Prose & Poetry

welcome home, starling

you are safe now

Little Machinery Called Heart

Little Machinery Called Heart

Once again, New Year is approaching fast. It hasn’t been that long ago since I halted my steps in order to catch my breath, and now it runs right behind me.

Few years went by already, and this specific avenue still hasn’t changed that much: the giant tree—the central tree as everyone selfishly named it—still stands tall albeit covered by snow; there are also couples holding hands, walking as if they have no care about the world.

Then, there is me.

This avenue, ever since long ago, has been my—our—place of peace; the one place we never reject the idea of going to, no matter how crowded with people it was from times to times. Here, we used to have our annual ceremony, during the winter. When most sane people would rather conserve their heat whether it’s from their heater or the dancing crimson on their fireplace, we would instead let time passes here.

Looking back, we weren’t that different—if not worse—if compared to the younglings we jokingly despise only because they took our sacred spaces. We also did what they did: sat put beside each other; saying nothing while locking our sight on the white piling up on the street; sometimes, just sometimes, we also would rest our weary heads on the other’s shoulder. Just sometimes.

But then again, we might be different from those younglings I suppose. We never came down to this avenue out of people’s hype. We didn’t choose to sit on the stone bench circling the central tree on a whim. We didn’t come here because we heard this place was really romantic which it is, by the way.

We came here because this avenue, brought life to us.

This avenue in the middle of a city that has no specialty, created the “us” consisting of you and me: you, the outgoing mechanical tinkerer, and me; “a stoic enigma, felt and look as beautiful as the snow”, if I were to quote how you described me.

We met.

That’s all there is to it.

I did not meet you in the midst of my desperation. You too, did not meet me during your search for “the one”. Still, we met nevertheless. If I were to say something that fits me not, I would say, we were pawn to fate so we could met.

Time was never our adversary; before we knew it, we spend our time together all the time. What I thought I could never feel, you brought to life and made real. It started to take form within even the smallest of my action. The gears inside my heart shifted; the revolution of my heart around you, had begun.

It still feels like yesterday—the time I was unable to visit this place, that is. Everything, even machine, can’t always work. Sometimes, it needs a moment to halt before it starts running again. Years of ritual had to stop; during that year, none of us visited this place.

Not even once.

What we visited instead, was room filled with white and monitors all over the room.

Like a thunder in the mid-summer, was the news of you fell and had to be taken to the hospital. I ran, leaving behind the pile of documents I had to finish by the end of the month back then. With the news, before I knew it my daily commute schedule changed: home, work, hospital.

Days turned to weeks, then months. The fourth lunar cycle marked your critical point which came to no one’s surprise; the doctor told us beforehand, that it won’t be long.

I should’ve been prepared—I told myself I was ready, but I couldn’t.

Knocking the door of my daily life was your last day.

“Won’t you say goodbye to me?”

Those words still perfectly recorded inside my memory. With it, also everything about you that day: your hair that had turned messy, your eyes that grew weak, your trembling fingers, and most of all... your pained expressions despite the smile front you forced so hard, trying to mask whatever it is behind.

“But how should one say their goodbye?” I asked. My voice turned hoarse, and I could still sense how my lips were trembling.

You took a deep breath and sighed heavily before you answered my question.

“Just as we said our hello, of course; with a smile.”

Those were the last thing I heard from you. Everything said by every other person at that time, feels vague. I didn’t even know what I felt, it was a sensation alien to me.

Now, I come here once again.

Walking down this avenue which every parts reminds me of you.

Remembering every little things we used to argue about; remembering every “I hate you” that concluded with a kiss to bring back our smile; remembering one specific thing you told me about:

“Every problem shall pass, you know.”

The only thing passing here is you, and you alone. Not your memories. Not the feelings I had for you. You.

You turned my cog-filled heart humane; you gave this machine life.

But more than anything, you left with the machine, a pain that will never go away. This machine will walk around, carrying the memory of you even until every other human cease to exist.

And amidst the snow, I whisper.

“I wish, I was born human.”

 

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