I have been so sick for the last couple of days, to the extent that I couldn’t even get out of bed. Yes, that sick. In the past few years, I managed to work out or at least stretch when I was sick, even when I had COVID, but not this time.
B. called. What was supposed to be a quick catch-up ended up lasting three hours. It had been a while since we last spoke on the phone, so there were many gaps to fill.
Since we parted ways in London, he has moved to Shanghai, Taipei, and now Cape Town. He has grown his business and made a name for himself, just as he said he would when we were together. He shared that in the last couple of years, his dad had once again asked if he wanted to pursue a more “serious” profession, which still hurts him to this day. We reminisced about the challenges we faced when starting our careers in a foreign country, with odds stacked against us, and little to nothing to our names.
Vagabonds are the dreamers who dare to defy convention and embrace the unknown.
“You know, I am really proud of you,” he said with the utmost genuine expression on his face. I knew he meant it because he was the only one who witnessed me crying after absolutely catastrophic days at work, having to gather enough courage to go back the next day. He saw the less than a hundred pounds I had in my bank account with still a long way to go until payday. He knew how far I traveled each weekend just to tutor for a few extra hours and supplement my income. He knew. He saw. He was there.
He also witnessed how sick I was and wished I wasn’t alone. It made me think about the last time I had someone take care of me when I was that sick. I couldn’t recall. For as long as I could remember, I always seemed to be on my own, nursing myself back to health. I vividly remember cuddling Frankie or listening to the sound of my air conditioning, soothing and guiding myself through discomfort and dark days.
I laughed his comment off and told him I was a tough cookie, but he seemed to see through it. “I know, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.
I know, too.
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