How I stopped living and Learnt to Love wrong.
by Rajeev Anil Roark
I have always gravitated towards love. More so than most people I know. I like making a big deal out of it. Its important to me. When I was young, my dad used to be the most important person in my life. I used to enjoy conversations with him. He told me new things about how Terminator time travels to kill a boy. He used to take me to movies and discuss all that is not shown in bollywood movies. We used to read books together. He often sat and read my course literature books. I used to ask him why a character behaves in certain manner. I was thirteen when I lost him. Then I shut out the world. I stopped being 13 year old. I felt that I have to be more serious. I began to think more and more about accomplishing what I wanted to as soon as possible. I couldn’t wait for time to flow by its own pace. I was running harder through it. What else do you expect from a thirteen year old. I was told to be strong for my mother and my younger sister. I did that. I became a grown up. I trapped and buried my own childhood deep beneath. There were and still are times when cracks appear through this glacial personality of mine. I act immature, as if trying to recapture the lost childhood now. Am twenty one but it doesn’t feel like only two decades. I feel tired. I feel drained of the will to push on. In between, I fell in love..I lost it because I was too busy making sure that my love will never leave me instead of actually experiencing and expressing love. I was not providing reasons to be together. I was constantly thinking of solutions. It felt like a paranoid soldier who keeps preparing for an attack even when there is peace. I ruined it with my seriousness. I thought if I am serious, why cannot she be the same. I never thought about her side of feelings. She was 19. I obviously should have known that she is not an embittered person who think armors are good mask. She must have had nubile dreams. I ignored them. I pulled her through the gentle phase and thought not of holding hands but of silences. I should have taken walks with her. Instead, I thought one glance at her while I am working is enough to convey my love to her. I was 20 when I lost her. By that time, I have become so good at pretending to be a loner that the lines blurred between the mask and the face. Tears welded the macabre of a fake smile onto my face permanently. I watch my own photographs of time before dad died and I can see that now my smile hardly even makes a dent in my cheeks, let alone reach my eyes. I used to laugh crinkling my eyes. I don’t anymore. Never. I began having a flurry of short misunderstood relationships. They were more like acquaintances. I talked, I listened. I never shared. I concocted enough stories to perfect a full description of a happy life. I thought that was moving on. It was not. It was simply like standing in a deep puddle and instead of building steps out of stone, I kept lining them against the rim to create a big locking cage. And all the while, I kept sending messages to those I thought who were listening. Perhaps some wanted to. Some actually did. But maybe I just wasnt speaking what was right. I was simply talking what I thought would fit right. I was missing crucial pieces but I kept trying to complete the picture. I still do.