What I'll Carry
No, I've not forgotten your face. Not your longing eyes. Not not your stuttering laugh. Not the way you made me feel overwhelmed, full of love, not how you made me sigh just by being occupied in something that wasn't me. I've not forgotten you. Not yet at least. I tried, but you're like the stain on my old favourite shirt. I find myself pondering a little too much. About what is left. What could've been. And what we could've done right. I can still recall the way you looked back in a crowded place to check up on me. The crowd seems overwhelming now. I can see couples moving about, stealing glances, talking in codes and showing each other things on their phones. They're nothing like us. They can never be. You destroyed me in the most crude way. By loving me. Loving me like no one else could. No one else would. You lived me. Breathed me. You destroyed me. Leaving me tattered at the edges. And broken inside. You gave me so much power that it made me helpless. Powerless. One day I'm over it, but then I find myself sitting alone in this stupid crowd mulling over our story all over again. I've not been myself. No one seems to notice. I want to talk about what happened without mentioning how much it hurt. Find ways to care for the wounds without reopening them. To ease the pain without inviting it back into me. I'm not sorry that it had to be this way. But I'm sorry that it had to be me. It had to be me who had to slap some sense into us. It hurts that everyone around us saw it coming, and all I wanted to do was to prove them wrong. But we couldn't do that for us. We both already knew. I had to decide for the both of us. Take the blame. Be strong one last time before crumbling to abstract. To be vulnerable for a very long time. To be incomprehensible for anyone else. To cease to understand myself. To live on, knowing that I had found myself in you, only to let it all go. To build a home, and demolish it with my own hands. Well, the splinters have lodged, and they're beginning to ache. Eating away, infecting and rotting the flesh around them. You've been reduced to the constant lump at the back of my throat. While I still prefer to walk in a crowd. To feel something if nothing else. Maybe that's my biggest weakness and my greatest strength.
I break myself before I let anyone else do it for me.
- Sarthak Kulshreshtha