Posted in Reflections

The Town Where We Planted Our Roots

It was such a long time ago since I had last seen you that I had to look again.

It was at the bus station. We were waiting for the same bus to take us to the same town.

The same town where we had planted our roots all those years ago.

You did not know me and I did not even know your name.

But I knew you.

I used to see you all those years ago, walking to school, getting the bus, walking to the shop or simply hanging around the estate with your many friends.

I used to marvel at you. Not only were you beautiful, you had this aura about you. An unspoken charm that drew all around you even closer.

I guess that was what fascinated me so much about you.

You were beautiful but you were not conceited. I never spoke to you but to me, you seemed like the kindest person I had ever met.

I couldn’t place my finger on it then. And I guess I’ll never know what drew us all to you. I guess it’s because people want to be around beautiful things. The funny thing is that your physical beauty was not even that impressive. It was more your essence that drew us all.

And here you were, the two of us sitting on the bench, inches apart, your dark hair bleached to a sickly blonde, with dark roots.

It made you look sick. And maybe sick you were too, with bags under your eyes, your skin pale and puckered with spots.

I had to take a third look, just to make sure that I was seeing right.

But yes. It was you.

I didn’t know what to think.

But life showed me once again that it is a cruel and selfish lover.

You loved the world and the world loved you.

But when you no longer had love to give, the world continued to take from you until there was simply nothing left to take. And then it spat you back out.

You tried to be like the world but forgot that the world was not like you.

And now, all that is left is nothing but an empty, tarnished shell of what I used to admire.

Our eyes met.

I smiled at you as we sat there, side by side, waiting for the bus that would take us to the same town where we had planted our roots all those years ago. I wanted to see if you noticed me like I had noticed you, see if you would at least recognise me.

You smiled back, a glimmer of that light that use to emanate from your very being, glistening in your eyes.

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And then you got up, pushed one hand through your greasy, blonde locks and stumbled away into the night, away from the bus that I thought we had both been waiting for.

The bus driver beeped his horn and I got up too, to get on to the bus that would take me home.

To the same town where we had planted our roots all those years ago.

As the bus pulled out of its bay, the voice of Robert Frost rang through my head.

I guess our hometown was the yellow woods where the two roads diverged .

I must have taken the one less travelled by.

And that has made all the difference.

#AnonymouslyAfroIrish

 

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