City breakPart three
Three days after the day of the big frustration and confusion, Ras was getting dressed to meet Lilly. At the upcoming dinner they wouldn’t be just the two of them but an old friend of hers too, Awndrey, for whom Ras had heard most of his story from Lilly.
As Ras was many times told, Lilly and he used to have a very intimate bond while growing together in their hometown but Ras hadn’t got completely the kind of relationship they used to have. They used to be a couple for a long time definitely, but it wasn’t just for that. For certain, that guy, named Awndrey, had hurt her when he left their town a couple of years before she did and ever since they hadn’t met until last Monday that he showed up absolutely out of the blue. This was in fact and the reason Lilly hadn’t met Ras at “Napolitano” while they had arranged it from the previous day. As Lilly explained him hastily when he had called her, she had to pick her old friend up from the airport and for some reason she couldn’t say at that moment, he was in great need of her help. Of course, Ras was very bewildered from her behavior, since he knew that they had lost contact for many years and the last time they had talked, that man had left her a very bad taste. Though it is true that Ras had never met him before, he didn’t have the best idea about him, probably because of the fact that even though he had hurt Lilly, it was obvious that he was still remaining a big chapter in her life with remarkable influence in her decisions.
As if his distaste for that strange man wasn’t by itself already enough to make him refuse to attend the dinner at the restaurant, Ras tied his tie’s knob so exquisitely that someone would think that he had learned to do it a very long time ago and he was perfectly ready to meet them.
A quarter later, he found himself crossing the city’s central park on his way to the meeting point outside the fancy and high-priced restaurant “Duke”. He knew that if this was a couple of hours later, crossing the park would be extremely dangerous because by then that quiet but half-lightened place would become a stamping- ground for any kind of junkies and whoever you could imagine that could harm any passer- by who was ignoring the jeopardy in being there late at night for any reason, in order to attract some money. However, until then, park was still crowed enough to provide him with the necessary sense of safety and despite that, he wasn’t intending to prolong his staying there. All he needed was a couple of minutes to sit somewhere and get himself together before he meets Lilly and her friend.
During the last days Lilly had called him many times but every time he was pleading excuses to avoid her. Ras had felt disappointed and betrayed the day she stood him up for that other man and she disappeared without informing him first. Because of all the upheaval that aroused, he had started seeing their relationship from a very different aspect. After all those days of introspection, he came to realize that the thing that had bothered him the most was that she had gave him up or their schedule or her priorities just because that guy Awndrey, whose intentions were remaining still inscrutable, told her to. Ras doubted if she could ever do the same if he had acted similarly.
At one hand, Ras was even afraid to answer himself who was playing the leading and most influential part in Lilly’s life and her decisions and on the other, he was riled with himself to even think this way, while he had never asked from Lilly to give something more than what she had and mostly he wasn’t keen on offering anything further, either.
Apart from going from to work all those days, Ras nearly did nothing else. He didn’t meet any of his friends, he didn’t call his parents to see what they were doing and above all, he didn’t stop thinking about Lilly. He was really confused because though he knew that they formally weren’t partners and their complex relationship was grounded in independence, it was still a slap in the face that he was left aside when the man from the past came into the scene. Or someone could say that it was a slap in his egoism that he was feeling displaced and stranded on a distant corner.
The unawareness of the reason of Awndrey’s comeback was a supplementary burden. “What is he looking for….and why did he show up so abruptly…” was troubling Ras all those days he decided it would be better for him to keep them away.
To kill time, Ras tried to get into writing, as many times had done in the past when he was feeling lonely. Funnily enough, he didn’t manage to write a word, though some of the darkest periods of his life were converting him into a very prolific writer. An unpublished one, but that didn’t matter because that was not his goal. Making up stories was not for the public but a personal way out from what was hunting him each time. It was a kind of a psycho-therapy Ras was practicing to himself to feel free when he was feeling he wasn’t able to otherwise. In the space from last Monday to that current moment writing hadn’t proved the most suitable solution because basically, he could think of nothing else but that once again he found himself on the fringe of a situation. And that passive reaction he had adopted, had made him refusing dealing and solving the matter out, face to face with Lilly or that strange man. Every single time that Lilly would call him in order to arrange a meeting, he would turn her down. Every single time except for that last one that day, when she called him again and Ras decided to confront whatever it was that they had to say. That sudden anastrophe of his mind was the result of the imminent dinner. Ras thought that he should get dressed the best way he could for the purpose, to feel charming and self-assured and claim her undivided attention back. “I will show out my “glorious” self and I’ll stop acting the way only fifteen year old boys do, for Christ sake” he said in front of the bathroom mirror as he was getting ready, in a moment of superfluous buoyancy.
At the park, only few moments before he meets them, and while sitting in one of the benches beside the artificial lake that optimistic feeling which had overwhelmed him had abandoned him and was replaced for once again by nonplus and insecurity. Although, beside his enormous distress, he didn’t miss to notice that the scenery from the last time ha had gone there, a month and few more days ago, had been slightly differentiated but it provoked a great impact upon him. The lake seemed very much lifeless and -if we could use the verb- naked because its visitors were not there anymore. It was cold for good by then and it was some time ago since the ducks had flew away for their warmer next destination. This alone, made Ras see something he already knew. He realized that when some things are meant to change then they will. And even though sometimes this seems wrong it’s always for good in the end.
Ras stood up unwillingly, -any further postpone would make him be late and he didn’t want that- and he thought that if things between Lilly and him had changed or would be, he would come in terms with it and would get over it because that’s the only thing he had to do. Even if he consciously knew that this could be a little bit more painful than the ordinary because it was irrefutable that they used to have such a great time together.