It was 2 am, and my phone rang.
While I was cooking your favorite dish for dinner to make it up for your absence, I burst into tears as a zillion memories triggered me. There were days when we cooked together, and you putting extra chilies with black pepper and cinnamon since you always craved spicy food while I always used to add sugar as I have a sweet tooth.
Those endless fights over food and still feeding each other at the dining table laughing at how childish we both acted sometimes really makes me wonder why we grew up so fast. If the child inside both of us had been alive, it would have kept us together through the knot of innocence which made us oblivious of reality at times when needed.
It had been a month since you left the house after we had a filthy fight over the girl whom you started dating. Before then, you had always returned within a few hours with my favorite ice cream to cheer me up, but that day you didn't. I kept waiting for you till sunrise, my tears blurring my khol just the way I wanted to blur all the memories of our ugly fights since I somehow felt I lost you forever, so I only wanted to hold on to the happy memories of us.
Initial days without your presence, which had turned into my habit was hard for me to survive. I searched for you in the curves of the bedsheet where we made love, in the perfume of your shirts in our wardrobe, and all the corners of the house, but I couldn't quench my thirst.
I hopelessly spent hours looking through my window at the gate to wait for you since I believed that you will return to your "gulmohar"( your pet name for me), but you never returned except in my reveries where I saw you plucking roses from our little garden in the balcony and putting it in my hair to adorn me.
I wished I had the power to make all the dreams I had of you come true. At nights I poured my heart out to the stars and waited for the miracle, that is, to witness a shooting star that could fulfill my wish to have you back in my life.
I was turning hysterical with each passing day, enduring the pain with the stings of your absence inflicted in my heart. I was lost in the world of fantasies where grandma told me every love story had a happy ending and questioned why my love story is incomplete and tragic. But somehow, those dreams, which I weaved where we both lived happily ever after, gave me momentary peace and solace.
Wallowing in bed and wearing your blue t-shirt, I wondered if she loves you the way I do. If she knew how you only liked 1 cube of sugar in your coffee and how you didn't like to be asked questions after you had a bad day.
I wondered if she knew how you slept with your glasses, with your favorite novel laying on your chest, and always needed an extra blanket after midnight.
I wondered if she knew how allergic you were to peanuts and how you didn't like to be committed to only to a single person at a time. I wondered if she knew the real you, which you had concealed from her just as you did from me, and yet I wonder after all this why I still love you so much? Maybe because I gave all of me to you in the hope of becoming whole.
It was 2 am when suddenly my phone rang,
I was half drowsy with an overdose of opium which I take every night after you left since it acts as an antidote to the unbearable pain of your abandonment.
As I picked up the call, I could hear a familiar voice telling me, 'hello' and asking me, 'how am I doing?" it was you, your voice felt like the peace I was searching for, but when you revealed that you will come to the house to take away the rest of your belongings, I was numb, though I knew you wouldn't return, there was a lurking hope deep down which assured me that one day you will come back.
My faith in our love was shattered forever, and that night was darker than the eclipses. Meanwhile, you hung up the phone since I couldn't answer as all my unuttered words choked me. Maybe at times, silence is enough to express one's feelings.
Lying on the broken tile of the floor, with half-closed eyes, my heart wounded of half-love, I wondered if my life was only destined to revolve around halves when I was reminded of what Bukowski said, "You have to die a few times before you can really live" and for one last time I again dared to hope that maybe the death of our relationship will mark a new beginning in my life.
By Srilekha Mitra