An Ode to Augustus Waters
Once upon a time, I met the Gus to my Hazel.
Like Gus, he wasn’t your typical, cute, boy next door. But I knew he was cute even from the first glance. Like Gus, I saw him first in a club meeting and I had thought then, “If I will not end up with this person, I don’t think I ever want to get to know him.”
He and I hit it off, almost immediately as Hazel and Gus did. Almost like old friends, we talked about our favorite movies, our favorite books and the songs we listened to at that moment. No sooner than later did a copy of his favorite book landed upon my lap, and so did mine --- Into the Wild, at that time. Similarly, my Gus uttered words I had to find in the dictionary, as Gus did for hamartia.
Like Gus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster, I talked to this boy until the wee hours of midnight, beyond 1 AM, sometimes as far as 5 AM. We talked about stories of our childhood, the bullies that came into our lives, his stories of falling down from trees, our pictures from our awkward childhood, how we will always be just this two awkward people pretending to be adults most days. Like Gus, he fretted over lost friendships, people forgetting about him and like Hazel, I had cheered for him, because to me, it didn’t matter that I wasn’t liked by a lot of people – it mattered to me that he liked me and that we were a team.
Almost as importantly as it is striking was Gus’ way of making Hazel feel like the world revolved around her, like the earth’s revolution depended on what she was going to say. The way he stopped her mid-sentence to tell her how beautiful she was, or how he doesn’t want to deprive himself the pleasure of looking at someone beautiful and of loving the person because those are simply one of life’s pleasures. Once upon a time, a cute boy looked at me while I swept the floors and moved chairs around and when I saw him, he looked like he was watching the world’s most fascinating broadway show. This was a guy who remembered all my dresses and twirled me around whenever I wore my tutus. Here was someone who found shoes I'd like and clothes he taught would look good on me. Here was the boy who gave me a book of fairytales because I always get confused with them.
Like Gus and Hazel, there were faults in our stars and yet, like Hazel, I fell in love like I fell asleep: slowly and then all the way. We can’t choose who we fall in love with after all and choosing who loves us is never our choice anyway. It mattered that at one point, I knew how it felt to be like a teenager in my young adult life, to be stared at like everything I said made the world a better place, amongst other more important things. I've experienced how it is to be with someone who just doesn't want to to give up when you break up with him multiple times because like Gus, "all your efforts to save you from me will fail."
Through the intensity 10 pain of his death from my life, I knew that it had to happen. I had to go through the privilege of knowing, loving and being hurt by this person’s absence. Like Gus, I liked my choices. I hope he does, too.
*The Fault in Our Stars is showing at cinemas this week. You really should go and see it.
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