for Shafa and Atika: both of you are actually still here in the city
and for London, the city where I hide one of my Horcrux
Summer. It should be sunny. The dry wind should travel around, delivering light touches to some people’s exposed skin. As it is summer, those who used to be lazy has their spirit magically turned on. They go out to see some friends, have some nice barbecue, or crash someone’s party by the sea. Somewhere, in summer, laugh must’ve been the highlight of someone’s day.
But sometimes, to remind those people to stick to the ground, universe intervenes.
Once in a blue moon, a day in summer might have lost its summer. The sun has left its 7 billion fans and let sheets of grey clouds replace it. To people’s disappointment, it also starts to rain. Some might have been driven mad, and some might have been driven sad. The joy of summer is gone.
“So, this is it?” Aislinn dropped her best friend’s duffel bag next to the yellow line drawn along the platform.
“This is it.” Tanya said with a sigh. She didn’t sound regretful; it’s a kind of sigh to welcome a new chapter of her life.
“After all those silly things we’ve done, you’re still going to leave me?”
Another sigh, the kind of let-me-go sigh. “Please, don’t put it that way. You’re just making me feel more guilty. I’m off to chase my future, don’t you want me to succeed?”
“Of course I do. That question is so rhetorical.”
“And I hope your understanding is also a sign of your blessing.”
A frown. “Huh, such a trickster you are.”
“You still love me no matter what.”
“Ha! Sure.” She rolled her eyes. “Silly me.”
“Oh, come on, it is not that I’d be gone forever. I’m coming back.”
Come back? Why would she? Aislinn thought. Tanya was going to have everything. Starting tomorrow, she would be sitting next to a window with Eiffel Tower as its main view. She would study in one of the world’s most prestigious university, accompanied by her life-long companion, Tyler, who also happened to had a project to finish in Paris. She has no reason to come back to this monotonous city, NYC.
“What? You seem like you don’t want me to.”
“No, sure I want you back here. However… if I were you, I won’t come back. I mean, you’re going to a more promising place. You can have a life there! You will more likely have a future.”
“But that place… that place is just not home.”
“Don’t be silly! You once said that home is wherever love is… and there you go, you bring Tyler with you! You’re taking your home with you and it makes you have no reason to come back!”
Seeing her most independent yet somehow most needy best friend almost cry, Tanya rushed forward and gave Aislinn a last hug. She didn’t want Aislinn to know that her eyes started to go blurry too. “Don’t cry, please. You’ll be fine, no, we’ll be fine.” Just like what Tanya believed, when one is weak, the other should stay strong.
“Aislinn, think of me as Voldemort,” said Tanya.
Aislinn pulled herself from Tanya’s hug. She seemed confused. “And why should I imagine you as a nose-less monster when you’re about to leave the country?”
“Oh, come on! I thought you’re great at analogies!” shouted Tanya a little louder than she planned. When other waiting passengers turned their heads to check on them, Tanya nodded a little and mouthed “Sorry.”
“So… I’m Voldemort. I created Horcruxes as I live, and so are you and other people if you notice. I left a little part of my soul at everything that makes me feel like I’m home. You, our cramped apartment, and New York are just three of my Horcruxes that I left here. I do bring my other Horcrux, Tyler, with me, but I also left other Horcruxes here. I left pieces of my soul here, Aislinn, of course I’ll come back.”
Aislinn went blank for a while as if electricity on her head’s circuit board were jammed somewhere. A moment later, she oooooh-ed, and give Tanya a hopeful look, “I’m one of your Horcrux?”
“Sure. I left a little part of my soul at someone who always cook me dinner these last few years, at someone who is always ready to hear my whines.”
Aislinn smiled. Somewhere, deep down, she felt warm. She never thought that her simple acts of caring would actually make her win someone’s heart. She never thought that she would be someone’s reason to come back. It had never occurred at her mind before that distance means nothing when two person cared so much at each other.
And so they both said goodbye. Aislinn and Tanya shared one last hug and exchanged promises they solemnly swear to fulfill. A few minutes later, Tanya jumped on the next train that brought her to the airport. Soon, she’ll be reunited with Tyler who had been waiting for her in Paris and she’ll start a new chapter of her life.
Being left had never been easy for Aislinn, but as time went by, it was getting easier for Aislinn to face it. From afar, Aislinn whispered, “I’ll stay here and be the reason for you to come home. I want you to succeed and be happy. Go.“