January rushed past, the warmth of the sun shone through the haze but faith dwindled; the flicker of belief illuminating bright on some days, dispelling any doubt, lost its lustre on other days, darkness sabotaging the wick of hope. February seemed like a daze, the tempest raged and grew monstrous damaging my sanity, my thinking. Your smile, your phone call, your messages would dissipate it all while your disappearance would ignite the storm. They all said it is perfectly clear. They advised. They said come out of it. Did you wish that of me as well? You had later mentioned, assumptions, assumptions. But don’t assumptions follow what one senses, what one perceives, what one observes? They may be ill-founded, but the heart, the mind don’t know that. Sleepless, helpless, dazed, broken, I wrote an email, the last, pouring out all my thoughts, that I will maintain a distance and fade away if this what you want, that I take with me fondness, a time that can never be recreated, that I shall save you the trouble.
Anxious for a reply the entire day, a parting note may be, I asked of you only to learn that you had been avoiding me, without much of an avail, to prevent a heart-break, inevitable you imagined, that I would trample your heart some day for you were falling for me. Despair rushed into my heart, guilt charred me in its flames, I begged, I pleaded, I beseeched to you, to meet, to talk, to allow me to restore your broken heart, to seal it with chards of my broken heart. I tried, in vain. You remained curt, mentioned you needed time, that all of it was overwhelming for you, that it was my assumptions, that you are a mess and do not wish to sign up for anything. If only you could see through my assumptions, if only you could see through all of it. A week went by in appalling silence, depression took the better of me. Seeking professional help, I made an attempt, advised that I was, to see your perspective, to appreciate your point of view. I have been trying but you remain distant, formal. And here I am on the threshold of a perplexed state, must I pursue what grows elusive every second, must I give up or must I let time take over? I do not know. Time, I tell myself, broken that I am. I shall, however, continue, to be around you, attempting, with a vigour slowly draining out, until I fade away, unless time intervenes or heals.
It is rather disconcerting, mildly amusing, how sudden changes change the direction of life, how everything that follows the change is different from what one had hitherto imagined. Stealthily the shadows of change creep behind an unsuspecting soul, swiftly turn around and envelop her in their opaque cloaks of anguish, surprise and dilemma, pushing her into a whirlpool of thoughts; and when the cloak thins out life changes forevermore. So have I have had my soul, my body tossed and turned, pushed and buoyed in this whirlpool that lives within me, that surrounds me. The forces promise to diminish one night and strengthen the next morning. I have not been able to zero in on any event, any conversation or any action that led to it. Baffled and questioning their uproar, I continue each day.
I still check my phone, with diminishing fervour, at frequent intervals for a message from you. Every given time my phone rings, my heart leaps, imagining it is you. But the waves of hope crash over empty rocks and ebb away into nothingness. I know I will be back to being myself, enveloped in my solitude, safe, but, contrary to the theory of elasticity of the heart, I shall for a very long time never be able to love again if this is what love is.
All I wish for is that you remember me with fondness if and when you think of me. Were you to ask me, I shan’t forget your smile, your warmth, your green blanket, coffee in the mornings, tea in the evenings, your white ceramic dishes, the poster of Meryl Streep in your study, the faint scent of detergent on your clothes, the warmth of your body, the white and blue patterned sheets, your touch, your laughter, South Indian for dinner, your fingers running through my hair, scratching your back, snuggling up against you, your arms around me, waking up to your smell, our song ‘Big Jet Plane’.
Robert had done her no wrong; he had told her no lie; it was she that was to blame, if anyone was. What bitterness her mind distilled should and would be poured on her own head. She had loved without being asked to love – a natural, sometimes an inevitable chance, but big with misery.
Now what was she to do? To give way to her feelings, or to vanquish them? To pursue him, or to turn upon herself? If she is weak, she will try the first expedient – will lose his esteem and win his aversion; if she has sense, she will be her own governor, and resolve to subdue and bring under guidance the disturbed realm of her emotions. She will determine to look on life steadily, as it is; to begin to learn its severe truths seriously, and to study its knotty problems closely, conscientiously.
‘Shirley’, Charlotte Bronte
Image Source: Adele, ‘Someone Like You’