Dear Melissa

When you read this, I won’t know if you’ll be shocked or just subdued. I won’t know if you’ll think I took the coward’s way out or had the courage to do something most people only dream or talk about. Life is filled with tragic curves and barely guarded hairpin bends and there’s only so much I could climb. You’ll ask yourself if what I did was the most selfish, cowardly act someone can commit or if I said what I needed to, did what I needed to, left behind both rapture and devastation and left on my terms. Each day felt like an inner concentration camp, gripping my soul and squeezing hard, crushing my will and slowly and steadily I became a slave to forces within beyond my control. I tried explaining this to you and if one person got me, it will always be you. But words are both spoken and unspoken and the latter always resides even after you think you’ve purged it all out. I felt like I was being a burden, a curse and a shame; thriving on my self-pity like a leech on blood; growing fat, drinking the blood of sorrow, and by and by I needed freedom and though I smashed the trapdoor with my fists, clawed at it even; it refused to open, and day became night and night became day and I lost sense of purpose like a walking cadaver doing his duty. But I kept at it, until fate wrung me dry of emotion, and apathy kills darling, but also gives a man courage. I didn’t want to fake love, to fake sorrow, to fake that you meant something long after my heart grew cold. I wanted you to mean something always because nobody else gave a damn, nobody else fucking cared. I’ll remember your touches and kisses if there’s an afterlife where sorrow lies defeated and we drink from the waters of beauty and rest on the shores of inner quietude. Now, I don’t expect you to understand. And even if you did, I don’t expect you to forgive me. I love you and though they’ll say, ‘He never meant it because love translates into action,’ and they’re right, I just want you to move on, to exorcise yourself of me, if necessary. If what I did is selfish, then use it against me, but let me go right there. If what I did is difficult, don’t try solving that puzzle. If what I did is cowardly, then remember me for being yellow and nothing else. I wish I could explain more but I can’t. I write this with dry tears and a dead soul and if that sounds harsh, remember me for being cruel and for not walking hand in hand with you, and breaking ‘forever and always,’ even though paradoxically you are forever and always.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Originally published in The Literati Mafia 

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