The three guys who occupied the table appeared oblivious to the stress most of us experience in the canteen irrespective of the hours. I stood close, the weight of full meals in my hand making me impatient. Once they cleared, I set my plate down claiming the spot and saved a chair for my lunchmate. There was a time I used to dread the idea of sitting among hundreds of other people. After all, there is comfort in having to just deal with the loudness inside you than that is around you. But in the recent times lunch break has become my favorite time of the day for just one reason. Oh the things we do in the name of love!!!!
I met him few months ago at a party and before I knew, we have become good friends. I would like to believe we managed to connect intimately in these few months than most people do in years. Though it is the easiest relationship I ever had with another human being, it still is hard because I know the most we will be is just that, close friends. While I wait for him to join me, I ponder on the ‘what-ifs’, ‘almosts’ and ‘i-wishs’ of life, as such and love, of course. After what feels like hours, I spot him as he walks into the vast space of the canteen with the same charm with which he walked into my tiny world, animatedly chatting away on his mobile. As he takes chair across me, I hear him say bye to the person he is on call with – his wife. There it is, my wakeup call. I struggle to come to terms with the injustice of the timing of it all.
The tragedy of falling for someone is the incapability of pretense. Like, I don’t know how to contain the joy in my eyes when I think of him or stop staring at his lips while he is taking or stop imagining his arms around me as he casually rolls his shirt sleeves. I don’t know how to stop his thoughts from entering every corner of my mind or stop wondering about the would haves, could haves and should haves. Who is to say the ghosts of past hurt more? Have you ever held on to a future that has no hope or shape? Have you ever experienced the sense of half-fractured belonging to someone who is not yours ? Now, I know better than to explain the complexity of human emotions with commonsense. As painful as the realization is, it is also liberating in a way. After all, what is love, if not the solace we find in the presence of the person who is the very reason for the chaos in our mind?