Is it any wonder that I got lost?
I got lost in the sea of people – beautiful people, amazing ones, deserving ones.
Everyone who I was not.
I got caught up in it all that I lost sight of him, of her, of them.
They were there that night but I didn’t see them in the crowd at first.
The music was so loud, and then I saw him, but it was too late.
What had I become?
As a little girl all I ever dreamed of was finding my soul mate.
I would imagine him, while his face was something I could never conjure, I knew it would be his heart that would help me recognize him in real life when we finally met.
I was right.
Years later, it wouldn’t just be instantaneous, but something deep inside would just know. You know?
It wouldn’t be something out of a movie; he wouldn’t save me from some impending car crash, or intercept a deadly assassin where he would then proceed to save the world, while making me fall in love with him in the process.
No, it would happen in a park.
I would be reading on a bench.
He would just be sitting down on the bench too, waiting for someone but not reading as he doesn’t like to read much.
That should be a sign that he wouldn’t be my soul mate since I am a self-proclaimed bibliophile (a word for which I’m sure he will look up online the definition for after I tell him so).
But that’s not what a soul mate is, I will soon learn.
Because he is in every way.
Every way that matters that is.
I will notice someone is sitting next to me, and when I turn my head I will see his eyes and something will click.
We will then start talking.
The content will be nothing memorable.
There will be no life changing sentences but then maybe they are.
Whatever we say I will be forever bound to him, and him to me.
I’m getting ahead of myself, I apologise it’s just that every time I think of him I cannot help but take a trip down memory lane.
He is one of the most important people in my story.
But he isn’t the only one.
I grew up in a very loving family but like all families we had our struggles.
Not the kind of struggles though I think you’re thinking of.
We weren’t arguing over material things like money nor did we bicker about petty things like not mowing the lawn or who didn’t take out the trash the other day.
No, we weren’t that blessed to worry about silly things like that.
We were sick. Literally.
A plethora of ailments plagued our family.
From my father’s early onset dementia, to my younger sister’s psoriasis, but nothing rocked our world as much as when Toni came home from the hospital one afternoon.
My brother was diagnosed with leukaemia at 23 and even with the 4 years age gap, we were as close as any two siblings could get.
The diagnosis had shocked us all.
He was healthy we all told ourselves.
How did this happen?
Why did this happen to us?
A disease doesn’t just happen to you, it happens to all those who love you.
As I said earlier, we were all sick. I too suffered quietly; it wasn’t something I wanted to share since I knew it was much worse what he was going through.
I had lupus, while my organs were doing fine the last few years and I was considered ‘in remission’, the flare ups were a killer.
The things the medicine did to my body were exhausting but I had a dream and I wasn’t going to let that go, but that’s another story.
This is more their story than mine. My mum, my dad, my brother, my sister and my future husband who would all become victims of my betrayal. It might not have been so noticeable at first, but one at a time I would slowly hurt them without even knowing it.
“Aurelie! Aurelie! Aurelie!” the crowd chants my name, the thrill that once ran through me is gone, and now all I feel is numb.
“How’s everyone tonight? Thanks for coming out, my first song is something you might’ve heard new on the radio, it’s called ‘Become’ and I hope you like it”