Taking a deep breath she finally accepted – yes, she had been in love with a myth!
God, she hated herself. How could she have been such a fool? How could she succumb to his charm? She had believed everything he said.
Her head screamed, ‘Uff! You were so gullible!’
Her heart refuted, ‘No, I wasn’t!’
Head, ‘Yes, you were!’
Heart, ‘I was just vulnerable’.
Head, ‘NO, you were bloody desperate!’
It reminded her of the time she was obsessively watching a teleserial about the supernatural love story of a vampire and a human. She didn’t watch many serials on television and always prided herself that she wasn’t a sucker for such stupidity – love affair of a vampire, oh please! But she had watched some episodes online and somehow got sucked into becoming an avid viewer. She would sit for hours rewinding and fast forwarding scenes at leisure. What made her do that? Did they make her feel good? Did they bring a smile on her face? Did they make her heart ‘swell with the feeling of love and longing’?
For a long time she couldn’t understand the obsession till it dawned on her late one night – she liked watching it because the human was trying to achieve something unattainable! It was a fairy tale romance that would never happen in reality. For one, where could you possibly find a good looking vampire who didn’t suck blood?! Then there was this girl who always did the ‘right’ thing? What was the message – that love can conquer all darkness? Or that love is deaf, dumb and blind?
He had once said, ‘I am whatever you want me to be’. He was honest enough to acknowledge and accept that he was willing to be her imagination.
Her sense of comfort about her relationship with him hit rocky seas when she first heard the song “tune jo na kaha mein sunta raha, khamakha bewaja khwaab bunta raha!” (I kept hearing what you never said, without reason I continued weaving a dream).
This harsh truth was like a blow to her stomach – it sucked the breath out of her.
She desperately wanted to believe that he was the way out for her. He would help her break free from the clutch of reality – the reality of the lie she was living every day. He’d hold her hand when she stepped into the sun breaking the boundaries of society and expectations to be alive again.
But it didn’t happen. There was no holding hands and walking into the sunset. Instead reality struck another blow!
So who was he?
She hadn’t actively seeked him out – one fine day he had simply walked into her life. An innocent meeting. In fact now when she looked back she couldn’t even remember anything about the meeting! Then, began the harmless flirting. A good looking, sexy man asking about her everyday – someone who remembered details, who read between the lines. No expectations – purely platonic yet an extremely satisfying friendship. He inspired confidence, understood her. She trusted him.
One meeting led to another and slowly the conversations became regular and personal. When did things change? When did she start feeling comfortable being with him? When did the invisible boundary of decorum break? When did she start sharing her innermost thoughts, fears, hopes, wants?
And then she wondered, what made him reach out to her? Did he play her? Or was it just the thrill of the chase? Now that’s a difficult question to answer. Perhaps he did but maybe at some point she had meant something to him. She wanted to believe it and convinced herself that she was.
She told him how she felt, “jaane kyon dil jaanta hain, tu hain to I’ll be alright” (don’t know why but the heart knows if you’re there, I’ll be alright).
He had looked amused and responded “what crap?!”
Yet another good friend hearing the same commented, “now that sounds a lot like love.”
The truth was that he was her secret to keep – a friendship that felt so right. But she wanted more – something she couldn’t have, something that wasn’t meant to be. Yet she couldn’t just give up on him.
But, he did. His take on long distance relationship was ‘out of sight, out of mind!’ So one day he just stopped interacting.
Similarly, one day, she just stopped watching the serial as it suddenly dawned on her that she did it because it was unreal – a relationship that wasn’t meant to be! Watching scenes repeatedly just meant that she was actually refusing to acknowledge that the friendship had reached its climax – there was no going beyond.
She missed him. No, she actually missed those conversations more where she could speak her mind. So did she really love him? Or did she only need someone who would be there to listen? She couldn’t remember him ever talking about his true self. He always maintained a certain mystery about himself. So either he told her what he thought she wanted to hear or she only heard what she wanted to hear.
Whichever the case may be, she believed that he was god’s guardian angel. As they say, ‘God can’t always be there and so he sends his messengers’. Perhaps he was the answer to her prayers when she needed a friend, an anchor. That’s why in the end, he did the only right and acceptable thing. He let her go to face the world on her own.
But the spark he lit still continues to glow within.
As she recently commented to a friend, “dosti ki hain, nibhani to paregi” (have to standby and fulfill the friendship).
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