Someday when you a wake up to a gorgeous view with mountains and lakes and clear reflections, I hope you’re able to enjoy it without a care in the world. I hope you forget all your worries and regrets in that moment. I hope your wounds would have healed by then and your brokenness would have been fixed, if only by band-aids or hastily applied clay. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have someone beside you to enjoy this view with. Someone who might be the perfect fit to fill that gaping hole you’ve been walking around with since so long. Someone who will take you up into the clouds and who knows how to fly even with all the baggage you’ve been carrying around. I hope you wake up to a gorgeous view, with mountains and lakes and clear reflections and I hope you have that someone right next to you, smiling lazily at you while you take in the wonders of the world and I hope that someone thinks, “Who wants the world when I have this one sitting right next to me?”
Love, I was starting to think that with you gone, I was gone, too. I wasn’t wrong to think that. I really am gone. The me who laughed for you, who wrote for you, who cried for you, who lived for you is gone. She died the day you left. But I found myself a new identity. Lost under all those layers that I put on to please you, there was a girl who yearned to live for herself, who wanted to sing and laugh and dance and write without having a care in the world. When you left, all those layers fell apart and the girl timidly stepped out into the world; Lost, scared and broken. But with each day that passed, she found her strength and learned to live. With your memories, without you. Until one morning, the pain felt bearable and she smiled, a real smile. And she laughed and cried and sang and danced. For herself. For the day you left, love, she learned to love herself. I learned to love myself.
“We’re better off without each other.” Six words and it took two years for her to gather all the courage to utter those and for the first time in forever, she wanted him to disagree with her. “I think so too.” Four words and she could feel her heart cracking again.
“I found someone. We might get engaged soon.” Another crack. This one much bigger, much more painful. She smiled. “Don’t you want to know about her?” Her smile grew wider, “How is she?” “You don’t want to know what she does?” She nodded, “What does she do? How is she? Tell me all about her.” With every word he spoke, she found how the girl was so much better than she ever could be. And with every passing second, it hurt more. He showed her a picture of them both, standing together. The way they both once did. And that was it. Her heart shattered, into a million tiny pieces. Time won’t heal her this time. She smiled. “Please don’t cry,” he said. She smiled wider, “I’m not. I’m happy for you.” He hugged her, she blinked, trying to not let the tears flow and closed her eyes, trying to memorise how his arms felt around her, how she fit just right against him and how his embrace never felt wrong.
She loved him. He loved her. But theirs was not to be a fairytale ending.
“I’m sorry,” I say.
“I’m sorry, too,” says he.
“I love you,” he says.
“And I love you,” I reply.
“Don’t be an ass,” I say.
“Stop being a stubborn bitch,” he says.
I cry. He doesn’t.
He hurts. I hurt him more.
He is an addiction I try to run away from. I can’t.
I’m the fire he is attracted to. Despite knowing it’ll burn him. Alive.
Love, they say. Love, we say.
Love, they think they know.
Foolishness, we know.
Desperation, we know.
That need to belong. Somewhere. Anywhere.
Emotions, as raw as they come.
Honesty, the kind that kills.
Confessions, the ugliest form of intimacy.
Souls bared, metaphorical nakedness.
Hearts thumping together, limbs entangled, scratched backs, pulling hair, hurried movements, closed eyes, souls alive. Ecstasy.
Love, they say. Love, we say.
Love, they know. Love, we know.
We bleed in colors, framing our emotions in words. Leaking blue sometimes, painting melancholy. Sometimes gold, like the rays of the sun and all things bright, but more often than not, we just bleed in black and white, creating a thousand shades of grey. Trying to look at things in a thousand different perspectives.
Love, they say, is omnipresent. Like air. Like God. But. A very big BUT, actually. The only way love can be omnipresent is if it’s just as ugly as it is beautiful.
I once asked someone I love, “What’s beautiful without a little ugly in it?” And he laughed. That was beautiful. We fought after an hour. I cried. He doesn’t cry. He lashed out. I lashed out more. That was ugly. That was love.
The digital age we’re living in allows us to see the world at just a touch of our fingers. Which almost always gives me a serious case of wanderlust. I love France. Paris, especially. The city of love, they call it. I always dream of closing my eyes and being stood in front of the Eiffel Tower, when I open them. Gazing up at it standing tall in all its lit up glory, wide-eyed and awestruck. That is beautiful and that is love. And then I imagine a particularly snobby French lady or an old man, passing by me and turning their noses up at my ‘foreign appearance’. That is ugly, but is that love too? Maybe it’s their love for their country, the pride that comes with it that gives them the excuse to look down upon someone just because they were different than them. Could it be so?
I see pictures of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and it brings tears to the spiritual part of me. I wish I get to pray there at least once before I die. I see the Palestinians climbing up walls and climbing through barbed wires just so they get to pray at the place that is deemed as one of the holiest. That is beautiful. But at the same time, I wonder why do the Apartheid wall and those barbed wires even exist and what gives someone the excuse to treat fellow human beings so inhumanely. Is that love too? Pride maybe? Too much pride, I’d say. That’s ugly, but they call it love.
Even when we leave the world politics and economical metaphors aside, love simply can not be omnipresent without it also being the greatest paradox out there.
Take a rose, for example, it’s beautiful. Especially when it takes on that ruby hue and is fully bloomed. You pluck it, putting an end to its existence and a thorn pricks you. Hard. Things quickly get ugly. That’s love too, I suppose. Nature’s way of showing love.
There are parents who stop their children from doing things they love and then there are parents who give their kids full freedom to go out and learn from their mistakes. Neither set of parents wants to see their child get hurt, but one of them chooses to be weak by enforcing restrictions on them, while the other chooses to be strong by letting their child fall over and over again and tending to his injuries with a smile on their face and tears in their eyes, when the kid eventually gets up. That is love. Ugly in one case, beautiful in another. But it’s love nonetheless.
“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves again.” I’m very forgetful, but sometimes, some things just tend to stay with you. This quote is one of those.
I’ve noticed things around me, things being done in the name of love, things both good and bad. Love for religion, love for money, love for fame, love for one’s family, love in its purest and most selfless form and I suppose the existence of ugly makes us appreciate the beautiful a little more. Even the best of us have a little darkness hidden inside us and the worst of us have the tiniest shard of light in our hearts, guiding us and it makes me keep thinking to myself, “What’s beautiful without a little ugly in it?”
Life was hard. She’d surrounded herself by a wall of thoughts. Thoughts that kept her away from people, and people away from her. They wrapped around her like a cocoon. Providing the warmth and comfort that was amiss in her life ever since he left.
For once in her life, she had a strong hold over her emotions, she only felt what she wanted to feel, only thought what she wanted to think. All else, was on the other side of the wall, with no way to get in. Or that’s what she thought.
She’d forgotten how even the hardest of walls could be shot down, crumbling into nothingness. She’d forgotten how even the strongest of forts were now only ruins, portraying their glory through cracked walls and half torn down towers. She’d forgotten how ghosts from the past now haunted those hallways, refusing to let go of their power, or whatever that was left of it. And above all, she’d forgotten how some people had a knack for worming themselves in, in the tightest of places and how they could jump the highest of walls or blow down the strongest of them with mere words, rendering the insiders defenseless. And as luck would have it, she was rendered defenseless.
He’d come back. Guns ablaze. Blew down her walls and calmly walked up to her, his gait slow yet confident, a predatory glint in his eyes. His posture, strong and brave, like the lion she knew him to be. While she stood frozen, still unable to process how he’d managed to tear down her walls after all these years, when hundreds before him couldn’t even manage to come close.
She closed her eyes and shook her head, thinking the sight before her eyes to be one of those rare tricks that her mind played on her when she slipped and lost hold of her emotions, making her spiral down into the alley of the coulds and could have beens. But it was not to be.
He really was there. She reached out to touch him, hoping all she’d catch would be air, but the moment her fingers grazed against his cheek, she was brought out of her daze. And quite rudely so. The speed with which she pulled back her hand would’ve made one think she was zapped.
In reality, it felt like she was. She stared up at him, wide-eyed and open-mouthed. That one touch had made those dormant butterflies spring right back to life, flapping their wings stronger than they ever had before to the point where she started feeling woozy.
The last thought she had before she hit the floor was he’d be gone when she woke up. Like he always did. Like the storm that he was. One moment here, disrupting the calm and wreaking a havoc and gone the next. But as strong arms caught her, she knew she was safe again, that the storm was gone for good, and the calmness would soon settle in. With a smile on her face, she gave in to the darkness that had now engulfed her completely.
The waves, they sing to us. Songs of love, of life, of despair, of solitude, of longing, of togetherness, of every little emotion ever expressed. Let’s sing to them today. My song. Your song. Our song. Of hope. And one day, the world will hear them singing it. It’ll be heartbreaking. They’ll cry, with every crashing wave. They’ll cry for us. They’ll cry for hope. And it’ll come to them. Then, we’ll all sing our songs of hope. The waves, they’ll listen and they’ll be heard for years to come. So, let us sing to the waves today. Come, let us create a melody. A melody full of hope. For, nothing is more beautiful.
“That last thread that keeps you connected is always the hardest to snip.”
He was sorry for her. Sorry that the winds had brought in layers and layers of dust with them and now, she couldn’t sit on the sidewalk the way she used to; hugging her knees with her back to the grimy wall and sometimes, crying her heart out. The makeshift blanket of fallen leaves that she’d made had flown away with the cold, stormy winds. He’d always wanted to be the dust when he died, to be everywhere at a single moment, breathing through every pore, scattered everywhere, carried over the winds, on mountain tops, across the seas and rivers, lying on the forest floor, but now, now he wasn’t so sure. He’d been seeing her sitting at the exact same spot for the past 3 years, no matter what the weather, but today was the first time she wasn’t there, she was instead sitting under the bare tree at the corner of the sidewalk. Everyday, when he thought she was fast asleep, he’d leave her a 10 rupee note from his daily allowance. Today, when he saw her sleeping against the tree, he ran home, sneaked out a blanket, tucked a note in it and quitely placed it beside her. That night, there was a knock on his bedroom window. On opening it, he found the blanket and tucked inside it were a fallen leaf, a dried flower and a plastic bag full of 10 rupee notes. He looked up to see her standing under the street lamp, she waved at him with a sad smile on her face and walked away and somehow, he knew that was the last time he’d ever see her. In that one moment, he knew what it was to love and to lose.