Your Day (And mine)

They’ve all gone to bed; their school bags packed, their shoes all polished and shining, homework complete. It’s a school night after all. Their parents have tucked them in, given them goodnight kisses and turned out the lights, before going to bed themselves. His grandfather’s favorite TV show just ended and now his glasses rest by his bedside. The girl hugs her brown bear as she visits so many different places at the same time in her dreams. I watch the lights go out one at a time, and in the time it takes for that mom or dad to walk from room to room, I visit places of my own in my mind. Places where goodnight kisses aren’t through skype calls and bed teas don’t have to be made myself. And as another light flicks off, my eyes dart to the house next door where a teenage girl argues with her mom. I wonder, about what… maybe she got home a little too late again, maybe she got a B in class instead if an A, maybe she had raised her voice to her little brother’s innocent arguments. I see a tiny head peek from the window next door, and realise it’s you. Maybe you’re wishing on an airplane that you think is a shooting star. A little boy with dreams too big to hold within himself.. someone who’d soon give them all away in exchange for a few more hours of sleep. It takes moving from primary school to secondary to have dreams crash at your feet, it takes a midnight cup of coffee to have the warmth rush back to me.

I watch you go to sleep, I watch your neighbours go to sleep, I watch you all go to sleep, somewhere you can explore all the unlearnt places and yet return to the comfort of your family with a tiny cry or a name pronounced aloud. I’m awake, still sipping my coffee, watching a city of lights go down until the only lights that remain are those of streetlights, distant cars and the stars of the night sky. The moon hangs very picture-like and I watch the red tail lights of airplanes that fly away or into a country the people on it have never been to. They do look like shooting stars, and even if they were, I realise there’s no number I’d pick up and say “Hey! Look at the sky tonight. WE are now complete!” Because ‘we’, apparently is child’s play.

I watch you for a long time, imagining all the castles you’ve built in your dreams, all the dragons you’ve slayed, all the girls you’ve got to sit at your lunch table. I smile… dreams don’t last forever. When you wake up you’d be back to building paper rockets in class, slaying your math homework and sitting with your usual bunch of friends at the lunch table. I wish I was you.

Hours pass as I watch my own dreams spread across sheets of discoloured paper folded in four where I’ve drawn your face with words that you’d never read. I stare at a drawing of a heart that stands unfaithfully in the middle of my unruly handwritten notes in black ink. I read back the words I wrote two years ago where I mourned about the death of a person who never actually died. Maybe it was I who did. No one knows.

It’s almost the crack of dawn; I’m sipping from my second cup of coffee for the day. I watch the light in your room flick on. You’re pulling your blankets over your face as if that can block the sweet sound of your mother telling you it’s time to wake up. Your eyes probablly dart to the wall clock.. maybe you realise she’s right. You jump out of bed with your star wars pyjamas and red socks. Your mom draws the curtains and when she draws them back again a well hour later, you’re all dressed up for a tiring day of science, math, history and play. You grab your school bag and leave your room. The sun is out and I pull down my window blinds, put my coffee aside, add this post on wordpress and hide under the blankets myself. You and I are both going to be having a long day. And when we see each other again, I’ll remind myself that someone out there is waiting for me the same way that I do for you.

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