It was like magic running the highlighter, the bright crayon over the sepia hands of her. She didn’t complain or cry as we ruined another photograph of hers, as we tried to hide the evidence of her failed love, our failing life.
We cut her out, moved her away from the one who looked like us. We placed her side of story, her half of heart in the albums. Albums that felt lighter now that the responsibility to remember only the good, its difficulty was no longer our business.
We shredded few faces of his, few others we drowned in ink. His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves, the reasons of all the hurting words we learned so fast.
After we ruined everything for good we stared at each other, and saw the tears we should’t be having in us. This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel. Why? Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done? Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?
I planted the idea of a happy family, a happy tomorrow, into the eyes of my mother with breaking tips of my pencils against her granite eye lashes.
I told her the story about the boy who is ever so sad because his parents didn’t care enough, who weeps on his empty birthdays, who weeps into my heart. I tell her I am not so fine myself. Maybe she didn’t hear me clearly, cause she didn’t stop her daily charade of writing her “the last letter”.
I cleared her bed, her table, her words, her being from the perfectly modeled replica of world in my mind. I showed her, “Look, this is how I will look with you gone. Look, look at what you must not do to me.”
She pulled me close, and held my hand for a bit too long, a bit too tenderly as if letting me know, telling me “Look, this is how I look when I am alive. Look, look at me pouring out of myself, dragging my feet even till the end. Look, look at what I can no longer live as.”
And I stood there for a long time, slowly understanding things I possibly couldn’t. I stood there for a long time, till my mom’s face was replaced by that of the ever so sad boy as he held me, letting me cry into him for the hundredth time.
I drowned the flowers one by one. The poison of beauty now runs through the rivers on this land, they fill his backyard in every season of rain. A child with his smile drowns another boat of dreams, the flood is a field of paper, the flood is all that is left of me. She stares into me, waiting for a reflection to surface. She walks into me to see where I end.
She tells me about the boy she can’t love and the boy she can’t blame as I dissolve and submerge the red gates of her house, the garden of forgiveness, her school shoes, all roads to her friend who doesn’t smile back anymore, the spoons that remind her of hunger for farthest worlds and people.
She asks me how deep will be this pain of losing herself, how long she would have to smile through this hate. I flow into her heart, wondering, if there I could turn back to the flower I was, if the end of my hate could be the end of her pain. If I could be her answer of hope.
When I speak of what I thought my life would be like, what I still want to be if I was not dying in my skin, they give me a funny look as if I am seeing things.
And frankly I am seeing the only things that give me hope. I am aware of their imaginary status and how separated by time they are from my life.
But I wish instead they would just smile along as if I am a child who speaks of ten professions in one breath and not remind me how I am losing out in life as a woman just because I am trying to breathe as my dream once in a while.
years from now i hope my living room has a space for a lovely piano. i hope my fingers would play something beautiful on it. that here i would smile and not know of the passing time. that i would learn to love my walls as much as the world that stands on the other side. as my child misses me, cries for me, tries to keep me alive when i am not, i hope she feels this music she can’t hear, i hope she sees the future i couldn’t finish living, i hope she knows that my warmth is more than my skin and my blood running under it.
In every country, in every city, on every street stands a home that could have been ours. I am a daydreamer like that As I passed the house with an always crying child, as I passed the house with the overwhelming smell of incense, as I passed the house with singing reality shows played on repeat I only thought of the life we could have there. In my mind, we fit every house, we fit every role. Even if our body was stripped of every muscles and every bone even if we put back together the wrong way, even if we our heart were to be rearranged, in my mind we would still fall in love. That is how we had molded the spirit of our love- to be stubborn (if not right or just). But now there are years when I don’t remember you, and yet there is no sadness in me that is capable of ruining me. You are gone and I am trying to grieve for something I don’t particularly miss. As I pass the houses where our stories used to be staged I realize they are again the buildings of strangers that I am supposed to keep my mind away from. My sadness selfishly keeps uttering, “I need to love someone, someone who won’t do this to me. I need to love someone, to believe in love again.” I reach home with bloody nails and bruised fingers leaving behind bricks with our names scratched out.
twenty-six steps away from the cold end, we stand together as if we are both looking at a foe we must defeat together. a child passes us by with a yellow balloon. how misplaced it seems, this child in this place made of storms.
this is something i don’t want to do. our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake while the mother in me would summon the face of this child as a hope of what i could have had if I could endure a little bit more.
an invisible small hand curls around my fingers as your voice falters and you mess up our last song. the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived. so i put back the sweater on and you check the calls you must return as the ones who intend to live on only do.
I have heard many say that blue is saddest color. But what I find more sad is how almost everyone I know knows how to imagine/recall a sadness at the mention of this color.
I imagine this- all of us, millions of us standing in one huge room and someone mentioning this color, this harmless color.
I imagine our collective sadness, our collective agony. I imagine an innocent kid, among us, trying to picture a clear blue sky, but not knowing why even the skies feel heavy on his heart today.
I feel sad for people like me, for the child in us who tries, puts effort to take everything in stride, to move forward, to see the world as it is, while every other cell in our body wants to give up, while every part of us is adamant to call this blue ‘sad’.
as i get inside the crowded bus, a phone rings. a ringtone just like yours.
has the world shrunk to the size of the tragedy we created, that i find you like this?
i know it is not you, but it could be. so i do not turn back. it could be you, so i try not to cry.
this is not where walking away or breaking clean should lead to. at least not back to you. at least not like this. not on the day i finally felt that i could move toward a new happiness.
why did you come back? to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good? to tell me no one can love something like me? to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours? to check if my skin remembers your anger? to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?
why did you come back, when you don’t even want me?
hiding my smile when you walk towards me talking your name, just because i can (just to make sure that i can). feeling like a child when you call my name back. interrupting the meaningful silence with pointless debates, pretending to sulk, acting cute, being happy to act like idiots for once. wasting away time, walking towards nowhere because that is what we do.
painting each other again till we get it right. loving in every way possible. trying to become the love that cannot be forgotten. sweet words, sad past, family tree in red ink, lost friends, lost innocence fill our time. reliving the past that we suffered alone in each other’s presence. finding meaning in destiny, agreeing with god’s plan, begging for a day more of this, this happiness that fills us with dread and hope of being understood.
waking at midnight, hiding my body that you have killed for the day. waking at noon, looking for you, giving you second chances. getting back only one word reply- ‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’. waking up again and again. going to sleep again and again. murmuring your bitter name in my sleep with tears i won’t remember.
silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics silence – avoiding fights silence – nursing wounded ego silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort) silence – being handed the list of shortcomings silence – being handed ultimatums silence – having nothing to talk silence – feeling lonely silence – ‘love’ has left the chat
waiting at cafes that sell drinks which taste like the mass-produced dreams that make your heart burn and everything with chocolate as a cheap therapy, as they play breakup songs on repeat to normalize the pain of every kind.