Ruoma: A drink, good Martin! I fear the tides of memory have struck again, and it be but your wine that can calm the storm.
Martin: Of course, good sir, but what is it that troubles you? Are they matters of the heart?
Ruoma: More the past than the heart. But let me drink my drink, will you? I must drown in alcohol before my reminiscence gets there first.
Martin: As your wish.
Ruoma: ...you know, Martin. There used to be a girl I liked.
Martin: Hasn't everybody? What age were you then?
Ruoma: Younger than half yours, young man.
Martin: You aren't much older than drinking age either, sir. What did you like about her?
Ruoma: There was always an air of elegance that was exuded around her, Mart. A style that turned heads. Aphrodite's hair and skin. And
Martin: Please, keep your descriptions to a fitting age. You were but nine to ten.
Ruoma: Tis' the alcohol speaking, not me. But she was one I could not help but admire. It's a strange thing, you know? It was a joy seeing her, whether it was back at the old primary school or at the church. I'd liked her since young, and known her since younger. Then she disappeared.
Martin: Surely you could've found a better word to describe that.
Ruoma: Went away, whatever. I transferred school halfway through, and a year later she transferred too when my church built a second partner church elsewhere. I tried to chase her so much. Convince my parents, go there myself, learn the routes, I tried everything. It never worked out in the end. And there she went.
Martin: And what makes you bring this up suddenly?
Ruoma: Once or twice a year the church would have events together and I would get to see a fleeting glance of her. Do you know how much it takes? The feelings of living your life for a moment a year? Keeping yourself afloat with but a mere thought that you don't even know will be fulfilled? That the mere wish to see someone, not even speak to, were so strong as to keep a person going for years? It is an amazing thought, Martin, that you can live life for the moment though it come so rarely in life.
Martin: I assume you didn't last too long with that.
Ruoma: Perhaps I did, perhaps I didn't. Does 4 sound much to you? People grow. Youth dies out by the time you're 18. But come the fifth, and one event came that truly showed me something.
Martin: And what would that be, o alcohol?
Ruoma: Mock me not, though I can't deny the truth of that. I headed over to her church one day, and our parents happened to talk. I just took the chance to ask her one question. "Do you remember me?" "Yeah, you're from my primary school and from church." It wasn't a victory, nor something to be proud of, nor something to be particularly happy about. It made no difference. But let me tell you, Martin, that there is strange value in the mere fact alone that you exist to somebody. You don't even care what you exist as. Lover, companion, friend, colleague, acquaintance, or even a damn afterthought; I can tell you now, Mart, that being forgotten is a curse worse than death itself. And after all that time I realized that still my existence leaves a small mark in the beaches of sand. But I couldn't bring myself to be very happy. I could but force a weak smile. Perhaps, Mart, I already grew up too much. Gave up hope; felt it impossible; learnt that the odds had finally stacked too high against me. I left with a weak smile.
Ruoma: On my way back, my parents confided an amusing fact. They wanted to transfer to the other church too. But they didn't. Why? Because no one my age was transferring except for her. They were worried for me, worried that I couldn't stand not being with my friends. To damn hell with them, I thought! She was enough! But I could no longer say or think that with passion anymore, instead having them as a mere afterthought with a chuckle at the side. It's a very ironic thought, isn't it? A story that might have enraged the young me. But I couldn't, Martin, all I could do was force that bitter-weak smile with the slightest tinge of sweetness inside, not for the future but rather for the forgone past of 'it could've been'. It's... aah.
Ruoma: It's ok, you didn't add enough salt on your margarita rim. Perhaps you expected that? Perhaps not.
Martin: Perhaps I did, perhaps not. Why do you cry for a girl so long past?
Ruoma: I cry not for her, I cry for myself. For the part of me that I lost while waiting, while hoping, while wishing for a past long lost to a choice of irony. The part of me that could wait for years in crystal hope, that lived on a thought of random meetings a year or less, that was hope in place of sorrowful regret.
Martin: Surely you have moved on.
Ruoma: And I have. But for none else shall I look upon with such lingering regret.
Martin: I didn't mean that, sir, and I believe you have another fancy by now.
Ruoma: Tis' been a month since we talked, and a fortnight since any message. I'm afraid, Martin, that I can no longer look up to the sky with the patience and blind, faithful hope that I bore the years ago.
Some people just like to screw my stories up at the last moment. But nevermind, not like I bear anything in regards to that anyway.