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Week #22
Prophecy - Part 4

Looking for Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3

Are you back for more of her story? Are you sure you want to know more?

Don’t you know that all fairytales end when they kiss? Reality settles in after that and you have to fight for the real world happily ever after from that point on. There’s no glamor and glitter in that. It becomes mundane things that will bore you to tears.

 

But you insist you still want to know?

 

All right, if you insist… I’ll take you back to the night of the gala then…

 

She spent that one night in his arms again. He slept with his head resting on her heart. He said her heartbeat was the lullaby he'd missed every night. She watched him one more time, thinking how fast the night changes.

 

Next morning, she watched him open his eyes, became his first kiss for that day and following a half hour of heavenly intimacy, got to make his coffee to her heart’s delight one more time.

 

Then he had to go before his entourage sent out a search party. One last hug and she watched him drive away.

He had left the painting in her room and his number.

 

That afternoon she got her first text from him. it was a picture of him going through airport security. She texted back ‘safe travels.’ And a few hours later watching the route of the flight on flight tracker she texted, ‘you must’ve crossed the antemeridian line now. The western hemisphere is a little bit emptier for losing the brightest star.’ When he made it home, he texted a picture of leaving the airport.

That began their rather unusual relationship in the real world… if you can call it the real world. She dutifully wrote to him every day. On days she missed him extra she wrote twice. He texted daily for a while but then it became every other day, then every 4th day, then every week. She assumed his work had picked up. Until one day her texts wouldn’t go through. It was like the number was no longer active.

She broke down that day and stayed broken on the inside. But the world didn’t get to see her broken pieces. She wasn’t 16 after all. Only a co-worker that had come looking for help with a client request saw her sitting in her kitchen floor tears running down her face with her head resting on a cabinet door. She learned to lock the door to her apartment after that. Then she picked the broken pieces and put them back the best she could. Now she’s a new mosaic of her old self. Not quite a new design but not exactly the old one either.

Ryan came and sat opposite me with the coffee mugs and the pastries, putting an end to my writing. He’d bought bubblegum macarons for himself and a mini fruit tart for me. Amelie’s is the best French bakery here in town and we always chose it for our weekend coffee. Ryan knew my favorite fruit tart has kiwi and blueberries. He’d chosen well today, which meant he wanted something.

“Ok… out with-it Ryan.” I asked as I put my pen down.

 

“What? What did I do?” Ryan should know better but apparently it must be a big ask if he’s playing dumb.

 

“You went to a lot of trouble to get my favorite tart. Generally, you just get whatever. Half the time you forget I like fruit tarts over everything else anyway. So, there has to be something you want if you are going to this much trouble. Now, what is it?”

 

“I hate it when you psycho analyze me.”

 

“You are like a 6-year-old Ryan. I don’t need to analyze you to know when you want something. Now, out with it before you really annoy me”

 

“Fine… but you might not like it.”

 

This time I just raised my eyebrow. I was losing my patience and there was no reason to waste any more words.

 

“Fine… fine… you promised to show me the fourth painting Jana did.”

 

“Oh…” I had opened it and looked at it once when Oppa was there and then a few times to decipher the message but since he went silent it had stayed covered up. While I knew it was cruel to keep it away from Ryan, I wasn’t sure I had the strength to look at it myself anymore.

“I was hoping you’d offer it sooner but you never did and you know Jana is one of my favorites. Plus after seeing the first three, you know it’s killing me to wait like this to see the last.”

 

“You whine a lot you know.” I felt bad for Ryan but I still wasn’t sure I could face it right now.

 

“Only when my best friend hides stuff from me. Especially when it’s something that could get me an edge with the In-crowd in my work circles.”

 

“You are already in the In-crowd after the gala. What else do you need?”

 

“Well, the gala was a hit. I agree. But being able to claim I’ve seen the complete ‘Talking to The Moon’ collection is like saying I’ve seen ‘The Battle of Anghiari’, you know.”

 

“Seriously? You are comparing Jana to a 15th century master now? That’s a stretch, don’t you think?”

 

“Maybe a little. But because the Moon collection is a private one it’s the talk of the town. If I can claim I had access to it, I’ll be the choice for all the private collectors.”

 

“So, if I show it to you and you go talk about it in your circles it’ll be known that he left it with me. He’ll get in trouble if you do that. You know that. There’s no way I can let you.”

 

“Whoa… I won’t tell anyone I saw it at your place. I’ll tell them he showed it to me when he was here. I can go so far as to say it was only a photo on his phone that I saw, if you like.”

 

“Fine, I’ll take a photo and show you.”

 

“Aw, c’mon.. don’t be like this. Just let me see it for 5 minutes. Please… remember you got to see him again because of the gala, which is really because of me…”

Ryan was being pathetic.

 

After getting his promise to never let anyone know where it’s at, I finally agreed to show him the painting. He followed me home from coffee that day. It seems he’s worried I might change my mind.

 

Ryan stood in front of the painting for at least half hour critiquing every line and dot. His analysis was educational but after a while I tuned out his monologue. All I could see in the painting was the location and the date. It was four weeks and four days in the future exactly. It was from the northern part of French Polynesia. I’ll need to match the landscape to get the exact location but it would also have a tie to what we had talked about the first night we were together. The only thread I can recall was about one of his early projects. He had said it was one of his favorite places to visit because, according to him, the people over there didn’t make as much of a fuss over him. I wondered if it was because his memories are from a time when he wasn't quite the mega star he is now.

“So, what do you think?” Ryan asked.

 

“Huh?” I obviously hadn’t paid enough attention to what he was rambling about.

 

“What do you think? Did I get the meaning right?”

 

“Oh… I don’t know what the meaning is in its entirety Ryan.”

 

“But he made these for you obviously if he left this with you.”

 

“I don’t know that…”

 

“Are you being coy with me? Or do you not want to tell me? Is it a secret?”

 

“Wow… you are beyond annoying sometimes.” I tried walking away but Ryan was like a puppy dog when he wanted something. And he obviously wanted this info.

 

“At least tell me if I’m even a little correct?”

 

“I didn’t hear half of your chatter... so give me your take away… the short version, if you please.”

“I think they are a collection of the night sky in his favorite seasons from his favorite places so he can share your passion for the night sky with a part of his life.”

 

“That’s romantic Ryan” I was just trying to tease Ryan but involuntarily my eyes filled with tears and my voice broke on the last words.

“What’s wrong? Why are you upset?”

 

“It’s nothing. I just haven’t been able to reach him for a while.”

 

“What do you mean? What happened?”

 

“So, the only way I could reach him was on this cell number. He’s super careful with paparazzi following his every move and everything… I don’t really get his life or the complications there. But he said not to contact any other way. To only use this number and to only text. And now, the number doesn’t work. Or maybe he’s just moved on and has chosen not to respond… I don’t know… but none of my texts are going through.”

 

“I’m sorry hon… maybe it’s just a coverage issue? Where was he last time you got through?”

 

“He was home.”

 

“Oh… maybe he lost the phone or it got in the wrong hands or something?” in the back of my mind I appreciated Ryan trying to make sense of it but it was easier to get mad at Ryan than see reason.

 

“Ryan… he’s not a child. If he wants to reach me he know where I am. All this time, since the gala, he’s never talked to me. I sit here hoping that I could just hear his voice... just one hello or one I miss you but it’s obvious he doesn’t care for me the way I do for him and he certainly doesn't need me like I need him...”

“You know, when you first met him when you were traveling, I might’ve whole-heartedly agreed with you. With his resources I would’ve guessed he could find you. but then I saw you two at the gala. That wasn’t just chemistry. The two of you together just make a complete picture… I don’t know if this makes sense but it’s like when I see a painting I can tell when its complete and when it still needs work. You two together is a complete picture. There are no gaps, there's no paint touch-ups or anything else missing... Something you never was with your ex.”

“Don’t let Jojo hear you say that. She’ll bite your head off for being a sentimental fool.” I tried to laugh but instead choked on the last word again.

“Oh hon… what Jojo thinks doesn’t really matter. What does she have to do with him anyway?”

 

“She came over with the Sky-vu account files two days after the texts got blocked. I walked around in a daze making excuses that first day but then the next ones were a lot harder. She walked in when I was in a particularly bad place. It wasn’t pretty. She’s pissed I’m still holding on to him because she thinks I’m chasing a ghost. She’s just trying to be a good friend and you know she used to be a marriage counselor before joining our team. So, she sees everything from her psych lens... Her point is if he wants a real relationship then he'll make the effort.”

“I can’t tell you what to do but maybe he has a valid reason for the whole texts getting blocked thing. Wish you could just talk to him and then you can decide whether you two are on the same page or two completely different ones.”

 

“So, you think I should go meet him there?” I pointed to the painting.

 

“Hold on… the paintings are an itinerary?”

 

“It’s our bucket list… he put dates on when to visit each one in the paintings.”

 

“Oh my…. He’s a romantic, isn’t he?”

 

“I suppose…”

 

“Look, he’s obviously picked up on your love for the stars and your thing for puzzles and connecting dots, not to mention your obsession with travel. Would he really have gone to this much trouble if he didn’t care?”

“Ryan… I don’t think grand gestures are his problem. His world is larger than life and always full of one-time, major headlines one after the other. That’s how he stays relevant. But you understand, mine is not. Mine is committing to day-to-day little things. Mine’s full of repetition, small gestures, not taking little miracles for granted... Walking the dog every day and seeing the flowers coming through the sidewalk cracks makes me smile... the thousand different shades of green in the Spring and orange in the Fall takes my breath away and fills me with wonder... That’s the beauty I see... I talk to literal stars and ask them to look after him because that's the best I can do... but I bet my way looks boring in his world. It lacks the high fashion and glitzy magazine covers and name in lights and million adoring fans he’s so used to... Mine doesn’t have any of the excitement he lives and breathes every day. Can’t you see how that would bore somebody like him? I should probably count my blessings for having a couple of days with him, despite how brief it was... it's certainly more than anything I had any right to expect”

“I don’t know… you make him sound rather fickle. Is he really that shallow?”

“Hmm… no, he’s not really shallow… at least, I don’t think so. It’s just different standards, I think. See, I don’t know he understands what it means for ordinary people to fall in love and build a life together. I don’t think he’s ever woken up in the middle of night gasping for breath because you can swear you felt them in your arms but when you open your eyes it turns out you are dreaming of someone you can’t have. I doubt he’s ever had to work for a relationship. He gets more I love you’s thrown at him in a day than we ordinary people hear in a lifetime. He says it more often too.”

“Wait up… did he say those words to you?”

 

“Kinda… once… over text... but like I said, I don’t think it means the same thing in our world as his. It’s pretty commonplace greeting in his I think.”

“Did you say it to him?”

“Not right then. I honestly froze. I wanted to say it to him standing in front of him so I could see his eyes and he could see mine and know what I mean beyond the words. But I know if frustrated him to no end I didn't say it back that day. See, this is what I mean about being in two different worlds. Those words are precious to me. I’ve said them to only 2 people before in my entire life. When I say them I mean I will move heaven and earth to make that person happy, that they come before even me and my sanity. I don’t think it means that in his world.”

“I’m not qualified to pass judgement on this one. I barely understand relationships in the ordinary world to be able to relate to anything other than that.”

 

“I’m there with you these days, Ryan. But the point I’m making is that if he wants new every day then he has the option to choose that unlike most other people. There are literally millions of people happy to take 2 days with him and give him something new every time… I once actually did the math on this one… So, if he was to spend 2 days with each of his followers it’ll take something like 148 years before he runs out of new options. By then I’m sure there’ll be new followers so it’ll only keep going.”

“You’ve really developed a serious inferiority complex this time haven’t you? This just isn’t like you. I’ve never seen you do this second guessing thing about your value before. Not even when you were married. You were an idiot then and tried to be everything to everyone but you always knew what you were capable of and that any man is lucky to have you. What happened here? Why are you turning into this crazy doormat suddenly?”

“I know… it’s rather pathetic, isn’t it? I think this is what Jojo hates too. I just can’t seem to get my footing with Oppa. I thought I had it under control before the gala. Then once I had a way to talk to him I thought we’ll have a chance for a real relationship even when he didn’t really talk. I just assumed he will when the time is right for him. Then when the texts got blocked it was like everything just came crashing down. Before that, I couldn’t imagine a world where he didn’t want to hear my voice. Now I can’t imagine a world where my voice matters to him and yet I can’t imagine a day when I won’t love him either.”

“Look, maybe you should talk to Jojo. She is better qualified to help here than me for sure. But if you want my two cents all I can say is if you are certain he’s the one, then you have to give him the chance to explain but do it while maintaining your self-respect. You know you’ll hate him one day if you give up who you are to be someone you think he wants and honestly, I doubt he’d want it either.”

“So, you think I should go there then?” I pointed to the painting again.

 

“Well, do you want to go?”

“I’m scared... I don’t know how many more times I can take his rejections and still continue to be strong in the rest of my life.”

“But, has he rejected you?”

“I guess not conclusively but this text block is effectively him saying he doesn’t want to hear from me anymore.”

 

“You don’t know exactly what happened on his side, though.”

 

“I suppose… But Ryan, I think I’ve gone too deep into this I don’t know I can walk away if he really has moved on.”

 

“So, do you want to preemptively give up or do you want to take a chance and see if there’s life left? I mean, you keep saying he’s got options but it sounds like you are the one running away if you don’t go there.”

 

“What if I go there and he doesn’t show up?”

 

“You’ll be prepared for it, won’t you? You can then conclusive say he didn’t choose you. you can then use all your hypotheses about his world being bigger and brighter and more exciting as reasons for why you two weren’t meant to be. I mean, you’ll at least know you fought for what you wanted and respected his wish if its not what he wants anymore.”

 

“You make it sounds so easy…”

 

“I know it’s not easy but I also know you well enough to know you’ll regret it every day if you don’t try at least.”

 

“I’m scared Ryan… all I want is to wake up in his arms every morning and hold him till he falls asleep every night. I want to hear his voice in the real world and watch him smile. I want a real chance to see if it’s all just in my head or if there’s something real here… But I don’t know I can make it through another round of disappointments.”

“But we agreed he hasn’t really disappointed you outright.”

 

“Well, I asked him to come stay with me for my birthday but he didn’t.”

 

“Oh… I didn’t know that… Did he say why he couldn’t?”

 

“No… you forget, he hasn’t ‘talked’ to me since the gala. His texts are generally just pictures that I have to interpret the meaning. The birthday pic looked apologetic but there was no explanation. I can't fall apart the way I did that day again”

“I don’t really know what to tell you other than you two really need to talk. No relationship can work without communication. That much even I know.”

 

“Yes, I know that but he doesn’t seem to want to…”

 

“Do you want to?”

 

“More than anything else in the whole wide universe…”

 

“Then go see if he shows up. If he does, have a heart to heart and find out what he wants and decide whether you can live with what he wants and the boundaries he sets. If he doesn’t show up, then use it like any other vacation and get all your breaking down and falling apart done and out of the way before coming back home.”

“You are right… it’ll be closure either way. Just because I know he’s the one for me doesn’t mean I’m the one for him. This way I’ll at least know what his choice is and I can adjust my life after that accordingly.”

 

“That’s the spirit.”

 

“I can’t believe I fell for an impossible dream again… I just wanted to have a quiet, peaceful life with just a dash of happiness… I don’t know how he became my happy place like this…”

 

“Everyone deserves the chance to find their happy place. This time you at least know that’s what you are chasing and not blindly following some prophecy.”

 

Once Ryan left, I Googled the resort from Oppa’s project and purchased the flights and the hotel stay starting in four weeks and three days. In one month, I’ll know a little better which way this life will go then. Finally, a sense of peace settled over me after weeks of sadness.

She's known he’s the one for a while now. It’s never really been a choice.

 

Everything else in life is a choice but falling in love is not one.

 

Of all people she should know. For an average person, she's had more than her fair share of offers. She's tried to choose using logic before and failed..

 

But love is not physics, despite calling it falling.

 

It’s not chemistry, despite all the hormones involved.

 

It’s the unseen thread that connect us through lifetimes and continents.

 

It’s what can make you helplessly sad and deliriously happy.

 

It’s the one thing that defy logic but still holds a pattern if you pay really close attention.

 

He is the pattern that makes her happy. Maybe in one month he’ll tell her she's the pattern that makes him happy too.

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