Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Writer Who Loved Me

   20th June,2020.
                         It is finally done. It doesn't seem weird at all. Your body doesn't undergo any change except the daily food abuse ,the hours of cosmetic transformations ,exhaustion from the long ceremonies and even more so from the dancing. I guess I did kick it up a notch with my moves at the reception. He didn't seem too pleased though. The ceremonies and the long bouts of hunger can make anyone weary I guess.
                          I was pleased though that there were no tears shed by me at the ceremony. It felt good to be reassuring to my parents that I am still here. A sudden panic was about to set in inside the car but thankfully he held my hand and I was able stop the surge of emotions from riding down my cheeks. He showed me a note he wrote for himself in the morning.
" Yes. It's scary. But it's ok. It's her. Don't screw this up.You are ready."

He described it as a pep-talk. I found it childish and sweet.  But ever since I read those words, something has plagued my mind which forces me to be writing it all out on a page at the hotel on the first morning as a married woman. Someone else dominated my thoughts instead of my husband, when for all practical purposes, I should be utterly and hopelessly happy about this new chapter. Let's call him "The Writer".
                          Socially awkward. Brilliant when he opens his mouth. Slightly arrogant and aloof. These were just some of the things you could conclude by observing him over three months. And observation was all you could do since he would rarely talk. There was nothing remarkable about his physical looks or body language except the obvious- he was going to be a bald youth. I did make attempts at befriending or striking a conversation with the nerd in my usual friendly manner. Conversations had to be dragged out of him and you could easily deduce that he didn't trust anyone. And one day serendipitously, he decides to trust me.
                           The socially awkward turned out to be an emotional and vulnerable person ,suddenly divulging his deepest secrets to me. And then even you are comfortable sharing them back. The mistakes, the likes, the dislikes, the stories of the past and, the memories which still refuse to leave you. There is an air of informality and comfort which you get when for once there is someone listening to your monologues and strangely, you are equally curious to listen back to what they want to say. Suddenly, in this whole "someone to talk to", love pops its ugly head.
                           When things are going good and brisk in your bachelorette life of no consequences, your friend comes upto you and tells you that he likes you. My reaction? Flattered at first. It even makes sense since the poor loser had no one to talk to. I dismissed it as some temporary crush which will just wane away in a matter of time. But then slowly the feelings started to become more tangible.
                          When a normal guy falls in love with you, it is pretty cliched. He will text and flirt with you all the time and repeatedly ask you out. But when a writer falls (or claims to fall) for you, he will make things extremely weird. There will be poems and letters written which will never be understood at first glance. He will send you quotes and movie references as if they will make you fall for him. He in particular, had a severe problem with reality. He lived in the land of dreams, hopes and expectations. Now there is nothing wrong with dreaming, but you can't just live on it. And you have no right to bring someone down with your hopes and expectations. There would be the incessant cynical rants and complaints followed by intense claims and promises. I was busy taking them at face value and never allowed myself to delve deep in thinking about them. I kept telling him that I was at a point in my life where I didn't want anyone in my life. Besides, we had nothing in common and there were quite a few signs that he would make a possessive partner. I kept saying that I didn't want to hurt and lose him so I was trying to be distant to protect him. But perhaps it was me I was distancing myself from, to nip any remotely affectionate feelings in the bud and stop myself from losing the control I had fought so hard to gain after the breakup. He didn't stop.
                            There would be reminders and the ensuing fights. After a brief period of time, he seemed to finally get the point. He wanted to settle for being my best friend as a consolation prize. I agreed without giving much thought. "Few months then I never see him again, no harm in leading on". Something in me would be repelled by him and at the same time when he would write something for me, I could not help but be amazed. I would keep reiterating it to him-"It won't work. We are different people.I know it". He would retort saying that I wasn't Nostradamus and could not accurately predict the future. In hindsight, he was right. The years following my departure from the city were beyond and under my wildest expectations. My tastes, beliefs and views changed or I ensured I changed them to attract someone or some things in life. I fell for people I would never have even been associated with and every time they would break my heart, I would remember the one who loved me and whom I didn't say yes for even a single date.
                             The last few weeks are a bit hard to remember. I was so sick and tired by the end that I just continued on as a matter of civility. He was able to construe that his friend was tired of him. He came over to say goodbye before I left for my post-graduation. He handed me a couple of pages saying it was a story he had written with me in mind. I concealed my disgust at that being his idea for a gift, with every ounce of acting talent I could muster. He gave me a tight hug saying he had always thought we would be friends for a long time because there was no one he could be this open with. But he knew I had no such intention or resolve and that he would be replaced by someone else tomorrow.
                            He said two more words before he left, almost broken. What was it?....I remember being puzzled by it for days. These writers love their puns and metaphors and torture us in unravelling their mysteries. I haven't heard from him in six years. The grapevine tells me that he is doing fine with some business of his own. The writing seems to have worked, but in a very small way. He has been dating someone for a couple of years. She must be having her own personally crafted Bible by now I predict, filled with inscrutable poems,letters, confessions and love from him. 

                          I made the right choice. An overtly emotional fool with no definite source of income and lack of traditional life goals (get a job, build a career ) is not someone you can place your heart with. There was also no guarantee we would have even lasted, was there?
                          Now is not the time for me to atone the past or second guess. I have a smart and well-settled man who loves me and I love him. " What If"!! That is what he told me with tears in his eyes. His last words were "What If". Will I ask myself "What If"? Or he was talking to himself? I guess we will never know.

                          I still have his story though. I do read it occasionally. Did he get me even when I didn't get myself? Best to not go there. Writers can write anything they want, anytime. That is their talent. Doesn't mean they mean everything. Atleast that's what I will tell myself. I am sure he is happy without me and I am definitely happy. There was no dying need, romantic drama or destiny here. We both made it.
                                                             But......What If?                                                           


  1. Loved reading your article..