No one ever knew what happened between them two; one day she disappeared out of sudden without a clue and Matthew haven’t been the same since. Her disappearance left Matthew in the abyss of desperation, leaving Mike his last pillar to hold on through tough times ahead. They kept guessing she moved to the center of the world because she liked to talk about warm countries, the heat and thought about spending days after days on the beaches. Some of his friends heard she left with some man. A speculation of them two going to South – small gossip that circled minds of Matthews friends. When Mike heard Matthew talking about a trip to South Europe it started to make sense to him, why would Matthew want to cross the whole Europe in search for something that would fill that hole fo his.
On that day they rolled home with no word filling the van. Few phrases came out from their dry mouths from time to time and ambient music kept filling unnecessary gaps of silence. All because of one statement Mike made. A statement that turned Matthew in a deep state of reconsideration about his future and past, how different it could be if he could change it. Matthew was dwelling in the past, ignoring the present and almost crashing van on their way back home, putting Mike in stressful reaction.
“Are you okay man? Look I’m sorry if I set off some bad memories of her, I know you don’t like to talk about her. If you don’t feel like driving I can take over. I don’t feel like crashing in the closest ditch for christ sake.”
“Man, do you really think I’m that high in the clouds.” he smiled in Mikes direction and continued “But you right. I know I’m smart enough to know I should forget her but stupid enough to keep dwelling in the past anyway. Some part of me still wants to hang on to the good memories we created and keep ignoring futures possibilities.”
“Listen, in know, she’s out there and one day faith will bring you together, believe me,” Mike gave him slight comforting and continued, “We should roll another one when we get home.”
“Heh. Always wondered why we’re such addicts for weed,” both genuinely laughed about them self’s, despite how troubling it seemed, they enjoy it.
Slept off dizziness from weed and woked up slightly tired than ever, Matthew had to contact his friend, mechanic. Last night he spent hours thinking about and imagining a trip. About all the possibilities he missed because kept dwelling in the memories of the past and denying preset. With a memory of Mike telling him he can’t make such hasty decision on going to direction unknown, made him start looking for alternatives. Searching through his contacts and light emitting from mobile phones screen, a word ‘mechanic’ caught his attention. The phone rang a couple of times and Matthew started getting ideas about ignorance or simple deep sleep who’s taking over a person on the other side of the line. After seconds of waiting, the line stopped beeping.
“Good old Matty, how’s life going on?”
“Oh man, it’s been months since we spoke last time. I don’t know with what to start.”
“Months, try a year. It’s been a year since we talked about anything. I hear you split up with your girl, my condolences. It seemed like you two would last for some time. Anyway, is there a reason you call me?”
“Thanks. A simple call to ask how’s life treating you, Edgar?”
“Oh Matty, you know you can tell me straight, I won’t get mad. So what you need again? And it’s good, thanks for caring.
“Remember my mid 80s Volkswagen?”
“Good old Herby, how can I forget him? I still remember us doing donuts in the parking lot with it. Perfect reasons to own a van like that on winters. I’m guessing it starts failing you, acting little cranky didn’t he?” they both laughed through the phone call.
“Not really, I have a huge plan for it and I would like you to take look at it. See if it can manage to get me to Spain.”
“Spain? You are one crazy lad Matty. I can sure take a look, get it to my garage this evening, Ruth will make stir-fry, like in old day’s. What do you say?
“I guess I’ll see you there”
“Okay then, see you later alligator”
“That’s the Matty I remember, see you soon” phone hanged up and Matthew exhaled his breath with ease.
Edgar was Matthew’s fathers closest friend, yet they never spoke about each other. Both of them liked to go on fishing trips, which always ended up being in the middle of the lake for a whole day. His father and Edgar would open vodka bottle in the middle of the lake, leaving Matthew the only one sober. At that age, Matthew had no clue how to row a boat or swim. With both adults being under the unknown amount of vodka left him to sit through the day on the boat, trying to enjoy fishing – although he never caught anything except seaweed. Despite the flaws of fishing practice his father gave him, he found joy in it. Jokes that Edgar and Matthews’s father made was what made that boat ride entertaining. Waking up at early on annual worm collecting for all days fishing, with a feel of fresh smell of water coming from a lake and making jokes about two best friends getting through hangovers with shaking hands. It was the part of childhood that made Matthew happy and grateful for the life he had, the simple pleasures for a price of nothing more than a participation in them.
Seconds slid into minutes and after a while, he found himself on a balcony with a thought about the conversation he had yesterday. When Mike told him the part about filling empty space, ‘perhaps he was right’ he thought to himself. Vague feeling about never being whole again haunted him for that day, because of Mike he couldn’t drop that thought out of his mind. Like a small voice echoing in the far distance of his conscience, telling him he should get out there in the world. Standing on the balcony, with fresh air blowing in Matthew’s nostrils, as he inhaled the fresh cold wind of his hometown in the thought of letting go past and focusing on future. With a clear mind and ready to set new goals; closing one page of his story and opening a new one.
The apartment where he lived was messy, clothes hanging on every spare chair in the room and collection of socks decorating the bottom of his bed. After taking some time for locating car keys, he stumbles upon a note. Note with letters from newspaper glued together on a single piece of paper, to protect the identity of its creator – an old piece of paper which laid there for weeks.
“I have no idea when you get this, no idea if it’s ever gonna reach you and if we ever gonna stumble on each other. You have to know this, what happened in the past was a preparation – for a leap into the future. Like for every time arrow is pulled back, it’s simply mean it gets launch in something more greater. Stay safe Matthew, brighter days are ahead and one day you will laugh at how much you let this matter. Goodbye, may we meet again.”
Seeing this note for a thousand time with uneven letters in different colors, like a serial killer sending a note about its next victim. Instead of throwing it out carelessly in the garbage can and ending questioning author behind it, he decided to keep it in his wallet. The afternoon was just around the corner with few hours to wander around the apartment, inside these walls or go out for a walk. State of dilemma was taking over him, keeping him decide between one and the other. A phone rang. Matthew grabbed the phone and sudden emptiness in his mind occurred, no thought, no clue – a complete vast land of emptiness. Complete emptiness with only one thing on his mind, a name ‘Gary’, which showed on the phone’s screen.