“Because it would be murder. All those memories we painstakingly collected, they will be long forgotten. No, I’d rather smile and cry whenever I remember you and our memories. Some day, the edges of these memories are going to get frayed and dog-eared like a beloved book read again and again. I’d rather our memories too die a natural death. I don’t want them to meet a preemptive end. You move on. You need to. I’m happy here.”
“I have an overwhelming amount of love inside me, just waiting to be given.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
“I am afraid of Love.”
“I am afraid I will exhaust all of it at the start. By then, I would’ve set such a high level of expectation of myself that any fall in my expression would lead to disappointments.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Because some day, my tank of Love may dry up. I would never forgive myself for letting my loved ones down or taking them for granted.”
“Has it happened before?”
“Yes. I have fallen out of love.”
“Why did that happen?”
“I simply moved on in life.”
“Did you stop feeling for that person?”
“Not really. I still love them. But in a different way.”
“There you go. Your supply of Love is unending. It never ends.”
“But I did fall out of love.”
“Who, apart from your parents, has been longest in your life?”
“My best friend.”
“Did you stop loving your friend? Take them for granted?”
“No, in fact I still feel an overwhelming amount once in a while.”
“Again, proves your fear wrong.”
“But I did let her go for a few years in the middle. I wasn’t a good friend. I let her down.”
“Who doesn’t like to waver from the paths? What matters is you’re back together, today.”
“But what if I fail to remain this passionate once I am bogged down with life later on? Today, I am young. I may not feel so when I am older.”
“Why do you think age will change you as a person?”
“I have changed regularly over the years. Why should that stop going forward? Along with the change, my likes and dislikes have changed. Things I love have varied. Why should that not happen again?”
“Is there nothing that has remained constant about you, your character? Not your likes and dislikes. That’s temperamental like the weather. Who you are, deep inside, never changes completely. Otherwise, you would retain your best friend after all these years, would you?”
“Hmmm. True. But what if the person I chose to fall in love doesn’t remain?”
“That, my dear friend, is the risk you have to take. It is not just about trusting your partner, but your own self and your choices.”
“What if I never know what I really want, caught in the vagaries of change?”
“You will. Trust your gut. Trust your intuition. If not, then trust the universe.”
“I hope so.”
“I knew the moment I saw him. When my black eyes met his brown ones. I could see into his very soul, and I felt a pull deep in my gut. He was The One.”
I wish I could say that. But this was not the case.
Sadly, my mind was unpleasantly occupied with another guy when I bumped into him after all those years. He called me out, and I blandly looked around, seeing but not perceiving without my glasses. Thankfully there weren’t many around. Only him, in his chinos and a casual tee shirt covering those rippling muscles. He was standing against a wall, as if waiting for someone.
The thread of recognition jolted through my preoccupied mind. My numbed senses flared. I desperately tried to remember his name. He had been a very good friend once in the past.
Animated, my face gave away my excitement at having finally met him after all those years. Lying came naturally to me. So I could hide my forgetfulness.
“Mmmm…” I thought as I eyed those gym-enhanced muscles, the tall stature, and caught the enticing whiff of his perfume. “Next prey?” I wondered.
We exchanged numbers. I had saved with some makeshift name, I vaguely believed could be his. I couldn’t wait to text him, and get the ball rolling. Ofcourse, that was after a few hours. Within the first few chats, he asked me if I was seeing anyone. I said no. He made his singledom apparent too. With that, the premises were laid. It was clear he was attracted to me.
However, he occupied but a small portion of my thoughts. Predominantly, I went back to thinking about that guy whom I thought I loved and needed.
It was surprisingly easy to speak to him. Despite being out of touch for over 6 years, we fell into a comfortable familiarity. Not exactly new to me, but something I was not used to for years.
Soon after, I went out of town to meet the guy I was ruminating about. It was complicated. And when I came back, I felt like I left my mind and body back there. But, I knew it couldn’t go on like this. I needed diversion. I needed to snap out of this colossal mess.
That’s when he asked me out. It was innocuous enough. Just coffee. We met, we spoke, we clicked. The attraction grew. I was still hesitant, though. But the connection was palpable. I could not have missed it.
He was clear. Painfully so. He was not in the financial or emotional environment that could help foster a serious relationship. Neither was I.
With that agreed upon, what followed was the most exciting roller-coster ride of a fling ever. For half a year. Even when he was not in the city for a month. In sickness and in health.
What was even clearer was our chemistry. “It could be felt across the room,” my friend told me after she met him. I blushed and nodded. Ever since, she wonders out loud why we two haven’t taken the logical step. But we remain stubborn. “It won’t work out,” we say in agreement.