If I could sketch you a world where we could live happily together, I would.
I would compose a world where your monochrome sadness does not exist. In its place would be vivid images of elations of the times we shared. This world wouldn’t be confined in the classroom or in school. Instead, it goes beyond the margins of our reality’s canvas. Time won’t be there to pester our never-ending conversations about how we could conquer the world with our intellect and talents. The sky could flip to nighttime at my will so I could show you every phase of the moon and how the stars dance around Polaris. A place where you teach me how to be cool like you. A place where traffic is smudged off out of reality so we could get to where we want to be at the pace you wanted. You’ll teach me how to drive while adamantly refusing my demands to teach me how to drift. Plus, the tank of our car would produce its own gas for the road trips we planned. We’d go around the country stuffing our face with food. Maybe you’d teach me how to eat balut and force me to like fried chicken that isn’t filleted. I’ll let you eat the cucumbers in every meal I eat if there are some. A world where your portrait gives people a better first impression of you. A portrait where your smile is absolute. A song without a sad chorus of how our hearts are aching. A world with no Spotify playlist of our unfair experiences but a world where we share a playlist of songs we sing and awkwardly dance to. A film where the horrors of our fears are slashed off the final cut. A story where you know everything about me and I know yours. A perfect world where nothing can hurt you.
But in reality, the black and whites of your sorrows splatter into me. I don’t even know if you cherish the times we spent together as much as I do. We don’t even talk past the boundaries of school. We’re both trying to make our mark in the world that involves none of the other. Like parallel lines moving at speeds greater than the other. This fragile world where my days hang on the words that pour out your mouth. My head hangs low from my shoulders, never noticing the pink blue sunsets that I would much rather see than the blurry ground that catches my tears. I’m never gonna be cool like you. You may not know it but I constantly try to convince people you haven’t met that you’re actually really nice despite your appearance the way your face looks. I have a Spotify playlist about you that is kept hidden so that you don’t find out everything. I live in a world where you said you’d die early while I pray every day that it’s not prophecy. I hate this world because it can hurt you. I live in a place where I sketch a fake world of my selfish wish to be with you.
Until I stopped. Within the pages of this sketchbook thrives a person similar to you. But not the real you. Not the friend I’m willing to share my heart with. Closing it was excruciatingly difficult. Now I draw a world where I’m happy without a paper version of you but just as you actually are. Where you don’t see me the way I see you. Where your hands won’t ever fit mine. Where I’m learning to hang up on a wall a frame of you with the person you love without being hurt.
It still looks terrible but I’m doing my best to make a new masterpiece. One page at a time, from one messy canvas to the other, one chorus to the next, through every fade in, montage, and credits I’ll find my happy ending. — Dane Samuel D. David