do you remember how we met, the turn that I took and saw you there and joked about books you hadn’t read? Do you remember how we parted, with a hug and a joke that you would haunt me (we would meet again), with a wave from the steps to the airport bus – and just like that, with the closing of a door and the minibus pulling away, you were gone.
The road was long and the car crammed a few weeks later when I took to the road with a couple of good people. It felt good to be on the move again. I thought about you a lot. On the first night of driving we kept on going past sunset. I was leaning my head against the cold hard glass of the backseat window as we flew closer and closer to a range of mountains up ahead. The sun setting to sleep dyed them with fantastical colours, making them look like a part of a set in a fantasy film. The radio was spinning (for the first time on the trip, but not for the last) a Train CD: I hopelessly… helplessly… wonder why everything must change. I thought about you. As we pulled closer to the wondrous mountains, I could see them starting to slowly dissolve into the air and I realised they were just clouds coloured by the last beams of the dying sun.
I wondered if there would be a road to the mountains in the clouds, and whether if we could find them we could direct our route straight through the veil of reality and arrive in a kingdom of castles in the clouds. I was tired and my heart was fluttering fast, almost as if it had been a needle of a compass that was pulling me towards you. I knew it was a silly thought but it excited me. I watched the mountains fade into the night and in my mind slipped out of the idea of finding a fantastical kingdom in a universe far away. After all, in this life there were better things waiting for me. Everything else was pipe dreams.
You said you would haunt me, but I am starting to think that you have been long gone.