El KJef, Tunisia - If only she could understand why he chose this day to break up with her. After a three -years relationship, Ren had decided it was over between him and Miyazawa, one day before their anniversary.
El KJef, Tunisia – If only she could understand why he chose this day to break up with her. After a three -years relationship, Ren had decided it was over between him and Miyazawa, one day before their anniversary.
He just decided not to celebrate hypocrisy for the third time. This girl was no longer the love of his life, and now it was her turn to taste the pain of separation. He leaned closer, kissed her cheek gently, bent for his schoolbag and left. No more words were said. Miya was left with questions, with confusion, with tears. She didn’t even dare to ask him why, or why now, and plead him to think it over. A frozen little mind with so many things to think about. The Sakura beside her was the only comfort. The petals blended perfectly with her black hair. Actually, it was trapped in her tears as they found their ways out of her gulled eyes, and sealed with a shaking lip pressing the other with utter bitterness.
Dragged to her house, her legs could hardly hold her off the ground. That night, her pillow was soaked wet. At last, she managed to realize that it was actually over. What seemed to her a remnant love was nothing but a story. Just a long beautiful true story. Miya looked through the window, even nature was sad. As teardrops danced to the sound of rain, she haplessly reached for the pictures of them together. What they had was too divine to be real, how could it conk easily like that within a breath?
The next day, Miyazawa was of no ripe shape to go to school. So the beach sand and sun seemed better alternatives for sure. Next to the house’s gate, she stood still, feet glued to the ground. She glanced at her bike and instantly was reminded of the hot days Ren had spent teaching her how to ride it. I wish I could tell you about their countless ambles, but that’s a past Miya had decided to bury. From now on, there was no room for grief, neither for yearning. Planning to get the memories out of her head. ‘what causes anguish has no place in my heart!’. If her love for him was as easy to get rid of as an unregretful sin, why should she mourn it?
Miya walked for quite a while until she reached the tip of the shore. She sighed at the sight of the emerald green sea before her. Meters away, huge rocks had piled up, brushed with endless thirsty waves. “On the top of the biggest one, it would feel like hovering,” she murmured with a slight smile. With steady hands, she pushed herself up, climbing the wet slippery surface.
How she wished she could throw all her relics in this ocean. Let them be carried with the waves away, away, far away. She stargazed for so long, she thought she actually did forget about him. However, the farther her sight reached, the more retentive she became.
How they held hands. How he used to caress her palms with his thumb. How his fingers fought with hers just to prove nothing. How he roamed his hands in her hair, moving it to the right, so he can grasp the brown cherry-like mole, on her milky white neck, then he would smirk at it. At these memories, tears liberated themselves from Miya’s grudge and wet her cheeks with sorrow. She cried, clutching at her dress with her unsteady hands.
The waves were tickling her toes, urging her with compassion to just let it out. She could have sworn that they soothed her pain, or drowned her grief, deep in the ocean, along with the rusty wreck.
Then suddenly, Miya shuddered at a strange voice behind her shoulders.
“you’re the fourth girl to come here, during the past couple of weeks! Why is the world being harsh on you young ladies?”
Miya turned around. All this time, there was a woman sitting on one of the other rocks, couple of feet away, gazing at the same spot, at the horizon. Miya wiped her tears recklessly, staring at the old woman, at the same time. She was in her sixties, small little face, fagged with wrinkles. She folded her legs into her long blue silk sleeveless dress. However, that piece of fabric failed to hide how slim her body was. Her hands hugging her knees, faking a healthy adult posture. Breeze penetrating her wavy brownish long hair.
‘she has been here for awhile, must have heard me, and seen me’ , thought Miya to herself. She kept staring at the latter, never strayed her sight off of her. The woman ignored her annoying gaze, and simply replied with a comforting smile, then turned her head to the sea again, eyes meeting jaded curls.
“For how long have you two been together?”, asked calmly the old woman,
“Three years….umm….not really,…. Over two years actually”. Miya answered, bowing her head.
“Three years? Just little three years?”, the woman hummed, smiling in between, although Miya couldn’t see it. Confused by the unexpected response, the latter rose an eyebrow as shooting the other with an irritated look. ‘Why is she taking it so lightly?’, Miya inquired herself.
“Do you see these endless waves, my dear? Everyday, somebody is hurt, they run to these waves to liberate their sorrow. They weep and complain and curse and weep again. Till these waves hear the call and come. They come to rescue. They inhale the sad aura, and release them into life again. But do you see anybody coming back to them ever again? No, at least I haven’t. Do you see them ever complaining? Never!!” she faced Miyazawa and looked at her in the eye :”be a wave honey! Learn sadness all along your life. And be ready, no matter how many times you go through it, to accept it, and live by it. Have you ever come across a broken mirror? It won’t be the perfect image you would want to see, but it would have million reflections of you! How generous of it! At every piece, you can look at a different layer, a different phase and maybe a different person! Wouldn’t it be fun?” She drew a wide gummy smile on her face, while expecting the younger to react the same. Miyazawa only kept staring at her as she adjusted her position, sitting more relaxed, she, then, burst in endless laughter. ‘All I could think of, was that this woman was a lunatic and she shouldn’t be roaming the town by herself. But what she said about the broken mirror was actually true . I wanted to believe her, but how can you trust the words of such a person?’
The old lady resumed: “Be that wave that knows how to solace and never wait for anything in return, instead of giving up and being the frail person you are now. Don’t be the coward who runs for shoulders to cry on, when he has his own feet to stand up on again. What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”* We tend to be the fools that we blame when they crush. Deluded, we start by committing ourselves to the person we believe ‘the one’, and never remember to have faith in us in the first place. Then, once the slightest thing goes wrong, we choose the easiest way out; we run away.
I have seen many people like you, who wish they would erase a period of time out of their minds, but do you think that’s going to do them any good? Of course not. What’s the use of denial, if what they have been through had been real and true anyway? Why escape it, while millions would give the world for a chance to fall in love like you did!”
The kid snapped:”what is the worth of this love if it’s going to leave bruises impossible to heal?”. At this question, the crazy woman jumped off her place to the sand. She let it slip through her toes. Her age wasn’t an obstacle to keep her from jumping in circles on the shore, hands in the air, head barely hanging between her shoulders to the back. She suddenly bent down, to her feet, filled her palm with sand grains, and approached Miya with it.
“do you see this my dear?” she said pointing at her hand, “this is your relationship with your lover”. Miya looked puzzled, ‘It must be one of her moments of madness for sure’, she thought.
“look closely kid, my palm is wide open, the grains never move, they remain the same, your love persists. But look now”, she squeezed her hand, folding all her finger around in a weird way. The grains slipped through rapidly, and went back to the beach. “The tighter you hold on to your past, the faster it will vanish, only then it won’t hurt again. Hold on to it, and learn from it, it’s nothing but a valuable lesson. And nothing would stop you from bending down again and filling another hand.”
Miya kept twitching her eyes, begging a tear not to stream. This woman wasn’t mad, she had sense of something Miya had lacked; insight. Miya tilted her head to the left, like she does whenever she frustrates, and asked in defeat:”what if they are not the same as the first ones?”. The woman approached more, forcing the girl to look her in the eye and answered with a melancholic voice:”if you are given the choice to decide on moving on, why choose to relive a past that was wanted to be forgotten in the first place?”
As the woman examined Miya’s facial expressions, and holding her chin up , the latter had already released that tear. Miya panted, and tasted the sourness of her own fear, fear of not being able to accept loss, even after that conversation.
“The fishermen will be out of the sea in less than a couple of hours. You wouldn’t want to come across them. Better leave earlier, my dear, or they will hurt you”. She, then, grinned mischievously, let go of Miya’s chin, held her dress up to her knee level and swayed her hair as she left the beach, humming an old song. Only then, the young girl had realized how lonely the waves were. She wanted to come more often. But she had to leave now. The fishermen were about to come out of the sea.
*quoting: Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Photo Credit: Ghada Zribi