the last time anyone saw you

you turned with a smile and a lighthearted wave

we were satisfied with the explanation that you made

you kicked off your muddy sandals and

we never saw you again

now it rains and it snows

the seasons come

then they go

no sign of you

not even a mention

something else has gotten the media's attention

even i,who was supposed to be your best friend

(till the end remember?)

vaguely think of you as

the ghost of a past

that has ended at last

(i have my problems too,

dont think i'd waste my life looking for you)

i was elated when i found you

on an elevator riding up

i smiled and laughed and asked you

'hey whats up?'

and you looked at me like a phantom

like a whisper in the night

and asked

'i know you,right?'

as if to make sure i wasnt a deranged maniac

my eyes glazed over

like a dullard

like a drunkard that had way too much to drink

and i asked with a scowl

'well what the hell do you think?'

indignant that you would ask that question after we shared our share of bloody knees

you simply shrugged neither pissed nor pleased

then i realized that you were no longer the same

even though you shared

the same face and the same name

you were wandering in a dream

'mucking it'

in obscure

regions of your mind

and my name and face couldnt stand the test of time

then i felt lonely all of a sudden

like i was simply sharing the elevator with a stranger

you didnt care

you simply continued looking up at all the numbers

seeing when your floor came

(then i almost cried becuase you even acted the same!)

and i tried my luck again

and told you my name

then i saw a flicker of acknowledgement

a burst of shame

when you smiled and said

it didnt register in your brain

and then your smile was hollow

the floor shifted under your feet

your face was a shadow

and our hands couldnt meet

i felt like shaking you

waking you from the dream

making you remember

ripping you at the seams

it was like someone erased you

the thing that held me back from embarking on this grievous task

(you know,making you remember,making you remove the mask?)

was the time that had past

the memory of a day on a beach

the sun shone lazily and

the water was out of reach

it had rained the night before

coloring everything in a deep endless grey

and we talked for awhile

and when it was your turn

you said:

'what if i turned up dead?

i was blue

the sky was red

i became a phantom

distant enough to dread'

and i let the wind ruffle my hair

sharp rocks screaming up at me when i decided to reply

'i will surely miss you the day you die

and if you mean if metaphorically,

as in, your living life like a shell

i'll assume you did it to escape your personal hell'

and you smiled and said:

'indeed, if i was alive but different, if i ran away

i suppose,it'll be because

i fled

and i should say

the only thing

i'd want you to do for me,is weep

and treasure my memory

but never undig the past

becuase if a pain was too much to bear

and i had to hide

i''d think hiding in myself is my right

and if a disappear

and show up later

a shadow of a shell

disappeared inside my hell

i would hope never to regain memories of the past

in the end it would only hurt more

and once you stop being you,

your not the same you anymore'

so i breathed deep

it was all i could do to keep the sadness out

the the only thing that stopped me before i decided to weep

i smiled sadly on this elevator

that kept going up

and realized i hadnt press the button to my floor

so i reached across

and accidently brushed your hand

i stopped cold

as i hit ice

and wondered if you were not a ghost standing in front of me

i quickly pressed my floor

and upon leaving the elevator

i realized you werent the same as i knew you to be

and you probably what i thought you to be before

that the day you left

was the day you stopped being you anymore