Days gone by calmly. The weather has been very kind these days. Not being able to sleep anymore on a normal basis, I often found myself awake at wee odd hours, having nothing to do but to observe my surroundings. Sooner than I thought, I started to see just how things around me changed all these times without me noticing. How the trees around me grew so much, how the paint started to flake off my walls, how the things in my room have changed places. How I missed so much to notice all these little things. More disturbingly, just how I noticed a friend changed so much.
I took an effort to visit him after all these years.
I stared at him in silent. How I miss you, buddy. But those cold eyes looked back at me, dead. He looked so tired. For years I knew him, he was never this weatherbeaten. I looked at him with no expression at all, and no expression too was returned. I looked at just how his face have changed over time. He used to smile a lot. He used to laugh loudly, he cared for nothing. But in front of me now was a reflection of somebody else. Somebody new. Somebody I didn't know much just yet. Somebody I missed to notice all these while. I tried to smile. He didn't smile back.
Who are you? Why don't you smile?
Strange, just how a person can change so much in just split seconds. And I failed to notice this, just how lonely and miserable he is. He kept on throwing me empty responses, empty look. Not a word was spoken. A familiar face, how come no more familiar like before? What have the world done to you, I wondered. Seeing that tired and exhausted face, I died a little inside. Had I known how to help. Had I but known.
Those dead eyes kept on staring back. His brownish skin showed clear paleness. Dry and flaky lips stuck together, unmoved. They didn't make a smile, didn't scowl either. A straight face that made it harder to tell his true feelings. Like a mannequin. Like a madman. Like a dead man. What happened to you friend, what made you become like this? How come you are no longer the person I used to know?
Do you still know me? Do you still remember?
Do you remember the times we had? The laughs we shared? All the good times back in the days where we cared for nothing, together you and me? We used to spend time with each other so much until we took our own ways, for times I didn't remember, to places I didn't know, for reasons I don't understand. Separated, we made our way back again, why aren't you happy, old buddy? I smiled at you but why, why didn't you smile back at me? Where have gone the warm and firm handshakes, the pats in the back? What happened to the friendliness we had?
What did I do? Was it me or was it you?
Perhaps time changed us so much. Maybe we have went through too much. We became bitter, we lost our smiles. Our hearts were broken so many times over, no chances to recover at all. Perhaps we have seen so many terrible things that killed us from within. Perhaps we have seen just way too many shattered and forgotten dreams. Empty and broken promises. Perhaps we stopped to believe, we stopped to trust. The fears inside that we failed to realize. Perhaps the fire in us died so long ago, only remaining ashes left. Perhaps our spirits were slaughtered once, twice, many times, only to be revived again for yet another massacre. Perhaps we were so disappointed with life and the way things are going. We both went through all that, but we survived, right? We made to hell and back, right? Right?
But why didn't you smile back at me?
I had never seen you so beaten up this badly, old friend. You used to be so strong. So brave. You feared nothing. I only did leave you for a little while, and you became this? I'm sorry I didn't care much about you when I departed, while I was away. I'm sorry I never came back to say hi even for a while. The fact that I never visited. Perhaps we can make it better this time, old chap. We spent so much time together, both of us are back being single, perhaps this time we can make it better? I took a look at him, hoping for an answer. I hoped that he would believe what I said, I hope he would smile back at me. Come on, man, don't be so hard on me. Yesterday was just a nightmare, today it'd be better, tomorrow it better be. I give you my words for that. No more loneliness, no more empty promises. I curved him a smile, a most sincere one. Hopefully he'll smile back this time, for mercy I bid.
And finally the reflection in the mirror did.