They are there already
The Horizon Trilogy’s Legacy Sequel
That a man could find a friend once over millennia is no more than we’ve always knew to be. As deep as relationships go, there is an urge to connect and embrace vulnerability beyond reason.
Days and nights like these reminded Otto and Taren that they could no longer go back to a place in time in which they did not have found that vulnerability in each other, even thou, sittuations they had no control over would make them believe that you should let go of someone.
That’s a common saying right? That you should let go of those you love. “When the time comes, I will let her go”, the song says. And right after that, I will open myself again. That’s not what Taren was looking forward, but if everything that starts finds its ending, shouldn’t he start over?
“I will not think about any girl from now on”, Taren said, pompous and decisive.
“That’s what they all said”, Otto said, in an early attempt to allude to their ongoing Michael Scott joke.
They start crossing the avenue. It’s full of cars and people and life. A couple hours prior to that Otto still did not know what to wear for that occasion. It’s somehow still Taren’s birthday after ten days. They’ve been waiting and preparing for this night for a while now. It is unpleasant to Otto to see the mega line of people in front of the theater.
“I don’t do lines”, Otto said to himself.
“I knew this would happen”. Taren stops, too close to the street. He’s seen her, there, already. “Let’s go somewhere else”, he thought, knowing how impossible that was, they got tickets for this a while ago. Otto does not really understand until Taren says it for what it is.
For a while now things seem to be falling into place. Taren spent a few weeks pining over this girl who works at the bookstore. He drew her in a napkin, that a waiter from the coffee shop delivered to her. They talked a bit, exchanged phone numbers, she followed him on Instagram, which he’s been using to some level of success. They almost went on a date, but she never really replied in time, so he gave up on her. He tried to get a part time job in the same bookstore out of unrelated reasons, and Otto was honestly behind him on that idea. Otto who had just himself opened up to meet new people and was going steady with this guy he met the other day. He wanted a meet cute, until his therapist convinced him to try to find someone nice on Tinder and actually try to put himself out there. It has been quite a challenge lately. Even with Taren, his best and closest friend, Otto has had some issues about sharing and being honest on his feelings and whatnots. Taren drew him a picture of his favorite author, with his favorite quote: “It should be forbidden to make fun of anyone who dares to speak in a foreign language”. That spoke miles to how much they meant for each other. For Taren’s birthday, Otto wrote a letter, poured himself into a piece of paper and never look back. That a heart would embrace anothers over millennia is a boast for all insurgents forever. So, he put himself out there and went on a date. He just texted, “hey, let’s go for a walk”, and they went. They got coffee, walked around the park, slept together, and Otto would not confess, but it felt good to miss somebody after all this time. They had a very good talk, a lot in common and some sort of connection and respect for each other. Taren was proud of him for finally admitting he was looking for it, in his peculiar way, but still, looking.
That night was the night. That Thursday night they would listen to that unfathomable album live for the very first and last time. The singer-songwriter knows what he is doing and delivered a masterful spectacle that took for granted all the tears Taren was willing to let go that night, tears he hold all year long. How many nights and months were gone since that bender? You’ve lost everything if you’ve got nothing to lose.
Otto held his friend’s shoulder while he cried throughout that song ten. He knew it was coming, it took Taren by surprise. Taren would try to see something to their right a few lines down the aisle, but that was stupid. No one can see in the dark so well. What really mattered is what you see in the light. Otto was haunted, like he could say to anyone, “oh don’t mind him, he’s made of darkness”. He wanted this to be true to himself too. He was suddenly ready for a spin-off. They still speak a lot on TV terms, even if they know what reality is like. Taren might even start believing there’s a god out there, but not a good and loving one, a trickster god, playing tricks with his life, trying to sell a very edgy-like comedy to NBC.
He brought his journal, expecting to draw something, even if he knew he could not see it in the dark. What would he draw? Her, again? His blazer was still holding the halloween party costume he made based on Theodore from Spike Jonze’s movie, which means, Samantha was also watching the show. He thought about what he would say to her given the opportunity. Would him tell he could help, would he boast for being right, apologize for being wrong, lie about how he’s also seeing someone from the bookstore, freeze while looking deep into her eyes? No ones to blame, he doesn’t believe what was done and said was out of meanness. And yet, it hurt. They never again seen eye to eye, and for a while now, he was perfectly capable of avoiding her street. So, he would probably avoid her here too. Yet, he ain’t quite where he thought he was.
“That’s her, over there, in the green shirt, hugging that other girl.”
Otto finally saw her eyes, the ones he knew so well from Taren’s drawing.
“My ex has a girlfriend.”, Taren said, tormented. “That’s a mean joke.”
“You knew she would be here.”, Otto added, trying to find a compromise with his friend. “There’s no way to fill up this theater unless every single fan of this album would come.”
Taren had a lot of reasons why he thought she might not come. Who she’s gonna go with? Maybe she couldn’t buy tickets before they sold out. She might not even care about this album. A lot of stupid reasons that helped him feel safe with the idea of going himself, there and back again.
“Of course she would come.”
By the time the show was over, in the middle of a thousand people trying to leave, Taren looked at her the same time she looked at him. They crossed their eyes for the very first time since that time they spoke over coffee. He knew, somehow, she was thinking of him, and if she was, he was probably thinking of her. He would get used to it, whatever it was. But he would never forget.
“Pizza place?”, Taren suggests, so they can walk the path towards it together for the first time in ages. They walked, unbelievers of their demise. Taren was somehow grateful that all happened at once, the finale to end all endings. Otto was proud of him and of himself and the people they had become since they’ve met eye to eye.
In the end, there is healing to be found when the heartache weighs a mountain in the grieving of a love lost. Behing all the nearness, the vacancy bleeds. Is there still time for the warmth of love to win if you believe you are capable of loving forever? Somehow, they knew from the outset, they were part of a wound, and yet here to see it mend.
Long nights like those reminded both of them of how their souls were done entertaining greatness, with no reasons to believe and yet blowing the wind so their spirits would soar up, high as high-flying birds coming back from the south, the place where kingfishers learned their new song.