I woke up, unable to believe. I was still empty. I had no excitement or anticipation. I simply had the feeling that this was not real. This could not be real. It was too easy. It must be a dream. I thought for sure that I would wake up. Or that something would definitely go wrong and I would end up crying my eyes out. I did end up crying my eyes out but for all the right reasons.
I got up, got ready, packed milk and honey, with my letter in the cover and got on the train in the pouring rain, with the hope that I would be able to feel. With a hope that I would get everything that I have been dreaming about. I wanted to enjoy it, but there was so much going wrong and so I distracted myself. I found Taiwanese vegan food and handmade jewellery and vegan ice cream and second hand books. I really treated myself, with the hope that if anything went wrong, something had already gone right. The hours went by quickly and before I knew it, we were getting on the bus.
On the bus, I felt the tears. With only thirty minutes to go, it began to feel real. It began to feel like I had made it to this moment. I had struggled for those two weeks that I thought were going to be easy. Somehow, though, somehow I managed to keep myself alive. Really, I knew how. I knew it was because of this moment. I fought in that hospital, because of this moment. I fought every time the darkness showed up, because I wanted the light. I wanted the happiness. The dread came back. The dread when the campus was empty. The dread when there was hardly anyone in the lecture theatre. Then we were reassured when they threw us out, so that she could do sound check that she was actually there. I could not do anything in these moments. It was a long wait and I could not think or speak or even cry. I just waited patiently. I waited like the child who has been told to be well-behaved so is sat quietly in the corner, whilst everything inside is screaming. I felt a hurricane of emotions. Excitement and anticipation. An anxiousness and nervousness that comes with waiting. I felt tearful and thankful that this moment has come. I am honestly overjoyed, overwhelmingly happy. That is it. That is the real emotion, the real power. Happiness. Joy. Peace. I am happy.
I was so happy. I clung onto every moment. Nothing could take it away. Nothing could tear me down. It was beautiful and hilarious. Meaningful and so casual. I felt so lucky to be there. I knew why I was here. I knew in every word that I heard. I knew that I was alive, that I was complete. After, the show, she stamped our books, due to her broken hand and we were able to have pictures taken. I handed her my letter, the one that I have been holding onto for months, that I felt compelled to write on that sunny day. I was shaking and I could not stop the tears, I could hardly breathe. All I said was, ‘You are beautiful as well as exquisite. You are both.’ and she said you are beautiful too. I explained that I felt stifled and overwhelmed so I did not know what to say and she said that she understood and from one writer to another that sometimes it is better to write it down. She hid me from the crowds as I cried and made me laugh. It felt like a dream. The very best kind. The kind where you are so happy and nothing can take it away.
I left still clinging to these moments. To all the words. I wrote the entire train ride home. I wrote down all the truths that she had shared. I felt one thing. I felt complete. I felt as though I had achieved something. When you write to people, you post it. This, this I had been holding on to. This letter to Rupi Kaur, with no address. Then two weeks ago, I bought the tickets and I realised my moment would come. I thought that maybe I should rewrite it. It was just on a page out of my notebook, from when I was meant to be studying. I shoved it into an envelope with a poem. I held on and then just like that, I let it go and now I feel complete. That is what she taught me. It is not about the fact that I got to touch a celebrity. It is the words. The words that every survivor needs to hear. Some things they do not end you. Some things you live through and then what. We are taught to hide, we are taught to be ashamed.
That is why I say thank you for milk and honey. Thank you for being the arms that held me as I cried, quite literally this time and the words that will forever continue to soothe my soul, especially on the days when it becomes difficult to see clearly.