Outside my body, outside myself I feel I can be the the girl who walks to a stranger, smiles and asks his name, who keeps her name in her mouth, and doesn’t throw it away along with the chewing gum in the nearest trash can.
Would she hold his hand? I think she would. But even then would she be reminded of the the poem she wrote in seventh grade “the ugliness of people dripping from their hands at nights, holding my breath, crushing my 27 teeth under an unwanted kiss, promising to kill me next time“. Probably not. That poem doesn’t exist in this world, let’s keep reminding ourselves that.
So yes, she holds this stranger a bit more closer than she would have deemed wise if she saw it how I would and she would make promises- the kind lovers makes before they know what love is. He will ask about her life and she will have no sad story to tell. So she would talk about the recent window shopping- the things she can’t have and things she can’t get and she will not be talking in metaphors for once.
For once the one she wants to love wouldn’t be obsessed with the wounds on her skin to love, to treasure, to poke, to mock, to dig down further, to own and to burn. He will probably say something sweet about her smile or maybe something boring about his work and she would smile a bit more in either case. Because she can smile here, in this world, in front of him, without having to think about what his each word might hide, what she is over-looking, what will be the tiny details that will come back to hurt her, what will be the undoing of her heart. She will smile cause she won’t have learned to be hate people beforehand, she wouldn’t have learned to love a bit too late.
She would tell him that he is lovely, and the blush in his cheeks will make her heart skip and she would love him for loving him and not because she is looking for an easy fix to her faltering mind.
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?
“warm” this word has become cold sitting at the base of my throat my throat burns and my everything else? my everything else -my pretty flesh and my ugly insides- who want me to be there and at the same want me gone. i guess they want me to change. this is my new low where my organs are my imaginary friends the only ones Ican talk to, the only ones who need me, the only ones I can disappoint, my new friends who are learning the weariness of living for me. I ask around for a lover who has a love for knives and tolerance for madness of all kinds. I hear a hundred thousand sighs in me when the new replacement of romance appears, asks me my name and digs his sharp canine teeth on the last bits of my happiness as a hello. The hundred folded cranes look more like ravens and the one who promises me an end is now my only hope. Now things are easy now that I can’t hear myself breaking now that I have this strange loud laugh to hide behind, this person stranger than me, taking up the blame of everything I have done, helping me hide from everything that I have killed in my life.
she traced the light on my chest pulled out everything that stung- the swings, my feet, the shadow i decided no longer to play with.
the comparision table of veins and arteries copied into my notebook. the eraser and pencil that helped me document in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.
a page torn, and then another, and then another. pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.
she stayed up nights trying to free me as i stuggled and begged not to empty me. she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean, words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.
so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped. “leave me alone” now hurt me more than her. i opened my eyes and cried for her work was done, now i was no one, now nothing was mine, not even my pain, not even her.
she dusted her cobweb skirt, placed a kiss on my forehead and told me to breathe, breathe in everything that i didn’t think i had the right to.
she told me to breathe and to never forget what suffocation felt like. it helps in becoming kind, she said.
as she wiped clean her traces from my life, i felt better, again i was full. i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out. being full of her, i refused to breathe, because i wanted to keep it that way.
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.
Before knowing the alphabets of your name or mine, I learnt to make you smile. I pluck another flower that makes me sneeze every time but the silly pathetic me smiles as you smile as I crawl to you losing balance, losing something similar to heart, as I dress you up in a mountain of petals I clenched too hard hoping you would never move away from me. How you dozed off as I made myself sick with my ambition. How you were still sleeping as your mother took you in arms brushing away every piece of my care. But it is better than the days I woke up with only the traces of my feelings, my cradle of flowers without you in it.
I wonder ‘me being right’ at what point of time it became synonymous to finding out that his heart is empty- my name washed out by the waves of the other girl. The girl whom he swore is not his type. “I was right”, I said as my hand trembled with anger and then fear as I waited for the reply, for the apology, a missed call from those whom I should not forgive. But the way my heart is breaking if only they would tell me that they still love me I could have held them close to my chest and thought of them as my family, as the blood that I couldn’t part with. I would have learnt to pretend that I was born with a dagger on my back.
I was right, I understood as I saw few more pictures not meant for my eyes. (these days there are so many things that are not meant for my eyes), as I try to digest the unfamiliar rage in his eyes, as he breaks and breaks and breaks every moment we had When I ask him “if should I stay around? if he’d change his mind?” he tells me he doesn’t know his heart and walks out into the night.
When I switch on the TV I almost expect to find my name in red, my body in red laying on the carpet that he loved but had to ruin for a good cause, for a greater love. This me, my death must be side effect of his love. His love is all that matters now. His love is not our love. Our love is an obstacle to the happiness he can almost reach.
She calls me up again to tell me how to gracefully give up. I hear him behind her, I feel his despair in her voice. (Must be true love.) I hear him hum a song in the background, a song that I have never heard. I hear the ruffle of his clothes that he moved from our life to her home one betrayal at a time. I hear what I don’t want to hear, what I always knew- they don’t want my forgiveness even if I gave it for free, I must mend my life by myself. No past love will do it for me.
in my cramped world you find a place for yourself.
you become one with all the bright things that i collect at the cost of breaking myself.
as you smile, i wonder whether you have a thing for girls who have forgotten the taste of truth.
i wish you do. i would like to love you once, before you learn to hate girls like me.
this room was gift from my ex whose hobby was to be loved by the one he wrongs.
but it is a story for another day. my story with you is not that deep. you don’t need to know that my corners of my lips are ripped from smiling while being hurt, that they still hurt when we kiss.
it kills the mood. it kills me a bit, to be honest. all your words, the beautiful things you want me to have, want me to be they are enough for me to love you for a while. it is enough for me to forget the demon i see in you.
aren’t i an easy girl? one day you would hold that against me as well. i fall for you knowing that.
Was it 5 years ago, or 6 that we all sat together looking at the bright beginning of another series of setbacks that we were becoming. The coldness of the wood, the ruffle of papers, the moment before we learned to truly hate ourselves.
I miss that.
As we stood waiting in line for something to take away everything we were just beginning to see, I remember thinking, “I wish I could spend my youth here. In this moment, with these people. I am nothing to them, they are nothing to me. But we are good for each other. This can never be made again.” At that moment I knew they will make my heart ache for a long time.
In the years that followed I saw them, the people who carried the faces of the ones I liked enough not to love. “What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask them but all I could do was smile and let my smile tell them “I will see you for what you were. At least that I can do for you. The beauty of your innocence and hope I will remember it forever.”