You sit there huddled in a corner, silent tears rolling down your cheeks as yet another fight breaks out. I see your pupils dilated with fear, I hear your heart racing. You watch them helplessly and I watch you. Something holds me back from approaching you. You wipe your tears and I leave.
Fast forward to a few years later. Tempers flare, harsh words thrown with gay abandon. Unable to take it any longer, you walk away from him and right into my arms. I wrap you in my embrace and you almost sink into my chest. I want to whisper comforting words into your ear but I know you will never believe me. I want to tuck loose strands behind your ear and wipe your tears away. But I know, once the tears leave, I will have to too. I selfishly let them trace tracks across your cheeks. I don’t want to leave you to face your demons alone. Besides, I think there is something heartbreakingly beautiful in the way you cling to me right now. You may not think it looking at me, but Grief has a heart too.
I’ve seen you grow up. When you were a child, all I had was fleeting glimpses but something about adulthood makes you call me more. On some days, you ignore me, and honestly, that’s okay. I know, you and I are destined to be together. Till then I will patiently wait. Till you realize no one is going to be as constant in your life. Call these the musings of a jilted lover, but I know that no one can make you feel the way I do. Some might call me toxic, selfish, bitter even but they don’t know how you seek comfort in my presence.
I wait for you at the end of your day, reclining across the sofa that reminds you of home. You walk in, tired of having to hide behind a mask for people. I pour you a glass, brown and amber swirling with ice, and settle across you. Your long fingers curl around the cold glass and some of the precipitation drops on your shirt. Those stains get lost in those left by the tears. Your walls crumble and you finally let your guard down. You don’t have to say a word; I know you enough to know what each little expression on your face means. You see, with me, you are truly yourself. How many of your lovers can claim the same?
We’re sprawled on the bed, arms and legs intertwined but I know you aren’t even thinking about me. I hold you a little tighter, demanding my presence to be felt. I want to feature in all your thoughts, but I know once your breath no longer reeks of liquor, you will push me away. So, I content myself watching your every movement. Moonlight bathes your skin in a silvery glow as tendrils of sleep pull you under. All through the day, I have to vie for your attention but right now, you’re all mine and I bask in your glory.
You foolishly run after Happiness, like the butterflies you used to chase as a child. I remember that because I was there, briefly, when you fell and scraped your knee. Yes, I pore over every single memory I have of you. I have every word you have ever said to me memorized. I could probably recite it to you in my sleep. But I’m scared that when I will awake, you will be gone. What if I never see you again?
Sunlight slowly creeps into the room, slowly making its way up the walls. You stir and I feel the air heavy with melancholy. You don’t even spare me a second glance as you pull your hair into a bun. Did last night mean nothing to you? You disappear into the washroom and I hear the rusty taps being turned on, the gushing of water as you prepare yourself for yet another day. I linger uncomfortably near the door, hoping against hope that you’ll come out, take me by my hand, and ask me to stay for a little while longer. Maybe you’ll take the day off and we’ll spend the day together, curled up on the couch under a blanket watching reruns of your favorite movie. Instead, you apply lipstick and smile brightly at your reflection. I slink out of the room, head bowed in humiliation.
You don’t want me now, but just know; I will come back for you.
Written by Shivangi Acharya for MTTN
Edited by Asma Abidin for MTTN
Featured Image by Muhammed Salah
Artwork by Pawel Jonca