Now, now, don’t get judgemental about me. We have all had that one relationship in our youth, eons before we found our true love, which, despite having gone sour, for years, we didn’t manage to get the person out of our mind. I have gone through this syndrome as well.
What started off as, “How will I ever live without him”, slowly changed to, “He will repent what he has lost”, and it finally ended with, “To hell with him”. In between these comments were days, weeks, and months of tears, doubting self-confidence, hurt and immense anger. Then, as other things and people gained priority, because, after all, we all move on, it all began to gradually get hazy. I stopped thinking about him every waking hour of every day. Neither did he come to mind during the vulnerable night hours. Yet, he was there.
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How it faded with time
You know how it is, right? That back-of-the-mind tiny corner that is reserved for thoughts that you refuse to forget. These are not those thoughts that you can’t give up on – for you have so much more to be thankful about – and yet you can’t. You don’t want to. Maybe it is your ego more than the hurt that keeps it aflame. Who knows? Well, he continued to ‘burn’ bright in that teeny-weeny corner of my mind as well. Then came along the age of abundant social media (yes, the breakup had happened during prehistoric times when even Orkut was at a nascent stage) and it contributed so well to increasing the ‘flame’. Damn! He was right there!
Thus started days of ‘seeing’ him again. However, every time I sneaked a peek at his face, his smile irritated me. I didn’t need some man from the past to make me unhappy. Again. He could not. Then why was I was allowing a picture to affect me? Was it that some illogical part of me was enjoying this indulgence of self-pity? But that wasn’t like me. There was more mystery to unravel. I thought the years had made me forget him. But something was still there. I realised that what I had done had just been thought blocking and not a complete forgetting. It was time to introspect a little. Time I did what I needed to do to completely let go.
It had begun well
When we had been dating, what had started off well (like all relationships do because we wear rose tinted glasses), slowly and steadily deteriorated over the next few months. The issues, like ‘we are not being able to meet because of study pressures’, ‘you have way too many girls that you speak to’, ‘I’m too young to think of a long term commitment’, were not ones that we couldn’t deal with, but maybe our youth did not want us to. Maybe we liked it only as long as it was fun. But, once all the momo-eating, Nicco Park going, and museum visiting became boring, we wanted to get back to the more stable routine of going to school – coming back home to mother – eating bhaat maach – going to sleep-play with friends – study – sleep peacefully after the permissible television watching time was over.
Maybe we had known each other as friends for so long that when we finally took our relationship a step further, it fell flat on its face. Some say that best friends make the best partners. Na! Not always! We didn’t. And we both lost a dear friend, for when we finally decided to put a full stop to the messy equation it was amidst a lot of fighting and anger. Thankfully, we had not indulged in any form of physical proximity, nopes, not even a peck on the cheek, that could have added to the guilt. Thank God for small mercies.
Then he popped up again
Thoughts flooded back as I introspected. As the days passed, I kept giving into seeing his picture and feeling myriad negative thoughts. I was surprised with the amount that the brain was remembering. What had taken me so long to turn into a blur suddenly was all in perfect view. It was amazing how I could carry on with the daily routine and yet keep thinking back about a time that was more than 20 years ago. And I did it till I got disgusted doing it. I will give the guy some credit here – I don’t know why, but he decided to ping me on Facebook Messenger. It was just a normal “Hi”. That did it.
The smallest thing can often bring about the greatest change. Twenty years later, an innocuous ‘hello’ from someone who I had known so well – in different ways – attacked my senses like a tsunami.
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What caused the breakup
I could see the final fight playing itself out once again right before my eyes – him making up stories about another friend of mine simply because he did not want me to spend time with this other friend and instead devote myself to him completely; me furious beyond belief when I learnt it from one other common friend; and then a confrontation – thankfully, though, one that had been restricted to only a verbal spat. Unfortunately, however, it happened in a public place and that too in Kolkata where such girl-boy clashes not only generate a lot of rolling-eyeballs as in any other Indian city, but where also are added scornful looks from the older generation that screams, “Oposhonshkriti”, meaning ‘uncultured’.
I looked at the “Hi” on the messenger once again. I got divided into small parts. One told me that he had done this because at 16 boys are immature, another told me that it had happened because he had been possessive about me, one warned me not to give into the past and again try and forget any form of friendship with one who I would never be able to trust, yet another part told me to just stop analysing and to forgive, the fourth gave me the most logical advice – it was time to hit the block button and bid him a final goodbye.
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So I did it
We had both lived all these years doing what we had to and our paths had never crossed once. This chance ‘meeting’ was a sign to do the final signoff. I believe in signs. My fingers moved the mouse such that the cursor flashed over the block button. Click.
It’s been months since this happened. When I began writing this piece I had wondered whether I would again feel any kind of emotional turmoil. Believe me when I say this – I felt nothing. It just remains a story today that I can narrate without flinching anymore. It might have taken a long time for the real ‘forgive and forget the past’ to happen for me, but what the heck – better late than never. I think love plays a great role. If you have the one who truly loves you, like I do, all sadness of the past erases itself out with ease.Published in