A person to remember

There's pain, life hurts

There's a thousand things

You think you don't deserve

All hope is lost

When you spend it all

And you just can't beat the odds

I bet you don't curse God.

I heard this song just a while after you left, and whenever I hear it now, I remember you.

When you left, you weren’t a coward. You didn’t tell me through someone else. You weren’t afraid to be honest with me. But when you strung me along saying things are fine, you didn’t realize how much you were hurting me. To continuously be your backup, you pursued me only when you were lonely in these last few years.

But yesterday, I felt something different. Yesterday I went to the café and I ordered my hot chocolate. The waitress got me your order. I sat, and tears welled up my eyes. My friends realized why. My friends, bless their beautiful hearts, thought they made a huge mistake taking me there.

And all they could do was try to comfort me as rivers flowed out of my eyes. I lost my voice, just thinking of you and the pain you caused me. But you won’t believe me when I say the tears didn’t last for as long as they usually do. They didn’t at all, because I remembered what we felt in that same space, what I felt for you and what I knew you felt for me. And I was smiling this creepy smile with tear-stained cheeks looking out through our window, looking at the place where you picked up mud and threw it in my face. I saw a white silhouette of you smiling through the window and looking at me.

It has been two years since then. Two years since you chose to go. Two years since I read your letter. Two years of me asking myself why I didn’t pay close attention. I could have saved you from those arms of death. And right now I am looking out of the window of our favourite café in the early evening, and I remember you as bright as day. The voices of the people and my friends are distant, because I can’t help that beautiful feeling of happiness inside me. I am filled with nostalgia, and it brings me peace. And all that pain is not numbed, no, it vanishes.

Because the good times with you outweigh the bad ones. And I will continue to replay all of our highlights, I will even cry for you sometimes. Because you have been with me since I was tiny, you have held me as a baby, you pulled my hair all the time, and you used to make me get you chocolates using my sweet face, from all those aunties in the park. And you would falsely complain to mom about something you did, and you always took my hand after getting off the school bus to walk us home. You would just appear in my room to irritate me, and you hated when I took selfies of us.

And so you must know that right there in our café, you saved me from a trap of guilt, regret, sadness, and loss that I had made for myself. Partly because you would slap me in the face if you saw me cry over you.

So when I opened that door to walk out of our air conditioned, coffee scented place, hearing that little jingle of the tiny bell overhead, I felt free. I feel like a weight has been lifted. For so long I was scared to even think of you, but our place, our fun and crazy times there, forced those memories. And it was the best feeling in a long time.

Because being nostalgic about your face, smile, your weird jokes, your personality; just you –

finally gave me closure.

Author: Akanksha Mahapatra

Editor: Suditi Mukadam

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