I didn’t reply to her message.
I could have. I was sitting in a bowling arcade with my Internship friends and was drinking a beer. I was free and it wouldn’t have taken more than a few seconds to reply her. But I didn’t reply, even though a part of my mind had been waiting for her message for the last three months, since I had stopped talking to her.
She has been on my mind since the first day I saw her. It was love at first sight, for me of course. And since that day, I had given up everything for her. My friends and my studies. My social life and my time. I could give up anything to see one smile on her face, even for a fleeting second.
The love only got better with time. We were always together. In class and in the mall. On the bike to the market and in the movies sitting beside each other. While taking a quick morning breakfast and also when biting leisurely on the mess dinner. Every moment felt so good when I was with her. As if every second was a lifetime.
Lifetime … it’s such a thrown about word. What we know of the lifetime! I realized it the day I was least expecting.
“But I didn’t know that you loved me,” she said looking straight into my eyes.
So easy it was her to say, but for me …
My heart sank to the bottom of my body. And my lifetime was reduced to that single moment. Infinity collapsed in one point. Lifetime, turning into a single second. It hurt like it had never hurt before.
Didn’t she know I loved her when I bunked my classes to help her study for her exams? Didn’t she know I loved her when I skipped my clubs meetings to take her out for dinners? Didn’t She know I loved her when I gave up on my friends so that she was not alone.
She knew I loved her. And she had known this all this while.
But she never said no. Never stopped me from doing things for her. Never stopped me from falling more and more into her. Never stopped me from caring for her. Never stopped me giving up on my life for her. Never … not once.
And when she did say so, wasn’t it too late?
It took a courage to stop talking to her. To run away from her as far as possible. To run away from someone I insanely loved, whom I still love, even today.
But physical distance doesn’t matter. It is the emotional and psychological distance that takes a toll. It felt like tearing my chest with my bare hands, pulling out my beating heart, and then throwing it away as if it was a cancerous disease.
I had never felt such pain before. The pain so excruciating that my whole identity was reduced to one single emotion – pain. A singular red dot trapped in a whole black world. No whites, none of any kind, nor any other color but a single blackened world – from all sides – in which I existed alone – a red dot. Nothing else.
Initially, it felt that the night will never end, that the darkness will continue for eternity, and I will bleed, heart and soul until the end of the time. But often when we are about to give up, in the face of the most difficult of obstacles, that’s when we see a sign of hope, a sign of help – and I did. And I latched on to it.
I survived. I lived. I held on.
Three months have passed since then – every day a struggle, every day a fight for survival. And today I stood staring into the phone as her name flashed on the screen.
I looked at her message. “Hi, How are you?” It read.
Reading it I could feel a deluge of emotions rushing towards me. As if I was standing on a shallow bed of river and someone has opened the shutter of the dams. I can’t see the rushing water, but I can feel it, hear it a distance, growling and rumbling towards me. and if I don’t move from this place, don’t move now, If I keep on standing, I will get drowned in its wake. And this time, I will not get out alive.
I had let this happen to me once. I couldn’t let this happen again.
I needed to get out of here.
I looked at the screen for a while before realizing that my fingers had started typing, on their own.
“I’m fine. I’m sure you are doing well, too.” I typed. And hit send. Then I blocked her, from whatsapp and phone, for today and forever.
This was the final step i took to get rid of her shadow off me, off my mind and off my thoughts. No, I will not stop loving her, I can’t, for I can still feel a void within me, within my heart, a place of her within me, which I had to cut off to get over her.
No, I can’t stop loving her. But I can try to forget her. I can live without her.