It’s a Friday night again. I am done watching a movie. It must be close to midnight. Usually my Friday night movies are feel-good ones that give me a nice breather. After all, a weekend full of possibilities lies ahead!
But tonight I am awake as a hawk. Sleep is not my friend tonight. I take a peek outside. There are fireflies flickering against the silhouette of tall, dark trees in my backyard. Amazing creatures of summer nights. It’s fun to watch them. It is mesmerizing.
It’s enough to dismiss the sentinels of my mind so that it flows to another world. A world of my distant past. A place and time locked in my memories and easy to revive if I just close my eyes. A place where I am a carefree, teenage daughter to loving parents. A big sister to a young girl. A time when everything is perfect and yet I am totally unaware of that perfection. A story whose details will erode through the passage of time and leave a feeling of love behind.
A story which has my dad in it. My big, strong dad with a sharp sense of humor and a kind heart. A story which ends at that moment when he vanishes from our lives. That one moment of truth, which has the force to push me into a whole new world. A world where I am independent and I have to choose.
I can choose to be my own caretaker or I can be careless and not give a damn. I can love myself or I can hate myself. And I would do it all. No one to rule my mind…no one to guide it. A world where I could move to a new country, find the love of my life, survive, learn, excel, hug my child, struggle, smile and dance. And I would do it all.
As I lay in bed, my heart wants to merge the two worlds so I can call it my single reality and own it. One world that has all the people I have loved and all the moments I have cherished. Where my husband is hanging out with my fun-loving father. Where my son is playing with his grandfather and their laughter echoes in the walls of my home. But that seems like a futile thought. That is an impossibility of course.
And yet, as the magnitude of that impossibility crushes my soul, I see myself in the place of my dad. I am a loving parent to a happy kid. A kid whose world is perfect and he doesn’t even know how perfect.
It’s funny how I think I will soon be the same age as my dad for his age is frozen in my mind. The faces are rapidly moving in front of me as if frames of a movie that’s playing in all directions. The roles are getting all mixed up now. My identities scattered through the two worlds are melting. The fireflies are gone. The walls separating my worlds are disappearing. The logic that binds the impossibility is falling apart.
The silence is slowly moving up my spine and it refuses to stop until it frees my heart, until it makes me accept the never-ending ache, until it holds an eternity in a moment of my insignificant, short life.
It must be the beginning of a Saturday. Life goes on. There will of course be more Friday nights when I am wide awake but that doesn’t matter right now. I am asleep in my bed, breathing what I would later call the purest of all air known to me, listening to what I would later call the never-ceasing sound of silence.