Life is short. Live it.
I’m on Michigan Av
Sitting on the steps
which lead to
The Chicago Art Institute.
There is a lovely
young lady playing her violin
and with each string
that she strokes with her bow,
I feel as if she’s revealing
my heart’s hymn.
Her music speaks of truths
and broken hearts,
happy times and lovers’ quarrels,
summer warmth and the cold wind…
As the wind plays with my hair
and the sun kisses my skin
my thoughts lead to a tale
I once heard
about this boy and a girl.
They knew each other since her birth,
Best friends from the beginning,
chosen by one another for life.
He attended her wedding
and she danced at his.
They saw each other through
the heartaches prior to then,
all the difficulties of their marriages.
Even their kids grew up to be
played together on the street,
sat side by side in grades two and three.
And when she got sick,
he went to her and stayed by her side,
despite the raised eyebrows
of her husband and his wife.
One day, close to her end,
he was sitting beside her,
and holding her hand,
she opened her eyes and asked
“Why do you remain here, by my side?”
He raised her hand to his lips,
as a tear rolled down his cheek.
She waited for him to speak.
When he gathered enough courage to talk,
he raised his eyes to meet her puzzled gaze and said
“I’ve loved you my entire life.
You are my best friend.
Here you lie, fighting for your life,
as I sit helpless with one huge regret.”
He paused there
while she caught her breath and his tears fell.
He spoke again,
much softer this time and said
“My whole life,
I longed for you to be mine.
I was too scared to tell you how I feel,
and now that you’re here I think of
how different both of our lives may have been
if I had just told you that
from the very beginning.”
She too was crying now
trying hard to catch her breath
for the words he just spoke
touched her to her core.
They sat in silence for a while,
looking into each other’s eyes.
When she finally spoke,
her voice was clear.
“I too have also loved you from the very beginning.
My whole life I longed to be with you
but I too was scared
to speak my truth.
My time is running out
and we can’t go back to change anything
so instead of regretting the time we didn’t spend,
Let’s enjoy our right now.
When I leave this place and our kids are of age,
I want you to sit them down and tell them this story
so that they don’t repeat our mistakes.”
He nodded his head
for he couldn’t speak.
He couldn’t believe that he spoke his truth
at the age of forty-three.
Almost half of his life passed in fear and now
it’s too late
because his best friend is leaving.
As they stayed in her final moments,
before she closed her eyes,
“I love you”
in her ear
over a thousand times.
And as her breathing got shallower
his voice became louder.
She opened her eyes
one last time,
said “I love you”
and let out
her final sigh.