A story of hindsight

A blurred glimpse of his face as he crossed the street was the first of thousands, millions, of times she would see him. This instance, a fleeting second of connection, entwined the paths of their lives, which had until then been winding towards the moment when they would meet. It happened months later, after they had both forgotten the second their eyes had met on the street. Slowly their friendship grew, helped by mutual friends, until its legs were strong enough to stand on their own. Her love for him was tentative, she was young. So young.

They dipped their toes in the water of youthful romance, soon slipping their entire beings under the surface. Her friends began to forget to invite her over, because they knew what the answer was. She blissfully immersed herself in him, discovering the joy of being half of a whole. A year went past, then two. They were inseparable, both physically and in the way their minds worked. Both part of the same machine. The couple, still so young, experienced many firsts together. They travelled overseas. They moved in together. Nights apart were unbearable.

The girl, who was glacially learning about life and who she was, mistook comfort for love. The third year passed and thoughts of leaving began to trickle into her head. She wondered if there was more than this, or if her life would be a dark void without him. Months of torment pulled her this way and that. She couldn’t tell him. They were the famous two, the couple that brought hope to others. Their lives were fused together. But eventually the lure of what was out there, what life held for her, wrenched her away from him. She loved him, but she loved herself more.

When she realised that her path was paved in a certain direction fate had shaped, she let him go. But he couldn’t let her go, because he forgot who he was. He was blind to the path life chose for him, and desperately tried to scrabble onto hers. Meanwhile, she discovered what life had been storing away for her. A loner in a city of four million people, she realised the strength and beauty of being a solitary person. Completely alone, yet fulfilled. She needed nothing more. He, however, couldn’t find himself. He clung to her because he felt he was nothing without her. How wrong he was. He had everything he needed, right inside him. What he didn’t have was the strength to see this. A person’s life can turn into a tragedy if the protagonist doesn’t realise they are the main character of their story.

Be the protagonist.

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