I pack your stuffs for the fifteenth time. Your t-shirts, your gifts, your letters, the remnants of the last cigarette we smoked, one matchbox, everything goes into the plain old cardboard box that resembles me in its brokenness. I pause for a second. There are so many thoughts getting tangled with one another in my head. I realize I was biting my bottom lip when the blood spreads its rustic taste over my tongue. The thoughts disappear to bring me back to the reality. I take a deep breath and take out your letters one by one. Over the years I had arranged them in chronological order –from the very first one you gave me on our first date that stated how I was the best thing to ever happen to you, to the last one that said how you couldn’t wait to get married to me. If you were still writing me letters, and this time honestly, perhaps they would tell me why you left.
I keep the letters aside, telling myself that the next time a man tells me he loves me, I could read your letters and be assured of what a lie sounds like. But, who am I kidding? These letters help in nothing but feeding my naivety; every time I re-read them, I hope to find a little bit of truth lurking behind some of the lines. All of it can’t have been a lie, for sure? I can’t have been that blind, right? There would have been red flags for sure. Did I miss something? I sure can’t have. Or did I now?
So I open each of your letters, in chronological order. They are fragile now, the creases have started to tear. I tell myself that I am here, for the 134th time, to just spot the red flags. It’s been 4 months, 11 days and 19 hours since you left, and I have moved on. So this is just me trying to spot those red flags. I take it slow; word by word, line by line. As the words sink in, my breaths become faster. As I reach the end of the first page of the first letter, my vision has blurred. As the pages turn, I am unable to keep up with your words that are pouring with love. I swallow hard as it starts again; the pain flows through every inch of my body to finally settle in a deep pit within my chest. Surely, these can’t be lies. I must have done something wrong, didn’t I?
I take out your stuffs one by one; your t-shirts and your gifts, the remnants of the last cigarette we smoked and the one matchbox, and I slowly put them back in my cupboard.
PS: About two years back, I had started a series (well, in my head at least, and had just two posts), which dealt with the theme of loss. The idea was to pen down stories that dealt with one particular aspect of losing someone; moreover, the inability of the people left behind to cope up with the loss. So, this is my attempt at reviving that series. Throughout these you will find different stories, different characters, and someday, maybe I will come back to some old characters.
Sahuui, and Mess. are the two other posts in the series. I would really appreciate it if you would read them and share your feedback. Feel free to let me know if you want me to write about anything in particular.