It was a warm summer day when I saw her for the first time. Before that, I’d seen glimpses of her, maybe like a wind drifting by, eluding a calm feel. That day, I went up to her and spoke. She was surprised, but delighted to hear me. Many speak of love at first sight; ours was friendship at first words.
Words bring people closer, I feel, for having never met before that day, she and I became closer. We talked and we could know when the other was wearing a mask. We’d be each others solace during those times and would help each other get back to being themselves. Like in every friendship, there were times we fought, times when we would think of stop being friends and go away; but we’d get back to each other sooner rather than later. Friendship is such between us that we know what our heart once felt was just a one time feeling; that only we’d be able to heal that little pain that parting each other’s company had gifted.
Once I saw her wearing a blindfold, feeling around her, trying to find the way out of the room.
“What are you doing? Remove that blindfold and walk carefully. You’ll hurt yourself”, I told her.
“I’m trying to find the hand that has led me here”
“What do you mean? Who has led you here, dear?” I asked; curios to know that unknown person.
“I’ve been blindfolded and led here, ever since I started nearing my destiny. I know I’m making no sense, but it’s true. I started to dream, and then I came close to realizing them. Then they blindfolded me. My hands were tied when I tried to protest and I’ve been led to wherever they wanted me to go. They’d let me see, let me live as long as I’d not protest. I’m used to this now. I’ve no dreams to chase, no friends to guide me to the right places, no love to give or to get. I’m not normal, but I’m not crazy yet either. No soul left, just an empty shell. If I find the place I was meant to be, pop falls that blindfold again. The darkness takes me away, back to the past where I was masked, where I’ve no dreams, where I was never meant to be. I’ve no smiles to give, and I only take the smiles away from the ones who actually care for me. I’m not worth being your friend either. Go away.”
She shook off my hand, and stumbled away, trying to find the door away from captivity. I went after her, caught her hand and held it tight, so she wouldn’t be able to let go.
“Dreams come when you close your eyes and embrace that darkness willingly. You enter your world, and then no one can stop you from being who you want there. You’re the queen of your world. If someone takes you to a new place, the dreams don’t change. Maybe you are far from where you wanted to be, but that place hasn’t vanished. It’s still there. You can still find it; no matter how long it takes you that place won’t go away. You’re not alone; you do have friends who see that soul and happiness in you that you feel you’ve lost. They’ll be there when you want to get it back, and they won’t let you be led wrong. You’ve held their hand too, and you know them without seeing them. Just hold the right hand, and they’ll lead you to where you wanted to go. They’ll remove that blindfold and see your eyes and then show you the world of dreams you wanted to see, to regain. Just believe, always. Survival isn’t about quitting, it’s about holding on when you want to let go the most.”
“But what if that hand leads me back to the past? Or to a wrong future”
“The past is gone. You can’t be led there again; just memories will be there in your mind, that’s all. The future, well that’s a mystery… can’t know what’s there till you’re there. So for now, this is your present”, I said and removed her blindfold. She saw the door out, and took the step outside with me. There were hands holding on to her, that only she could see. But they didn’t stop her from that step because she wanted to take it. So she did.
“Thanks”, she said, “and I’m sorry I hurt you so much.”
“Idiot, stop being formal… As if I did something great. It’s just where you wanted to be, so I got you here.”
“But what if I hurt you again? I still see those hands holding on to me, trying to blindfold me again. I’m scared they’ll win over me again, and I might never see you.”
“Well, they may blindfold you, but I’ll still be your friend. I’ll always be that friend you need. Just don’t let go. If I’m ever blindfolded, I do need you to take me out too you know.” I said, laughing.
When we sat down outside, we both put a blindfold on. We couldn’t see, but knew we’d not get lost when our friendship held strong. We’re still friends, and we know we’ll always be. Blindfolded or not, true friends do know when they’re near each other. After all, that’s what friends are for.