Time, time, time. As gentle and harsh as the weather's change of heart. One moment a hug of a breeze, the next, it's a galing storm.
I'd spent ten of my years here starting from the bottom and building my way up. I just got a lucky break, a friend of a friend whose sister knew someone....
Someone to help.
They introduced me to Claude Numlauf, he could make any college drop out a massive success. So many sleepless nights had been devoted to trying to find success my own way. I wanted to make films. I did numerous media courses, I downloaded all of the software I could afford, I bought the best camcorder within my means and I never made it. Nobody wanted what I could offer. My servings of dreams, of inspiration, hope...nobody wanted it. They called my imagination unimaginative, the care and diligence I poured into seconds worth of frames; careless. Nobody wanted what I could offer.
Claude told me as much. He helped me though. He helped me.
I retrained, got a degree in law, found out how boring success could make a person. I guess it's just Karma, get everything you ever dreampt of, money, power, a new car, a big house...and then realise you have no friends.
No real ones anyway. I have 'work-friends' people who gossip about me behind my back and make digs about how tired I've been looking, washed-up. Men who shake my hand on the way through the door each morning, suits pressed, hair slicked. Women who smile seductively wanting a leg up...or over in the company. Yes, I'm surrounded by 'work friends'. The people who don't really have a clue about who I am.
Caitlyn's the only real friend I've ever had, the only person I could be completely honest with, completely myself with. She knew me inside out...I'm not sure I ever understood that expression really, it sounds almost grotesque if you think aobut it too hard. Caitlyn laughed at the way I thought things out like that.
So maybe that's why I didn't want a school reunion.
No, I wasn't lying to Caitlyn, I really am busy. I look to the alarm clock on my bedside table and it confirms the truth, it's 1am and I've only just clocked off really. Sure, the office closes at six but I need to drive an hour home, pick up dinner, go through all of the paperwork left over from the day. There's no time left for personal errands. I'm shattered and sleep evades me.
I can't take an reunion like that though. Hearing about everyone's wife and kids. Their loving families. How they wouldn't change a thing for all of the money in the world. I should have sorted out my own priorities before.
I spend so long, caring about what everyone thinks of me.
So. Much. Time.
Ha, I always imagined what I might be like as a forty year old, some ten years into the future. Would my hair be grey? Would there be wrinkles where once there was my face? I didn't know. I did always take time as a granted though. I thought that one day I'd be eighty and bald, and have a walking stick; I'd complain, 'things just aren't the same as they were in my day.'
Each birthday I've complained about everyone making such a fuss at the office, because, the truth is that I thought, 'what's the point, I have one every single year and will do forever.'
Except, a life isn't for forever, is it?
I took growing old as a certainty, not something I'd necessarily be looking forward to but no one had ever told me the alternative. Nobody had ever just said, 'Look, Will, there are two choices: Grow Old or Die Young.'
I just wish that someone could have told me that.
I'd spent years without a girlfriend to love and be loved by, without keeping in touch with my parents. Without staying in touch with Caitlyn like I'd promised I would. I really was trying more now but that's the problem with grace...it makes life unfair.
There it is again, Karma. The woman I love more than anyone or anything in the world, my best friend, has agreed to love me back until death do us part, but that won't be too long now, will it?
They told me it's cancer.
p.s a thanks from me for your patience and support. i think i can write this again now.