after my birthday; two weeks after you watched the video of that heartbreaking original I posted, and probably one week after you removed me from your list of friends – because burning bridges is the only way you know how to conclude a failed relationship.
Sheer coincidence, perhaps.
Uncanny? Most definitely.
After all, we did discover so many strange similarities amidst what we always thought were inconsequential bits of our respective lives, and the way they connected with one another – was almost magical.
So, although you’ll never get to see this, I just wanted to tell you that thoughts of you crossed my mind lately, and I hope you’ve been doing great all this while. I am happy for you (and her), and I would love to watch you sing again.
Perhaps I’ll show up at a gig without you knowing, or perhaps I’ll leave a note without saying hi in person. Perhaps I’ll wait till the crowd disperses, and I’ll walk up to you with a bright smile to congratulate you, as though we’re old acquaintances who never went further than a “hi” or a “bye”.
And perhaps, in a parallel universe, I’d watch you perform, wait for you to pack up,
And feel the warmth of your hand in mine,
As you walk me home in the gentle breeze of the quiet night.