“And I realized—I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.” – A Court of Mist and Fury, Sarah J Maas
There is an undercurrent that accompanies the second month of every year. When the empty seat beside you starts to feel like a reflection of some shortcoming of yours that is unique to February, when the absence of another hand in yours leaves you feeling colder than usual, and the silence from the other side of the bed begins to feel weighted. ‘It’s just a day’. It is. ‘Nobody remembers it once it’s gone’. They don’t. February 14th comes, awash in pinks and reds and hearts and promises, and leaves, until next year, giving you another chance to fill that seat beside you.
Ever since I’ve moved to a new country, I often find myself circling back to the idea of signs and how fate guides our every move, and the bigger picture is already painted; we can only finetune the details. With the world around me painted rose, I wonder what if every step we take is leading us onto a path that’s meant to collide with someone else’s. One day, you just stumble upon your happily ever after, the story that you always knew of, but hadn’t yet read.
But how do you know what you’re looking for? What is the cost, the price you pay to know what’s good, what will make you happy? Pain. All the storms in your life, the tears, the hurt, the grief that overrides every other sense and leaves you feeling like you’re drowning – that’s the cost of love. That’s what steels your will and makes you grow, like storm clouds breaking apart to make way for the sun to shine through.
The empty seat isn’t a mark against you. The other half of the cold is bed now, so go ahead and sleep in the middle of the bed like a freaking starfish. Your hands are empty for you to hold fries in them. Nothing is permanent, and nothing goes on forever. It is, in actual fact, a day.