Dear Best Friend,
We are in our 20s, widely considered the marriageable age—at least in India. Most of us have been asked when we plan to get married.
I dread it, you getting married.
We’ve spent years together. I know from memory the shape of your eyes when you are feeling happy, sad, nostalgic, far-away, thoughtful, unsure or plain joyous. I know from memory the way they twinkle. I know from one look how you feel for me. You don’t know I notice all this, like you’re my lover. But I do. And I love every single expression those eyes convey.
I know the nuances in your voice or your silence. I’ve heard you when you had laughter in your voice, and when you tried hard to restrain the sorrow in your tones. I’ve heard everything that falls in the range.
There was this one day I was sitting on the sofa in your living room waiting for you to arrive. And when you did, I heard you first before you walked in, talking in the low tone that is so you. I noticed. It made my heart sing in silent joy.
There was this one time when you were humming—have I told you how much I love your voice? But not everybody sees it so. Some hated it. It disturbed their sleep. And I felt the most putrid kind of hate flow towards them.
But, that’s the way people are—not everyone can appreciate your silent beauty. No, not physical beauty—everybody can do it. I am talking about you—who you are in entirety. The beauty that you are.
And that’s why, in all these years, I always let a silent scream when you introduced a potential partner. I jealously guarded you against any potential invasion. Sometimes, I even cried myself to sleep. I could never see the pure love in their eyes, touch, walk—in their whole body.
And that’s why I dread you getting married. I don’t mind losing you to another person if they are worth it. Not just for the moment or a few short years, but over the long-term.
You see, you are family. And when you get married, it is not just your parents handing you over in your partner’s care. Even I give up my rightful place beside you for your partner. And how can I possibly do so if I do not see them love you like I, a mere friend, do?
I want nothing less for you.
And I dread every moment you settle for less—for a lifetime!