This year I got out of two relationships, well sort of relationships (labelling it is pretty tough, eh? alert!). The first one began towards the end of last year, it was, to my love struck eyes, perfect. My 2021 began with the text 'you're the best thing that’s happened to me this year'. Whether it was being single almost forever till then, or the sweet nothings being whispered in my ears, or the stolen kisses, or the never ending, sweet, flirtatious conversations; I slowly changed my idea towards love. I used to be terrified of how I had seen it affect people, but then I even began embracing it. I wasn't ready for a lot of things and he never expected any of them from me, never pressured me into doing anything or saying anything I did not wish to do or say. Admittedly, it had its ups and downs, but the downs never wore me out, they never created voids or empty spaces in me. Yet gradually there was this place created for him, by me (or by his persistent attempts to woo me, I don't really know). Can't lie, when the end came, I saw it coming. Yet I wished for it to never happen. I was dumped precisely a week before my birthday. My birthday, something I was very excited for, not to mention it was right when I was going through shit due to the virus having infected my grandparents who were, and still are, very dear to me. And he made me go through that, go through a void being created, me feeling empty due to his absence, the place where he used to stay being a constant reminder of what I no longer had. He made me go through crying myself to sleep not only due to the anxiety for my grandparents, but also the feeling of not being enough. As history goes, he had even played me, which not only did he not admit, but also denied, till I had proof. He made me go through not being able to eat, sleep, study, heck, function properly owing to all the hormones released due to being sad. Probably the worst few weeks of my life.
And those supposed best days? They played in my head ceaselessly, just in blue, like a sad montage in a movie. I waited and waited for my movie to turn around, this certainly wasn’t the climax, right ? There's got to be a better guy out there to wipe away my tears and get rid of these insecurities which were a parting gift from the first guy I ever loved. No one came to my rescue. It's not to say that on hearing about this shit going down other guys didn't try to squeeze their way in, but not with romantic or grand gestures like in movies or books, just pathetic attempts with various unsolicited pictures and unnecessary comments. I made up my mind that the next time, if there was one, to end it before the other person does, at least it'd be less painful that way.
It was slow and gradual, it was hard and excruciatingly painful, but I got better. It wasn't in the duration of a song, or a single speech,and it certainly wasn't something I can skip over in a few paragraphs and just ignore, while moving onto the next major event and letting the plot progress. The other guy who I dated was, again, perfect. He had endearing soft brown eyes and an adorable smile, really really curly hair and the amazing talent of being even dumber than me, allowing him to be a lovable goofball that secretly every girl swoons over. Dating him was,well, perfect - but not really, this time my glasses weren't fogged up with all the love clouds and I could see clearly. I saw all the wrongs and all the rights. What I also saw was the things I had prized and regarded highly before seemed the bare minimum compared to how I was being treated the second time. Yet something was missing. I did like him very much, probably more than I would like to admit, but knowing that something was missing, I saw an end coming to that too. Keeping to my promise to myself, I ended it. Before he could. I didn’t feel anything for a few days. I felt numb. I realised that all I was doing was really just making another montage. The sweet words and the colourful roses, the dedicated songs with cryptic messages, the aesthetic pictures - they made for good poems, anecdotes and stories to tell, but I had just been trying to fill a void. Not the void created by the first guy, no, that void I had attempted to fill myself, almost succeeding, just to end up with cracks all over. And I realized that I would never be able to mend it, it was better left, with its cracks just a scar covering a wound that doesn't hurt anymore. I was trying to fill the void that I had created in my mind for a guy, any guy, owing to all chick flicks and all romcoms I’d seen, when it wasn't really a void and I really didn't need filling. I was whole. it was merely a pseudo depression somewhere from all the weight of all novellas, movies, books and series that I put on myself. But then God, did it hurt. And it still does. They say, and even I thought that it was easier for the dumper, but oh god it is not. The loss still feels the same, the absence still feels the same, their clothes with their smell still engulf you and fill you up while also making you choke up. Your favorite songs still become songs you can't listen to and the flowers grow thorns which sting the same. It still hurts.
Growing up I learnt (or am learning), that probably tomorrow I'll learn something, something that entirely contradicts this. Life is not easy, it's messy, and love is never what you expect it to be. It's so much less yet so much more. It doesn't matter who calls it quits, it still hurts the same. And if that is what growing up means, then growing up really really sucks. I remember as a child, asking my mom why do these people cry and make such a big fuss about break ups in movies, and she had told me that I would understand later. I enquired whether I’d understand it when I grew up and she corrected me, “No, you'll grow up when you understand.” I do understand, and I hate it. Love is merely a part of growing up, it's not supposed to be this way, it's not supposed to be so hard. It’s not supposed to be so f*cking messy. I wish it were easier and my life a mere Wattpad novel which ends well with the perfect teary epilogue. I hate this. I hate growing up. Yet when I was asked whether I would do it again, I didn't have to think long before saying yes. Because it’s a ride whose highs are worth the lows (well, at least for now).
Author: Riya Pote
Editor: Durva Shesh