“Isn’t it funny how the memories you cherish before a breakup can become your worst enemies afterwards? The thoughts you loved to think about, the memories you wanted to hold up to the light and view from every angle–it suddenly seems a lot safer to lock them in a box, far from the light of day and throw away the key. It’s not an act of bitterness. It’s an act if self-preservation. It’s not always a bad idea to stay behind the window and look out at life instead, is it?”
– Ally Condie, First Day
It was the twenty fifth of December. I was in Singapore, vacationing with my parents, and it was the last day of our vacation. “It’s 11:53. We should sleep. We have a flight to catch tomorrow”, said my father, as he tucked himself in the generic hotel bed. I glanced over my Instagram one final time, before following suit. And I saw a dream.
Usually, I forget dreams in a day. But this was different. It was probably the first time I had exclusively dreamt of him. Running his fingers through my hair, telling me how nice I smell, holding my gaze and smiling at me. Before this, I had almost always had nightmares; from friends being shot dead before my eyes, to being abandoned by my parents in a foreign land. But this. This was so unlike my regular sub consciousness. Of course, it was not difficult to embrace this change. But just then, there was a shift in scene. It was dark and mellow, and I could see the strained rays of the evening sun outline through his black silhouette.
I was scared.
I do not quite remember what he said, but it instantly brought tears in my eyes. It made me feel hollow in the inside. It forced me to act like an emotionless non-living entity, unaffected by what just happened, but in my heart of hearts, I knew I was failing.
“Wake up, dear”, a voice resonated. “Wake up and get ready”. I opened my eyes to meet those of my mother. Thank goodness that that was just a dream.
“You know I saw this dreamy nightmare last night”, I texted him while I was helping my parents pack the luggage. “I don’t remember what you told me but it made me cry so much.” After a certain amount of hesitance, I was determined to sound airy and happy as usual, “Oh, BTW, happy belated Merry Christmas!”, and I inserted my usual purple octopus emoji. He replied an hour later, saying something along the lines of “Whoa, you actually had that dream? Well, we need to talk.” “Talk about what?” I casually enquired. “Something.” he said. “I’ll talk to you at night. I have a function to attend. Bye” he added. I thought of it as one of his apparent pranks. To make me unnecessarily worried. So, I acted worried by not responding. Throughout the hour’s journey to the airport, I glanced through this chat, expecting him to text a “LOL Did you fall for that. Hahaha.” or a “Oh, about that important talk. Should I wear [this] or [this], or how does [this] look.”
But he never really asked for my opinion, and I never really noticed that until now. Shut up, I told myself. I was waiting in the long boarding line to the flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur when I ran out of patience. “What do you want to talk about?” “Not now”, he almost instantly responded. “Well, give me a keyword at least.” “It’s.. It’s about us”, he said. Now was when I was genuinely worried. If this is a prank, I will not talk to him for a day, I said to myself. “Well, tell me already”, I said. “Do you really want to talk about this now?” he asked. “Well, yeah, I do want to talk about this now.” “Okay then, listen.” And then, he typed for almost six and a half minutes. This was petrifying me. And then, I received the text. I do not remember the exact words as it has been erased for good ever since, along with him, but it was something like, “Remember the arguments we have been having for some time now. Well, I think somewhere in the inside, I was purposely fuelling them. I realized that something happened in the past two weeks and I don’t love you anymore. I think that there is no point being in a loveless relationship. Thankfully I told you this after your vacations ended because I didn’t want to ruin them. I think we have enough time to move on and I hope to not lose you as a friend.”
I could not believe what was happening. I am almost always a little extra with hiding or showing what I feel, but this was that one time when I genuinely screamed at myself to wake up from what was happening. “Are you serious?” was all I could respond. He said, “Yes, I am. And I know that this is hard but this is something I need to do.” “Is there anything I could do?” You are being so desperate, my inward eye said. Does not matter now, I responded. “No, there is nothing you can do. I am sorry.” “We should be leaving now”, my father told us. So, I did not quite get the time for a response. What I felt in that flight of an hour is something I intend to never feel in my life ever again. And, because I was occupying the window seat, to my right were seated my parents. I could not even shed a tear for the fear of their superfluous expression of concern. Moreover, I had never told them about my dating life. They were always kept in the dark, because I did not want to worry them more than they actually were. I promised to handle my situations on my own, but this hour was unexpectedly hard.
After we landed in Kuala Lumpur, we hurried up to catch the six hours’ flight to Mumbai as only 27 minutes were left for the same. And once again, I found myself miserable in a sealed metal box with my excessively concerned parents and at least a hundred strangers. Well, we should make that a hundred and one, as I did not know what I was anymore. My memories flashed back to the past two weeks, scanning each and every scene and searching for that one thing which changed everything. This cannot be happening, I screamed in the inside. Why is this happening? Only yesterday had he asked me what I would like for a present. Nothing interested me anymore, neither Radiohead’s new album, nor my eagerness to watch Edge of Seventeen, both of which were a part of the in-flight entertainment.
As soon as I landed, I inserted the local sim cards into my device and tried calling him. They went unanswered twice, post which I decided to text him instead. “Hey, can I call you?” “What for?” “I want to talk about something.” “No, let’s just text.” “Um, okay.” I was blank for a second. I actually only yearned to hear his voice but that seemed like too much to ask of him. “Could we please give this one last chance? Please?” Yes, I was begging of him to give us another chance. To notice that everything else is background noise, for once and for all. “Don’t make this harder than it already is”, he said, and proceeded on to advise me to unfollow and block him wherever necessary. “Please?” I asked once more, this time with a much lesser amount of hope. “I am sorry.” And with that, he went offline. I stared at it one more time, before locking my phone.
In my wildest of dreams, I thought I could imagine how much this would hurt, but I was wrong.
My sight caught the sweeping landscapes from the car, and I found myself in the same place where I wrote my first blog post, Love.
To be continued.