The crisp scent of the freshly cut grass. The warm luster of sunshine prickling my skin. The old playground sitting adrift amongst the many rowdy kids. The delicate, pink flowers falling from the elegant cherry blossom trees. The numerous pebbles wriggling in my shoes from the dusty, old trail. The patches of abundant 3 leaf clovers crowding the grass under my feet.
Everything was just as I had remembered. The place looked the exact same as my memories of when I was just merely a child running to the park in the evening everyday to play. Except, I was different now.
If only I could ensnare that same soul I possessed when I was a child.
What would it be like if I was a carefree, buoyant child once again? I knew the answer to that. At least, I knew what it would be like if I was my younger self in this precise moment.
I would be ecstatic to be here right now. I would be so thrilled that I would run all around to release some of that bottled up energy of mine. I would be so electrified by the scene before me that I wouldn’t even bother to take the time to empty the pesky pebbles from my shoes. Except, I wasn’t exultant.
I wasn’t a child anymore, and all the joy that this place had brought me in the past had diminished.
If only she were here with me.
If she was here, maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone anymore. Maybe, this place would still radiate to me.
I thought back to when she had played with me all evening on the playground here. Chasing each other until we were completely out of breath and then pretending we were adventurers exploring the world of the park was our only care. When she laughed, I couldn’t seem to stop the smile ascending on my face. Except, she wasn’t here to make me smile anymore.
If only things were as simple as they were back then.
I had all the happiness in the world in the palm of my hand when I was a child, but wanting things to go back to the way they were then would just be wishful thinking. Nothing could go back to being the way it was after all the mistakes I had made.
After all, I had been the reason why our friendship fell apart, and I was the reason why I’m so unhappy with my life right now.
I had wasted my youth away studying strenuously at every hour possible. All that studying and work I put into school– what was it all for? Look where it had gotten me. A librarian with no friends who only ever comes in contact with people when scanning their books.
That’s how my life is now.
Back when I was still dreaming about becoming something greater, I wanted to become a scientist. I majored in chemistry, but the work was unbelievably difficult. In my years before college, I had excelled greatly at all the subjects at school, especially science, so I didn’t expect the course to be as arduous and demanding as it had been. I wanted so badly to succeed later on in becoming a scientist, but I knew the course would be extremely challenging, so I studied incredibly much. I put all my time into studying that I didn’t leave any space for my friends. I wish I could go back in time and redo it all now. Maybe then, I could spend some time with my friends so that I wouldn’t end up losing them all. If I had done that, I might not be as lonely as I am right now.
I didn’t really care about getting back all the friends I had before though; I only cared about one person– my best friend. Well, former best friend. She was the one who had always played with me at the park where I was know. She was the one who had planted so many joyous memories in my mind here. She had always been there for me growing up, and I promised I’d always be there for her too, but that was a promise I didn't keep.
When we started to grow apart in college, it was all because of me. I never spent time with her because of my studies, and I never even noticed when she was upset anymore. I can still remember the time we had that big fight that completely destroyed our friendship.
“You never want to hang out anymore,” she sighed unhappily.
“Well, I’m busy! I have to study! Don’t you understand that?” I barked at her.
“I get it, but we never even get to talk anymore because you’re always studying.”
“If you can’t accept that I'm like this then you shouldn’t be friends with me!"
Hearing this, her face froze in shock with her eyebrows wrinkled upwards. I could see the hurt on her face. I had instantly regretted what I said, but I couldn’t utter another word out of my mouth then to take it back.
“I guess I’m not friends with you then,” she stammered quietly with her head down.
Then, she walked out the door silently with tears streaming down her cheeks.
I made so many mistakes in my lifetime, but that one was always the one I deemed as the worst. I knew I had hurt her, but I was too afraid to make things right again. I was too afraid to face her after what I had done to her. I had been a terrible friend to her after she had been there for me for so many years.
The truth is, I already knew then that I had become an intolerable friend. So even though I wanted so badly to apologize and talk and laugh with my best friend again, I never did because I knew I would end up upsetting her again, and she deserved better than a friend who didn’t appreciate her. After that argument we had, I never spoke to her again.
I let her go just like I let everything else go in my life.
Too many regrets.
Too many mistakes.
Too many wishes.
If only I could reverse the time so that I was here at this park with my best friend.
I sat on the grass near a patch of overflowing clovers. When I was little, she would always tell me that if you found a 4 leaf clover amongst the piling 3 leaf clovers, something remarkable would happen to you soon.
I ran my fingers through the patch of clovers while the jagged grass itched my ankles. Searching through the clovers for a 4 leaf clover reminded me of myself as a child looking everywhere for a single special clover. I wanted to hold onto that memory, to who I was before I became so detestable and unrecognizable.
And then I saw it. A 4 leaf clover in the center of the crowd. My fingers slipped between the many clovers on the ground and reached the supreme 4 leaf clover, plucking it out from its spot and holding it right in front of my gaze.
I smiled as I looked at the clover, twisting it between my fingers.
If only something remarkable really would happen to me.
But when I looked up from the clover, I did see something startling– there she was, my best friend sitting on a bench in the distance. She was staring down at her phone with her fingers tapping away at it.
I stood up hastily, still looking her way.
Maybe something remarkable would happen soon.