Despite everything, some things hadn’t changed; like the way he could still make her laugh on her worst days.
There was a slight difference in the way he handled queries about their relationship compared to how she did it. Slight difference, mind you.
Her: I love him. He loves me. Period.
Him: We are “good friends”. Period.
She wasn’t a slave to the world’s perception about them; she made herself vulnerable and wasn’t ashamed of what they had. It is, indeed, a pity that he would never experience that kind of madness.
Sadly, in the end, the fake worldly honor mattered much more.
And there she was. Crushed, cursed, devastated. She had thought that she had finally met a match, a mirror, a man who would outrival her courage… but she hadn’t…
It was a mask yet again.
It was a spineless wimp yet again.
It was a love of convenience yet again.
Her friend told her to write bravely. She wrote, “He said he loved me and I believed him. I loved him, I hope he loved me too… even if it was for a moment, I hope he loved me too… the way I loved him.”
And she bared her true feelings to the people that mattered to her.
She told them how he made her feel. She was surprised at her audacity. She knew they did not approve. She knew that they thought it was an absolute mismatch. But she still said it all and said it out loud. He took her to places she’d never been, places she could not even have imagined existed. So she kept trying to explain what he was… Not that anyone was convinced, but she felt uncurbed.
At the very least it was liberating. She felt liberated… emancipated!
And then the realisation dawned on her… He indeed made her tremble with the sweet pain of pleasure, every time. He made her experience pleasures she never thought she was capable of feeling. But in the end, he was just a chapter in her book that was fast coming to a close… A chapter, a lesson, a memory and an experience. An experience she unabashedly reveled in, an experience that made her aware of a side she never knew existed, an experience that left her with a lot of anticipation for the coming chapters… and that is one thing she was grateful to him for… probably, the only thing.
Heartbreaks make you stronger, said the writer in this very sensible piece. How true, she thought… and how incomplete. Her first heartbreak had beyond any doubt made her stronger. It had made her…
The other day my bestie seemed to be in a furious mood when she called me. “I find the stuff you write too intense. Can’t you think beyond the vicious circle of love and pain? I am someone who needs humour in the stories I read… Tina Fey’s Bossypants did that for me, you know. The characters of your stories are always in an emotional mess, why? I am left to wonder what happened to them with every story. It is maddening,” she complained. After patiently listening to her, I ended the call and decided to introspect. During that process, I bumped into this article that I forwarded her later. Read it for yourself, but allow me to highlight a few lines from that piece here.
~ The very last page of his (William S. Burroughs) journal, penned three days before his death, read:
Only thing can resolve conflict is love… Pure love.
Love? What is It?
Most natural painkiller what there is.
A few minutes later I got this text from her, “Love it is. I always discredit it. It is called self-preservation.”
Love it is, I rest my case.
Being a lover of words, she tried hard to bleed out her pain on the paper; but all in vain. All the writing and words in the world could not help her even come close to the pain she was enduring. It was madness. A permanent devastation of a part of her. A part that made her more “her” than anything else in the world. She wondered if her eyes betrayed her every time she tried to hide behind the perfect fake smile. She did not know, but they did unintentionally reveal the agony that gripped her… not to the world but, only to the man who was the reason behind her misery. The absurdity of the situation was the fact that he too was suffering in the exact same way, but they were not allowed to rescue each other. All they could do was live through the pain and hope that it would fade in the future, if not disappear altogether.