15:45. Listening to Halsey’s Colors.
There was this one day after a class when I just burst into tears. Out of nowhere. So instead of going to the college canteen to meet my friends for lunch, I ran to the back of our campus’s main library. It was my favourite place because of the lake. When I wanted to be alone, that was the place I went to. The spot was actually a popular place in my college–people went there to have a lunch together, to have big group meeting, or just to enjoy the morning after a weekend running exercise. But most afternoons, people preferred to stay inside the air-conditioned buildings.
That particular day, there weren’t many people. I took an empty seat nearest to the lake, under a tree. My bag was heavy–I had three classes that day, each with at least two textbooks I had to bring. I put the bag on the ground, next to my right leg. From there I pulled out my phone and opened a note-taking app. I hadn’t known what to write. It’s just when I looked up at the clear November sky, I felt that I had lost someone. I was longing, almost aching for someone. Now that I saw down and reminisced about that day again, I realized that the heaving feeling had been loneliness.
And maybe the person I had missed so strongly that day was me from years before. One who could look up and be grateful for nice weather. One who didn’t wish for rain and sadness. One who managed to bravely show her tears instead of hiding them underneath an uncaring mask.
It was November. When I reached the lake, my tears had dried. People passed me by without batting an eye. I was a lone girl with a big bag, typing furiously on her phone and occasionally looking afar beyond the lake and the sky. By the time I was done writing a poem, my emotions had calmed down a bit. I sent a message to my best friend who wondered where I was and why I hadn’t met her for lunch like usual.
I am at the lake, I said. I was not feeling well a while ago.
She replied, Do you need a hug?
And just like that, the heavy feeling dissipated completely. I almost laughed. There was a poem stored on my phone–one day I would publish it. And there was a friend waiting for me back at my faculty’s canteen, available for a hug.
It was November. And it is now July, almost two years later.
Today I once again burst into tears out of nowhere. Now the lake is ten hours away by train from where I am. And my friend is also ten hours away by train from where I currently am. I have grown up though and I am closer to my family now.
So I pull out my phone and call my mother.
And when she comes home, the question might not be Do you need a hug?
But I’ll still hug her all the same.