the wheels {fable}

The wheels: They never stop.

“Am scared” 

Icy cold sneaky fingers wrapped her fragile heart and squeezed it blue. She gasped, unable to breathe steady anymore. Her breath got shorter, her eyes wider. The tongue ran dry and she bit her upper lid hard, willing for the words that formed in her head to not spill. Once they spilled, they were out. They would escape, forming concrete words, visuals and audible. They became real. As long as they stayed in, they were not palpable. Still dismissive in nature. 

She wanted the fear gone.

“Am scared” 

She thought and shut her eyes tight. 

The words swirled. Like dark gray sinuous curls of smoke from a depressing English landscape, the words floated in her mind. 

“Friendships die, silently. Like dying embers of a flame. Painful and slow” 

The words struck her with a force. There was truth to it, she had to admit, even if she didn’t want to. 

A tear escaped her eyes and instinctively, she swallowed the rest down. She pushed a few wayward strands of her hair away from her face, blinked rapidly and drawing her mouth into a straight line, she breathed in deep a few times. With a firm turn of her head, her eyes opened, and she looked straight ahead, misty-eyed, but with a sharpness that belied her quivering lip and her now pink nose. 

*****

“No! No you don’t trust me anymore! If you did, you wouldn’t have rushed me out of the house in such a hurry. Not once, but every single time I came in, you couldn’t wait for me to leave!”

“I love you too you know, it hurts.”

“Are you really my best friend? Will you be my partner in crime?”

“You are scared of me right? I scare you! haha. You are scared what I will do with myself aren’t you?” 

“I am sorry I failed you. I didn’t do anything, am incapable of understanding and providing any value. Am sorry I failed you. I wish I knew more to help you.” 

“You are giving up on me aren’t you? You sound like you are. I can’t help being me, you know?” 

“You actually knew that? Wow!”

*

” We soul mates, remember?”

“No! Why would I give up? Good friends are hard to come by, and am not giving up on one of my best ones”

“Shush, NO one has done as much as you have, and I will never take you or your effort or time for granted” 

“No, you don’t scare me. In fact, I worry about you. You add on more to your plate and overthink more than it is necessary!”

“Yes, I am that kind of friend. I’ll help you get rid of the body even if I don’t approve of you killing in the first place”

“I love you da”

“I know you better than you know, and I know what you are capable of. I trust you more than I trust me”

*****

She wished she could go back to any of those conversation nuggets that fired her brain, making her recall the nuances, the intonations, the pause in the words, the mood of the moment.  Any one of them. They weren’t all pleasant. Some more emotional than others, some more playful than others, some more earnest than others. Regardless of the mood, thinking back made her eyes smile and tear alternately. 

Coz you see, those times were good times even if they were not perfect. 

They were friends. They were in touch. They were talking. The channels were open. They trusted and fought and made up and hugged and kissed and wanted to be with each other, however bad the disagreement was. 

….But time never stood still for anyone. The wheels are turning. Always. Every minute passed becomes a memory to think back fondly. Coz most memories bring a smile, some teary smiles, some happy smiles, but smiles they were. 

“The wheel turns and turns and turns: it never stops and stands still.” 

.but with every turn, one is racing to create the best possible memory. A lesson learnt after many bad turns of the wheel, that nothing was worth losing what was once precious. So, she opened a window and tapped out a single word and hit Send. 

With a smile on her now simple, calm face, she went to bed and for the first time in a long while, slept through the night. 

 

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