Very few things
Than hope dying,
Breath by breath.
She can no longer remember when sleep had come to her uninterrupted. Night after night, she had lain on the wet pillow till the tears no longer flowed. The pervading silence made her shallow breathing even more pronounced. All she could hear was the clock ticking away the seconds dragging on broken only by the soft sobs escaping her lips. Every night she played over in her mind the moments she had spent with him and the others that she had lived in a haze, intoxicated with his thoughts. Now no tears came, just the heaviness of breath and silent sobs which got lost in the labyrinth of her breast before they could reach her lips. Staring blankly at the light from the street lamp, outside the window, playing some grotesque game across the wall, she laid there with an empty heart.
Something still breaks noiselessly inside me at the thought that I would no longer wake up to your message calling me your sunshine. You would no longer send me the inane pictures that you clicked for me wherever you went. The silly names that you called me by, you would use them for someone else now. I would no more hear you sing songs completely off-key. And when I get upset over some trivial thing, you would not be there to distract me with your stupid jokes. Every time I take the subway, I would miss holding your hand while watching the world go by through the window. I would not hear your silences any more. The way you softly chanted my name, while we possessed each other, tracing your ownership on my being, I would no more hear those passionate whispers except in my fitful dreams.
Today I saw a young dog which I thought resembled one of the litter that we had tended together. The trees are sprouting green leaves once again. Four seasons past, everything looks the same still. But it is not. For I would no longer hear the ache in your voice every time you had to go away and you kept telling me- Baby, I don’t want to leave. I thought you would always come back. But the last time, you did not. And I am still here waiting, knowing…
When you went away so abruptly
Without saying any byes,
Without any apparent reasons,
I knew my place in your life.
That easy, it was, for you to cut me off,
Completely from your life,
Whispered the treacherous mind.
Something I could not even imagine
Doing to you.
How could I hurt you,
When hurting you would hurt me too?
I had to fall out of love with you,
To find myself equal to you.
Let us not talk of each other,
For the scab is forming.
Let us not dial each other’s number
And then hang up before the call gets through,
For it is nerve wracking.
Let us not think of each other,
With every inane thing that we do.
For it becomes a chore, difficult to finish.
Let us not dream of each other,
On the balmy nights,
For they will never come true.
Let us not yearn for each other’s warmth,
On cold, bleak days,
For cold numbs, and numb seems good, now.
Let us not sit on our bench alone,
Hoping fervently for the other one to come by, too,
For it gets too lonely, eventually.
Let us not.
Let us not.
For it still bleeds under that scab.
For the memories need to fade.
For an unattended call would hurt even more.
For dreams aren’t for us, we know now.
For the warmth might scorch some more, now.
For the other one is not going to come anymore.
Let us let the memories fade.
She: You knew her from before me?
He: Yeah, we were members of the same book club.
She: Why didn’t you tell me? I would have been so glad. I liked her a lot. In fact, I had thought of introducing the two of you to each other so many times. But after that fateful night, I wasn’t sure if you would want to meet anyone from that group. When I saw you hugging her that evening we were supposed to meet, I laughed at myself. How oblivious I could be!
He: I had stumbled across her while on my way to meet you. She had looked distraught and I couldn’t possibly leave her like that.
She: If only, you had left me a message. You completely forgot about me. I went back home that evening. I waited for you, confident that you’d have an explanation. Certain that what the nagging voice in my head, that won’t quieten down, told me gleefully was all wrong. That it would all make sense once you came. But you didn’t come. Neither did any message or call. I waited for days and a month went by. I tried to look for you but couldn’t find you. In the end, I took that silence for an answer. If only, you had left me a message.
The butterfly fluttered around.
He would not stay still.
Perching on my shoulders,
I reach out.
He flies down
And settles on my forefinger.
Unable to resist,
I touch him.
Drained of his colours,
He stops fluttering.
I look down.
Quiver in mid air.