Kinjal Labonnya Haider
The setting sun hovered low on the sky, splattering dim, hazy light across the veranda, as I sat there watching the birds fly across the cat-vomit pink sky at their day’s end. The red-orange ball of flames on the horizon, the amethyst clouds floating by, and the light breeze caught me in a lulling aura, and I started to lose myself in a reverie of anecdotes…
Have you ever run with what felt like supersonic speed to you? You know, with your hair flying out in all directions, chest heaving, nostrils flaring with deep breaths, sweat starting to run down your temples and into your eyes? Imagine tripping on a stone while sprinting like that, and falling down face-first into the gravel on the road, which breaks your nose, knocks out a few of your front teeth, and turns your face into a puffing mess. God knows what other body parts were hurt. Can you think of one thing more painful than that which you brought upon yourself? Well, for me, that one thing would have to be getting my heart broken open into tiny little sub-atoms.
The quarantine was announced to start from 17th March 2020 up to 31st March. Never in my wildest fantasies did I think that it would last more than those two weeks. I was delighted for her that she would meet her parents after so many months. Still, it did not occur to me then that our relationship was hurling towards a wreck from thereon.
One day during the quarantine, she knew that tears were in my eyes and told me to stop. She got my heart racing with only those two words: Stop crying. How the hell did she know that I was crying from 250 kilometres away? I thought. On top of that, we were not even on a call that she could have heard me sniffling or seen my tears rolling down. I stopped crying right then. Seeing how easily influenced I was by her words, she always told me to be wary of them because she believed words have the power to change us. Now I regret not listening to her.
She was the one who had succeeded in penetrating my wall of loneliness. People drifted away from me my entire life because either they got bored of me or did not want to put in the work to maintain the friendship. I knew I was not funny or attractive, but she found me to be all those anyway. So, in my defense, it is not my fault to have let down my hair and shown my vulnerable self to her. I am only human.
I became clingy. She got tired of that and decided to leave me. It was as mundane as that. Her exact words were, Guys your age should not be as clingy as you are. I thought her to be a coward to have done that over Facebook Messenger. That was not the only possible path she could have taken to shatter my heart. I guess video calling would have been worse because if I had looked into the vortices of her eyes, then I am pretty sure I would have begged her to stay. Even though my parents had taught me not to beg for anything in life. It is degrading, they said. I cannot begin to explain with words how much it pained me to let go of her hand when I was not even literally holding it.
Years of love had left me with a lost heart and soul. You would think a 3-year relationship would be strong enough to get past 4 months of being far from each other. She had once said, I cannot offer you my heart because I am not sure how many beats it might sustain in this short mortal life. My love for you is immortal. Neither should I have offered my heart. I should not have been swayed by her pretty words.
It was hard to cure the pain burning in my sickened heart. She indeed had engraved the favorite place in there. I could not even leave my home to take a fresh breath of air due to the quarantine. Some say time heals everything, even a broken heart. For me, it would be better to go to a grassy and wide landscape with a small stream flowing in the midst of it to enjoy the exotic beauty of nature, and maybe read a book. Suddenly, I was pulled from my trance when I heard a bird chirping. As I left the veranda, I realized there were purple clouds too on the day I first met her.