We were always good friends. He would be the available 1 AM number I’d fumble with my fingers when some guy broke my heart again. I would be the morning call he made after another chick has turn out to be typical manipulative psycho. We would schedule plans to see movies after the 9 to 5 daily grind. This was us. And we worked perfectly this way.
Even when we were single, we were always just more than friends but less than lovers. This flirtationship- well it’s a totally made up word for what I have with him- was some void I filled for myself until I felt myself falling deeper and deeper into my self-deprecation. I started picking up hints of my own ugly jealousy implode when he talked about other girls. The feeling churned my insides as I ignored every sign. He soon began to appear everywhere. When I saw a character on TV with the same name, my ears perked up and my mind swarmed with thoughts of him. This is madness I’d tell myself. But I couldn’t fool anyone. I had started to see him more than just my 1AM comfort.
It was Tuesday night and the sky was lit up with sparkling Christmas lights ready for the festive season. We walked to a local pub and sat down at a small round table just for two in the center. We talked all night long until the bartender came around for last call. I loved having him during the graveyard hours. He would discuss his hopes, his future, and reflect on his damaged past while I listened and gave my slight input; fascinated with each word he spoke.
“If you could describe me as anything, what would I be?” he asked with his head resting on his left hand as he looked up at me.
I giggled, “What? Um… okay. Let me think…”
“A Pirate.” I finally answered.
He gave me a bewildered look, “Go on. Why?”
“Cause you’re always out in search of that perfect Pirate’s booty!”
We both laughed at my witty remark. I caught him tilting his head back as he chuckled at my response. Then I continued, “Okay, okay being totally serious. You are always out there looking for your ultimate prized possession; that fine piece of precious treasure that matches you perfectly. But you seem to always get off course. You end up falling prey like any other man to the sirens during your voyage. They appear through the glistening waters like gorgeous mysterious creatures, but underneath that layer of beauty, they’re nothing but vicious devils.”
He looked so intrigued at my tale. “So, what are you then?”
I took in his question with a quiet sigh. “Me…? Well, I’m just a phoenix. Rare, eccentric, once liberated but now my wings are clipped.”
“How so?” He asked me with a tired yet sincere look in his eyes.
Disregarding his sudden response, I went on with my tale, “I sit on top of that pirate’s shoulder, providing him with support and guidance. You know, like those annoying parrots do. But we’re different. I’m that rare bird you so heavily confide in. We’ll be like best pals setting sail on an adventure and braving through perilous storms together.”
I stared up to the ceiling imagining what our journey would be like. Then, I faked some bullshit weak smile at him to top the end of my fairy tale.
That night, we parted ways and as I sat in the taxi looking out at the reflection of the diamond sky paved on the car window. I gave in to a somber smile reminiscing our shared laughs.
I knew in my head that being a small supporting role in his story meant more to me than not even existent in his life at all. I felt trapped. For it seems, I could not live without this pirate anymore. He was the grin I had on my face when I drank my morning coffee remembering how caffeine doesn’t faze him. He’s become the glow I have anticipating all day long at work of our dinners on Tuesday nights.
Yeah, I felt trapped even though I was just a small character in his life.
These clipped wings will be the death of me, but it’s worth every single wave I ride along.