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“Chase” – Nayana Nair

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I came here knowing that you would be here as well,
knowing that you won’t like to see me here
or anywhere.
But I have been always good at not seeing the truth.
So as I put on the dress I wore when I first met you
I told myself – if you hate me, resent me for showing up,
it is because you have not forgotten me yet;
if you avoid me it is because you know you would love me again.

The distance has dulled all the pain that I felt with you
and I prepare myself
to dive again into the turmoil, the feelings
that result from seeking you out again.

But as I enter this room
this crowd that knows our history
can’t decide whether to get us closer or to keep us apart.
No one says your name around me, even though you are in front of me
and I wonder, how long it has been since you have heard my name as well.

I have taken a step
and now
I have to wait for you to take the next.
Would it have been easier for me
if you could just utter the word ‘end’,
instead of avoiding me like this.
As the hour I have allowed myself to be shameless ends,
as I wonder how will I ever make my way out of this world of yours,
I feel the air beside me shift
I feel the old me waking up in myself again.
But it is not you.
You have already left.
I realize the end I could never imagined
exists,
that a ‘you’ without me exists.
That I must find a new way to exist now.

“Notifications” – Nayana Nair

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It seems I have another friendship to celebrate today
even though
you-who is supposed to be my friend
is nowhere to be seen in the recent calls or messages,
nowhere in the list of people who wish me luck
and bless me on my birthday they don’t remember.
But isn’t friendship more than just
remembering certain dates.
I know that, so it doesn’t matter to me,
so I can let go of such minor details
and not be offended by what you don’t do.
Frankly I also have forgotten so much about you
that even when I am reminded of you
I do not feel much for what we are and how we have ended up.
And I think just like me
you also became aware of my existence
only because of this automated message.
But this is a world where we don’t have to cut ties
to keep distance,
a world where such distance doesn’t necessarily imply
negative feelings or history.
And this grayness of everything that doesn’t go away
even if I am ready look over it.
This grayness that we are prompted to maintain and celebrate
is what is ridiculous to me
and is what makes me sad.

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