Stay

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It will never be easy enough to let go of your memories. One shard, one tiny piece will always remain. In my heart, in my diaries, in poems, in my conscience. It will always, always feel like it was just yesterday when it all went wrong, I will always remember that one night where you just threw us away, because of just one simple misunderstanding. When has love, friendship, hatred ever been easy? If it were, all the prose and poetry would burn in the ashes and would probably be all about how Apocalypse will take us all away one day. But you never gave me a chance to make you see what you had assumed. You never let me jostle you and make you see the light, make you see that, no, I never wanted to burn you, I always wanted to keep you warm. Always.

It’s just as hard as that night, still. After, all the places I went with a different set of people, who never mentioned you. But I always missed you. Between jokes, between gossip, between everything. You see, you were my connect to the world I once loved. You were the reason I wanted to live in a world where selfishness overtook breathing for a priority.

I always try though, to not to talk about you, to not meet your eye, to not be in the same room as you. But how long do I resist my wanton need for you? Your skin, your touch, your smile, your cries, how can I not want them? How can I not wrap your sweater around my body in the hot May summer and cry relentlessly?

Come back, and stay. Even if it’s a goodbye 5 minutes later, but, stay. Please.

 

 

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Holding Hands

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“Is it getting better?”

“What?”

“You know… all this.” He hesitates for a while. He has to measure and weigh his words like he never had to do before. I sense what he is talking about. It’s all in front of me like thin air. Still, hoping he’d change the topic, I ask him.

“All this includes what exactly?”

 

He doesn’t speak, just raises his eyebrows. His eyebrows form this perfect arch. You’d think it’s his smirk accompanying look but it isn’t. It’s the what-is-this look, it’s his are-you-kidding-me look, but right now it’s I-am-begging-you-to-understand-my-wordless-helplessness look.

It’s all it has come down to. Helplessness, complete loss of control over anything small and everything big.

Coming back to his eyebrows, his thick brown eyebrows, if you look at them upside down, it’s his grin, only hairier if you completely put in a smile’s perspective. That is how I recreate his smile these days. I don’t get to see him smile often nowadays.

“Raising your eyebrows to sea level won’t help Yash, please put it in words for me.”

“Fine. How are you dealing with.. *A little fumbling* me.” It’s a question I have no answer to. It’s been a while I sit on the bedside, silently crushing my pillow in sweaty fists.

“I don’t know, and I don’t like not knowing.”

“Stop quoting Sherlock to me and answer the question please.”

“You still get my references or have you recently watched it again.” If nothing else, I know how to dodge questions like a pro. It’s surprising how I have mastered the art.

“You are changing the subject, I’m reducing 2 minutes off our time.”

Our time. Something we both, no, it was just me. Something that I came up with. Rushing between everything, I need assurance that I’ll get that fixed time at the end of a miserable, crushing day or night with him. It’s what my part sanity has to thank for. I have 23 minutes left with him now and I have to stop dodging now. Really hate this part.

“I don’t know what to tell you Yash, I don’t have an answer and when I have one, I’ll tell you I promise.”

“No, you have to, right now. You have 20 more minutes left. And I have to go, don’t keep me tied up here in your indecisive shit.” He is not being rude, he is doing this on purpose.

“You can go, I am not keeping you here, you come down every night.” I shudder at the fake confidence I had mustered to tell him to go, but I am scared to think what if he does go.

“You have to let me go. YOU have to.” He emphasizes on “let me go”. Like he does every night. But I can’t seem to “let you go”. How do I tell him that him leaving was not something I chose, he was just gone, in a moment. Poof! I never got the goodbye I should’ve. I was never done laughing at his bad puns. I was still waiting for our fight list to tally at 20 fights we both initiated, I being in lead at 16 and he, long behind at 7. I still haven’t spoken. There are just cold tears in my eyes which never fall until he leaves. 18 minutes until he leaves.

“Yash, look, I’ll get better.” I lie, eventually. “We all do, I just need my time.”

“We are short on that.”

“I know.”

“I am tired of this now Vedika. We need to stop this. I am gone. Please stop looking for me everywhere you go. This cannot go on, and even if it does, it’s wrong.” He tells me this every night. All the nights of the last three months.

“But I miss you”

“You have to stop missing me. Accept the fact that I, in fact, am missing. And it’s a blank you can’t ever fill.” His eyebrows aren’t arched anymore, the helpless face is fading and I know it’s time.

He fades away slowly, a wordless promise to return eminent between us.

I don’t know how many months will it take me to stop asking him for those 25 minutes. Maybe till the time every petal covering your picture on the wall gives up and falls. Maybe that’s when I’ll give up. And I’ll fall too.

Sparkling Darkness

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“Are you afraid of the dark?”

“Yes”

“Why?”

“It’s all blank.”

“But does a blank page scare you then?”

“No, it doesn’t.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s white”

“And black scares you?”

“It’s not seeing anything that scares me the most.”

“But you can’t see anything on a perfectly white paper too”

“It’s different.”

“Tell me how.”

“White can take in colours, black, takes up the white. It’s consuming, it hides beauty. Like an eclipse.
White resembles peace whereas black resembles death.”

“But black is your favourite colour.”

“Because I couldn’t have possibly known how beautiful the sunlight can be. How, it’s so breath taking to finally see a full moon in all it’s glory. All the stars we so rarely ever see, would be of no use if there was no darkness.”

“But nights are not the only phenomenon one associates darkness with.”

“I associate secrets, love and demons with darkness. I am only tormented by my demons at night or when I am in a dark room or when I was drowned in the pool or when I was molested by my first boyfriend.

My deepest secrets only come out on my skin as cuts when it’s dark. I can’t see how deep they are how they are covered with blood patches at every inch’s gap.

Love is what I think of and wail at night, when I am in my hostel and the lights go out due to some electric failure. I wail at the thoughts of my incapability of reserving some love for me and showering it on the wrong people all along.”

“It’s nice that you can so expressively give words to your demons.”

“Nothing’s nice about this. I’ve mentally taken a note of possibly opening up to the wrong person again.”

“But, only this time, it’s not the wrong person.”

“That’s something I’ve heard on loop over the years.”

“But you are just sixteen.”

“The darkness of living doesn’t ask your age before engulfing you, it just does.”

 

 

 

20 Days

Everyone is sound asleep. Silently breathing. The night lamps alight in distance, somewhere round the corner. I can see the pillar casting a shadow. The watchman is patrolling.

That’s how a normal person would describe a typical night at 3 am.

But it’s not so easy for us. We lay here. I lay here wide awake and you are sleeping beside me. It’s so easy for you to fall asleep. I wish it were so easy for me too. I sit here, on our bed, flipping the side lamp switch. But I am not here, I don’t know where I am. Its someplace distant. Somewhere where my past is, the beautiful yet painful past. Or am I dreaming about our future? Where you and I could go back to being us. But it doesn’t matter if I am stuck in a reverse or a forward, I’ll be content living in either one of them, rather than the present. The present is not what the past was made of, of what promises we made in the past. Its hollow, suffocating, confining and it keeps getting worse. It’s not getting better. The last twenty days tell me where we are and how we can’t walk together anymore.

It’s been twenty days since we last talked to each other, well, pretended that we were talking to each other. Maybe, no words can damage us more than the silences already have. I can’t reminiscence what we talked about, which doesn’t happen to me. I remember every word you ever spoke, every heartbeat that my hands felt while I blissfully slept on your chest.

Nineteen days since we had dinner together. We like to pretend that you are busy at work and come home after you’ve ate and I, fulfill my end by still waiting at dinner table with at least one of your favorite dishes. You walk past the table and call me to bed. Tears well up easy and subside just as easily. We are whiling away something so pure with something so made up.

Eighteen days since I’ve cried. Poured my heart out in front of you. And you just sat there, asking me to tell you what the fuck was wrong with me. How can I tell you something that I don’t know the answer to? How can I assure you on something I’ve been unsure of since what seems like eternity. It doesn’t matter if you keep asking me, if you keep offering me your handkerchief, my heart doesn’t give me my answers.

Seventeen days since I smiled. I can’t find anything to smile at these days. Not the stupid reality shows, not the kids who giggle outside our house. Nothing is amusing, nothing gives me happiness. How can it, my happiness is you. And you are gone, you are so distant, I can’t reach out to you.

Sixteen days since we last held hands. It was raining that day and our car had broken down in the middle of the road. You walked ahead of me, my hands knotted in yours, resilient than ever. Like we had promised we would, wherever either one of us would go, the other would follow. Follow me back to that place darling, that moment is still ours, we just need to recapture it.

Fifteen days since we had a row. I don’t mind fighting with you. It just calms me down. It is settling to know that there’s still something we have left which was worth fighting for. Let’s fight for us honey, let’s not give up. Maybe we are still worth fighting for. Don’t abandon us just yet.

Fourteen days since I saw you laugh. I can’t let go of those 10 seconds, it’s my something beautiful. Something I am holding on tight to. You put half my demons to rest that day and I could finally sleep. The other half, woke me up after 4 hours. But I don’t mind, I got to breathe beside you, to sleep beside you.

Thirteen days since I got to know that we were having a baby. I should’ve been happy, it’s something you gave me, something I can keep for life. But I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t want to share something so pure with something like us. Something destroyed and hopeless like us.

Twelve days since I’ve slept. I wander the halls, reliving all the moments we shared since we got married. How you picked me up in your arms and i smiled the brightest, the two beautiful years of love this house saw. It’s not a home anymore, it’s a house. Our love made it our home. Neither lasted as long as it should have. It’s just bricks and mud now.

Eleven days since I’ve cut myself. It liberates me, unshackles me from my misery. It pulls me out of the gloom that has surrounded me. If I drain my pain through my wrists, will you love me again? Just like you promised you would. Hold my hand once again honey, I swear the scars will heal.

Ten days since your friends came over and we feigned love. The love that’s been long lost. I yearn that love. Don’t you? Let’s pretend if we have to, let’s be the happy couple that we pretended to be that night. Let’s find a few seconds of calm in these days of chaos.

Nine days since our anniversary. You bought a ring for me. A sparkling solitaire. You got down on one knee and proposed to me. The dream was beautiful, contrasting to our harsh reality. The dreams are comforting, I fall asleep balled up on the couch, unlike our last anniversary. There were roses then, it’s just a wide field of thorns now.

Eight days since you made love to me. I wouldn’t call it making love. It was just sex. The passion, the warmth, the fierceness no longer defined it. It was just two bodies entwined, sans the barriers of clothes. Don’t you see the scars, not even now? Maybe they are hiding, hiding from the one who gave them to me.

Seven days since you woke up beside me. Happiest day so far. You wished me good morning with a kiss, a fervourless, customary kiss and made tea for me. I wish you’d sit beside me and nuzzle my neck like you used to. I wish you’d come back, come back to me.

Six days since I told you about our baby. You hugged me so tight I almost stopped breathing with happiness. You smile like a thousand sun rays just dawned on my face. Are we fixed? Are we back to being us? I must be hallucinating.

Five days since you kissed me goodbye. It feels like you are not a delusion anymore, it really is you. It really is us. This might be short-lived but I’ll still cherish every second of it and hope that the next isn’t the last one.

Four days since you talked to our baby. It feels so nice to feel your hands on me again. It’s satiating. It’s substantial. It’s filling.

Three days since you slipped away. You are distant and aloof again. Don’t do that to me, don’t let us fall prey to the silences again. Talk to me, I am here and so is our baby, hold on to us.

Two days since I have taken my meds. It’s for our baby, I should’ve taken. But if there’s  no us, no ours, it’s all in my dreams, in my nightmares. It’s all that is left now, I can only envision what was reality once.

A day since I’ve made peace with the lose broken strings our relationship is hanging from. It’s so surreal, how did we get here? I still can’t help asking myself.

And here I am, on the 21st night of our dead, fake reality. Insomnia still overpowering me, I leave this letter by your bedside, I leave your bedside. We don’t belong on each other sides anymore, we don’t define each other anymore.So, dear husband, I am letting go my insecurities that held me down for so long, I am letting go of the lies I had led myself to believe in. I am setting you free, I am leaving the baggage behind.

Let Go

You should let go now. He is never coming back. She is never coming back.

They, are never coming back.

It’s just a matter of time you find new people and maybe they’ll stick around, maybe they won’t. If they don’t you’ll have to let them go. It doesn’t matter if you put in your 100%, maybe sometimes if it’s your boyfriend/ girlfriend, you put in 200%. But what does that amount to? Leaving. With exceptional excuses, sometimes explicit blaming.

They’ll do that and you won’t because that’s what differentiates your principles from them.

You might want to think that maybe if you put in a little more effort, with that best friend who wouldn’t talk to you anymore like they used to. But it won’t change anything, you are just dragging your friendship, the dead relationship whose funeral you are not ready to attend. It’s alright, can’t tell you to rush it. But can tell you to see things.

They’ll tell you, inexplicably, you are overthinking, you are just upset over something that has nothing to do with the fact that they are not the person they used to be. They don’t text you the same way you used to. When this point is made, they’ll refute. They’ll either laugh at you with something like “Should I text you the same things every day?” and there you are with absolutely nothing. No rest to your thoughts, no closure.

Then other aspect, they might leave you there with your doubts and never talk to you. That’s for the better actually but we know how worse it makes things for us. Focus? Gone. Energy? Gone. The positivity? Gone.

It’s all gone. They take it with them, and there you are with broken self-esteem and probably 12 cuts on your wrist and a couple of more somewhere else hiding under you clothes. It’s all part of the “I chose the wrong person package” and no matter how badass or confident or strong you are you are always left in a phase of overthinking  and self-doubt and the cuts are the bonus not everyone gets.

For the revival part is even more horrendous than you think it would be. Firstly, you are either going to act like you don’t give a shit, but darling, you do and you know it. Or the other way round, you cry your heart out, and time doesn’t make it better, you’ll be struggling to breathe and muffling your screams in your pillow.

Finally when acceptance come and you gain some control over your crying and cutting and hurting, you are still hopeful. Maybe they’ll come back, maybe they’ll miss me someday when something about me is brought up, maybe they’ll just call to wish me on my birthday. But they won’t. Because you never mattered. Never. Maybe for a couple of days when they were enhancing their “varieties of humans we’ve screwed” rack. Nice hobby for people, I must say.

Second phase, you’ll start hanging out with newer people. Not because you are necessarily weak, but because you can’t face the person or you can’t stand the person, either way, the moving on phase has been initiated.  A little tip, don’t go back to the person. It’s just like reading and old novel over again and you know how that ends. It’s hurtful. And you were stupid enough to go back there even then. But that’s okay. Every one of us relapses. All the time.

There’ll be a time when you done with the phase two, could take days, could take months. No one knows the ideal time.

But once you start to let go, it’s a bit simplifying. For your soul, for your life.

So let go, dear. They are never coming back.

Dancing In The Rain

Holding you by your hands I urge you to come forward. The scent makes my head swirl with a new found feeling which only you can define. You say you don’t like the rain. I laugh at that, the kind of laughter that people save for their best friends, their close ones, their soulmates. I wonder now, what made it so easy, why didn’t my heart urge me to hold it back. I might have tried to fit you in one of the usual categories, but you are not the usual for me.

After your countless refusals, I manage to drag you into the ground, your feet soaking in the wet mud, the little puddles now starting to form. You look annoyed but you aren’t, you are enjoying, maybe a little, but enjoying nonetheless, just won’t admit it. Why wouldn’t someone admit if they feel home somewhere and that somewhere is not home? That somewhere could be right here, a person, looking right back at you with the biggest of smiles they can manage.

You are soaked wet, you don’t wish to dance with me. You find it “too childish”. Why don’t you embrace the child inside you. Oh yes, you claim to be all grown up, you are going to college this year. Who set these norms down? I find these norms “childish”.

I dance anyway, you look at me with a look I don’t recognise. Maybe I do. It’s a look that I don’t recognise on you. The way I look at the world with your existence, the way I look at you like you are the most prized possession I have in this entire galaxy, the way you look at your lifeline. I must be stupid, why’d you look at me like that? Why would the extraordinary example of the word extraordinary look at something so ordinary like me. It must be the rain, the water must’ve clouded my vision, the heady scent of you and the mud hindering my senses.

I continue the jump in the puddles that are ready to be splashed in the most wonderful way. I skip from puddle to puddle and there you stand your arms folded over your chest and you are no longer laughing just like you were minutes back, you are not shaking with laughter. I stop in the middle of the jump I was just about to complete and land into the puddle nearest to you. I lose balance and ready to fall head first into the muddy ground.

You catch me before I land head first in the mud, but you lose balance with me and fall right where I was supposed to be half a second back. You take me along with you. I don’t feel the pain of my hurt nose, I want you to be okay. Just like you want to breathe every second and protect your life. How’d you become as precious as my life. Maybe you are my life now. Just maybe.

We are both wiping mud of each other’s face and laughing through are partly muddy teeth. The mud doesn’t make you look any less beautiful than you already are. It’s just as the leaves fallen from the tree during spring. They are gorgeous even when they are no longer a part of the tree. You don’t need a tree to complete you, you are the tree, you are the leaves, still on the tree and on the ground.

Your white shirt soaked in brown is no more white, I joke about it and you comment on my sea green dress. You tell me how I am more like algae in the stagnant water. Just like your stagnating presence. I am neither green, nor brown. I want you to complete my green or my brown, I am incomplete without your fallen leaves.

We head inside, there’s no change of clothes for you. You just head back to the shower and appear in my big jumper, which fits you completely. Just like you fit my life completely. You fill all the spaces in my life full of baggy jumpers.

I take out a towel for you to dry your hair, you might catch a cold. You take the towel and start drying your hair. You tell me to get one for myself and I head back to the closet, I get another towel and I don’t see you. Were you gone to change or you didn’t like the rain all too much?

I see you just at that second. You made tea for yourself. You apologise that you didn’t make for me and I don’t mind. Why would I? You are my tea, all the warmth I might get from tea, all the soothing that tea might give.

You get another cup and we share the tea you made. Hundred things I could list that were wrong with the tea and just as that thought crosses my mind you say that yourself. You call it the worst drink you’ve ever tasted and I laugh along. Boy, would I love your mistakes.

We finish our tea quietly. Me, too happy and sated, you, on the other hand, too embarrassed. I get up and take our cups to the kitchen. You drag me back, you tell me to stay right there and the cups and the kitchen can wait. Of course they can, for you, anything could. I sit there and I look into your eyes, hesitant. What if you are uncomfortable, would I make you uncomfortable. Midst that soliloquy, you look into my eyes. The soul baring gaze that you have. Oh darling, I’d bare my soul to you this moment and you can keep it forever. Would you keep it though? Just don’t crush it, it’s in your hands. You inch nearer to me, just like I had always dreamed you would, is it still a dream? Can be, you are dream perfect. Dream perfect to me. You wipe the mud off my forehead and plant a little baby kiss there. And I turn red, so red that you laugh and you kiss me on the mouth, our first kiss. Better than my dreams, best at reality.

You pull back, still inches away from my lips, our noses touching just like our souls. I can hear nothing but your breathing and you pull me up against you and say,

“Let’s dance in the rain”.

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