- November 16, 2021
- Denise Lee
It’s been a while since I last woke up this early. The sky is dark out, sunrise not quite breaking through the skyscrapers that surround me just yet. Everything is calm and peaceful, eerie almost. My drive to the airport was uneventful. I played my latest earworm on repeat. “The Image of You” by Sandeul, if you were wondering. It takes me 45 minutes and by the time I see the hangar on the horizon, the sun finally peeks through the trees. The last time I had to wake up at such an ungodly hour was December of 2019 to fly to Bandung, Indonesia. I was blissfully unaware that my travel partner was about to shatter my entire being just 6 months later. I should’ve known then, that making me fly on my most hated budget airline was a red flag but love is a blinding thing. And I also should’ve known that someone who didn’t even bother to check his passport’s validity was probably not going to be responsible enough to care for my heart. We ended up having to head back to the city for him to renew it. And we had to re-purchase new flight tickets — at his expense, of course. Who would’ve thought that a year and a half later, I would be flying on a high. Because now, my work brings me to my escape and haven, a place that always greets me when I land in the place I call home.
Life is beautiful in its seasons. You will encounter sunrises and sunsets. You will meet people who will be part of fleeting moments and there will be others that last a lifetime. A friend reminded me that time doesn’t determine a person’s importance. And I know this to be true because I met her only a year ago and she truly is my soul sister. The parallels are uncanny. Such a strange and wonderful thing — how people are able to just rock up to your life unannounced. And then there are people that you spent nights laughing and crying about the future with, the kind that you pre-appoint as Godmother to your nonexistent children (heck, you weren’t even attached then), only to realise years later that perhaps they weren’t meant to be the permanent fixture you had unconsciously placed in the trajectory of your future. The sense of losing someone like that is not the rip your soul to pieces and tear your guts out kind of pain. It’s more of a slow painless death. You don’t feel particularly numb but there’s a slight throb, of course. You’re human after all. You won’t spend your nights crying over spilt milk but rather you reminisce the times you did stupid things together after dark — like watch Running Man until 3 in the morning while stuffing your face with Shin Ramyun. Or the time you got lost after a full day of shopping at the premium outlet village and almost missed the last train home.
It’s a different world now. One that I am unfamiliar with. I don’t recognise this headstrong, independent, opinionated, doesn’t give two fucks about bullshit person that I’ve become. I no longer tolerate being taken for granted. I suppose the pain awakened this side of me. But I welcome the change. So many things have happened and so many things will happen. And although some paths end, others will emerge and the ebb and flow of life continues. One thing I’ve learnt from past relationships is that you can’t force anyone to stay. So it’s okay to let people and things go. If they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll somehow find a reason to stay.
For what it’s worth, I’m happy that you’re happy. And I’m doing fine too. Great, in fact. So many milestones and I’m kind of sad that we won’t be celebrating this one. But maybe I’ll see you soon, someday.