Friday, August 06, 2004


Whilst sitting at an outside coffee shop with a huge helium balloon at my back and an amazing ocean view, I stared at the girl-shaped sandcastle and drew conclusions from the conversation I was having. My good friend was telling me that when she returned to her home country on vacation, one of her plans was on having a mature conversation with her ex-boyfriend. My heart broke for her when I remembered a similar desire I’d had years ago with an ex-boyfriend and that had ended bitterly simply because he could not add to anything I already new. He simply had no answer for me. I tried to warn her that sometimes people don’t have the answers we need; we can’t expect from other people what they’re not able to give. It’s not that I doubt that she’ll obtain her answers, it’s that I know that they don’t always come from where we’re expecting them to come.

On going home, I asked deeply analysed this desire. Lately, I’ve found myself feeling slightly nervous about-facing some of the faces I haven’t seen in almost three years and somehow I knew that this desire was linked with my friend’s. Answers aren’t exactly what I’m fearing and although I argued that three years has turned me into a different person, it isn’t that person that I’m afraid of introducing to my friends. If anything, I’m proud to show them who I’ve become… the same Sunshine with improvements! It wasn’t until I saw him that it finally hit me…

Being an Indigo, not only am I stubborn and headstrong, I’m also in fine-tune with myself. This means that I usually know exactly what I want and how I want it and from early on in life I knew what my life’s mission was. I was born to make people happy. My mission is bring something positive to every person I meet. Although it sounds impossible, I would like to die knowing that people remember me with a genuine smile. My little brother calls me his angel for fixing his computer, but I’d like to be considered to be everybody’s angel, even if just for a moment in their lives when I gave them a hand, my shoulder or sincere advice.

I began thinking that I’d failed my mission whilst discussing online the end of a friendship that had barely begun. The friend I was typing to, insisted that the person in question certainly missed the companionship we once shared. Actions speaking louder than words, I thanked her attempts to make me feel better about the matter, but deep down knew that my name would be just a whisper at the back of his mind and my face a bleak memory of a time when he just needed someone to share a coffee with. It saddened me to think that many times in life, we don’t mean half as much to a person as they mean to us. I began recalling all the names of the people who meant something to me and questioned with each one of them if I’d meant the same to them. The old neighbour next door who gave me apricots whenever I went to visit him and his dog Shaka, or my best friend in South Africa who I always considered to be the sister I never had but never writes me an e-mail or sends me an SMS. More and more names ran through my mind and I wondered if maybe I don’t “over”care about people. When I think someone is fantastic do they respond with “she’s nice?”. Do I simply feel too much or am I too demanding in wanting people to care as much about me as I do about them?

We all get those e-mails that say that at least one person on this planet really loves us and is thinking about us that second and would die for us… I got on the bus wondering if I was the exception to the rule. As I walked home from the bus stop, I began believing that T.S Eliot was closer to the truth when he said that we are all imprisoned to solitary confinement within our own skins, and began wondering if we’re really capable of touching each other’s souls. Just as I began asking myself about the hearts that I’d left an impression on, he appeared as if summoned…

On the glorious night that Portugal beat England in the worlds best played soccer game, Madeira Island celebrated in unison and I went home early. In the entrance to my apartment, a large dog surprised me with a jump. The owner clearly distressed immediately grabbed back and repeatedly told me that he didn’t bite. From the complaints of scared neighbours of mine that had described the dog at the last apartment meetings, I concluded that this was the big dog that had scared the old lady in Block A who on seeing the him, dropped all her groceries and ran down the stairs into the garages. Having two massive Labradors back home, “Dog” (yes that’s his name), didn’t scare me and the owner couldn’t believe that I simply grabbed the dogs face and started petting him. I congratulated him on his furry friend and told him about the two I’d left back home. I couldn’t resist accepting his invitation and joined him in taking Dog for a walk. Whilst Dog took the both of us for a walk, conversation swayed from the soccer game to dogs, the weather, music and eventually conversation became more focused on each other.

There are people that you acquaint with for years, but never become someone you could consider as “special”. Then there are people that become a priceless memory within minutes of meeting them. That night I sat together with a stranger and a dog until four in the morning talking about each other. We swapped the scarves the each of us wore and only ended our conversation because both of us had work the next day. Although we did not exchange phone numbers we both expressed the will to see each other once more even though it would have to be the work of fate for our paths to cross once again considering he was walking Dog for a friend on vacation. Being married to a jealous wife, I was asked to feign recognising him, should we ever see each other on the street and even though I live on an island, I wasn’t expecting to ever run into him again.

I ran into him last week after an unpleasant visit to the bank. I ran into the nearest coffee shop and asked for a quick sandwich. Distracted as I am, it’s a surprise when I actually notice someone I know walk by me so it was amazing that I recognised the face that walked out the coffee place as the face that introduced me to Dog. Remembering his request I walked past and winked thinking that he’d probably not remember my face after almost two months since our encounter. The expression on his face was priceless: from the doubtful look, to the registering on his face and then to a smile that stretched from ear to ear. I knew that he recognised me for sure and although he couldn’t greet me whilst surrounded by his friends, I knew that his attention span belonged solely to me as I ate my lunch.

“It’s you! I can’t believe it’s you! I’m so happy it’s you! Do you have any idea how much I wanted it to be you!”. I tried to put my thoughts in order whilst being tightly hugged. It seemed my guardian angel had heard the doubts in my heart and had placed the right person in my path to give me some answers. I listened as he spilled his heart in a speech that had obviously been repeated in his mind many times in the last two months. “You gave me so much to think about that night we met… you made such a big change in my life… gave me the courage… encouraged me to believe in myself… do you realise how much you mean to me?…” I stared opened-mouthed listening to the things I’d always wanted someone to say to me. Like any other human being, it is very important to me to know what I mean or meant to someone else and we always hope for a positive and meaningful answer. I can’t say that I did or said anything out of the ordinary that night that I met him to have him feel the way he does and it amazed me that just as I’d touched his life that night, he touched mine by sharing that knowledge with me. It occurred me that we often make the mistake of thinking that another person knows how we feel about them without us telling them, and only by telling them do we truly connect to their souls. For those who are curious, I didn’t give him my number and we might not cross paths again but I kept my only promise I made to him when we met… he asked me not to forget his name.

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