What would you do?

What would you do
if you get a cheat day?

One more day;
a chance to relive your last day.

What things would you do differently?
How many more memories would you make?

Would you let your loved ones know?
Would you slip in a silent goodbye with every kiss,
every hug,
every “I love you”?

Or would you push them away?
All so that you wouldn’t be a grenade
So you wouldn’t destroy them when you leave.

Would you try to change the fate?
Not give up without a fight?
Would you die fighting?

Or would you accept it to leave gracefully
as it is meant to be.
Let the people know that you love them
whisper in your goodbyes
with all the love and affection
you can pour out for them.

What would you do
if you get a cheat day?

 

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The Ending; The Beginning – Part three

You know that not everything is going to last forever but you don’t really expect things to end so soon either.

What do you do when that happens? When all that you thought that you knew was failing and falling to the grounds right in front of you and you could do nothing but watch?

I watched as everything I feared all played itself out in reality. I was a spectator to the ending of beliefs and relationships. Everything was coming to an end right before me.  I stood there watching the strongest woman that I had known do what I have known her to do best – stand strong; hold the pieces of our lives together and back the strongest man I’ve known as he stood in the frontlines taking every shot himself and not letting any of them touch his family. Whereas I could do nothing but watch, still healing from the wounds they never knew of, hiding scars that they never knew existed. 2016 continued with watching.

Never had I felt so helpless, I wanted to help but what could I do? I too was just healing and how to heal was all I knew. So, I did what I could do – heal – we healed together, patching up our broken hearts, mending our trust, bit by bit, a little at a time. We took our humour and we took our sarcasm and made a temporary makeshift blanket of happiness and wrapped ourselves in the warmth of it, I admit that we were not the easiest bunch to deal with, some of us were still too proud to admit that they were hurt, were still fighting battles for all of us, but then again, they also were finally letting us know they were tired. Finally letting us take the front lines in turns. 2016 hinted that it was indeed going to be a cycle of healing, battle scars and temporary fixes.

While life was throwing all the temporary people and temporary fixes, I stumbled across something that I so wanted to be permanent. I was on a go to kick start my life again – brainstorming ideas for projects, taking up assignments – and miraculously failing but still not giving up. Mid-way into one particularly fun assignment (which was also my sort of boss/ favourite person’s idea to cheer me up), I found myself in conversation with this particular stranger who felt so familiar.
“I don’t believe you” was all it took to get our story started. I didn’t know how it’d go or if it’d even go anywhere. But if the beginning was anything to go by, I had a feeling that this was going to be one fucking beautiful story. 

Maybe, I dared to hope, just maybe, 2016 was going to be a start of something new.

 

 

16 Mini Tales and a Tragedy

21 March 2015
A tall lanky guy sat right beside
“Hey! Nice scarf”
“Thanks!”
I smiled

20th Birthday of mine
First one that we celebrated together
Of all the things you did
My favorite was
your perfectly wrapped kiss.

19 roses
Were at my doorstep on valentine.
You said fourteen were too cliché
But never gave me a reason for why nineteen

18 days till our anniversary
When we had our very first fight
Over the date of our anniversary
You said it’s twentieth, I said it’s nineteenth
We later resolve this agreeing how the date doesn’t matter
All that matter is that we’re here, together.
But I know it’s nineteenth

17th, turns out it was seventeen
A photo from our dinner that night
Had a time stamp that we didn’t care to see
Sheepishly enough we celebrated our anniversary in
With a takeaway dinner and a bucket of ice cream

16 songs in the mixtape
Your best friend told me about all the cassette players that you went through
All because that rainy night
We were talking about how mixtapes were so cool
And I told you how I missed old school

15 shades of orange scarves
Cause you couldn’t decide which one was
Exactly like the one I lost last summer
Thanks to you being a perfectly great distraction

14 minutes late into the movie
Thanks to the pretty black dress
That took ages to put back on
After you unceremoniously took them off

“13 dine together, first to rise will be the first to die”
Quoted a friend as we were almost done with our dinner.
you stood up laughing and rest of us right after
that night as we made our way home
I held you a little tighter
Not superstitious
But scared

12 storeys high
The flat I liked was perched on the very top
Mint shade rooms and yellow kitchen
As we looked at the city lights
Sipping our tea was the first time
you admitted your fear of heights.

“11 more hours, love”
You try to console me through the phone
Although it felt more like you were consoling yourself
We somehow were able to spend a month apart
Without losing our sanity
But these unexpected additional few hours felt like a complete agony

10 minutes to eight
I sit there anxiously fidgeting with the tablecloth
You put your hand over mine
And calm me down
And the first time in this evening
I feel like I belong
Still not in this party
but definitely with you

9 generous slices of your favorite chocolate cake
It took you to finally admit
That there is such thing
as too much of sweet
I wasn’t surprised when you ran away
From anything that had chocolate, for a week.

8 chairs were left empty
We still decided to sit on the bigger table meant for ten
The tables meant for two had chairs opposite to each other
Keeping us at arm lengths
Keeping us from holding hands beneath the table
Keeping me from tickling you
And stealing your food.

7 tries it took you to unlock the door
Because you were too drunk to see
And I was too giggly to be steady on my feet
So after we finally got the door open
We sat hysterically laughing on the porch steps

6 days of burnt curries
And half cooked rice for dinner
Till you finally agreed on the new Chinese place that opened down the street
That one day I finally convinced you,
Turned out they burned their curries too.
That night our kiss tasted of burnt curries
and all the peppermint we had after.

Of all the numbers
I have lost the number of times we’ve been called out for being too handsy in public
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you
Nor my hands

5 missed calls
I stopped mid walk to look at the phone
Seconds away
A speeding car

4….

3…

2..

1.

 

 

~~

 

Why did you stay up so late?

“Why did you stay up so late?”

“I’ve been – ”
Thinking,
remembering,
over thinking,
making up scenarios in my head,
making myself sad,
having mental conversations
that does nothing but make me feel bad
about myself
and insecure,
reminding myself that beneath the strong persona I wear every day,
I’m still the little weak girl,
still too scared,
still not brave.
Not brave enough tell you.
And so I say, “– working on the project I had.”
Wondering when did I take up a project to make myself sad.  

The Hard Part

[Originally posted on 16th February 2015 in http://scarlet-grace.blogspot.com/
The revised version of this story is also printed on the September 2015’s issue of Navyaata magazine as “The End Game”]

With sweaty hands I finally managed to press “send” and few moments later there came a “seen”. I waited and waited, there was nothing but silence. Suddenly he called. I didn’t know what to do. I pressed “reject” sign on the screen. He called and I cancelled again. We did that few more times and then he called again. I knew he wanted answers, he needed them but did he deserve it? I didn’t know. With shaking hands I finally answered. I expected him to ask “why”, scream at me maybe, call me names but all I got was silence. “Hello?” I said.

“Hmm… Why didn’t you pick up the call?” what was that in his voice? Annoyance? Sadness?

“Er… I just uh…”What could I possibly say? How could I say that I was being a coward that I was running away from what was coming, that I didn’t want to face the consequences of what I had done.

“So… did you have your dinner?” he asked again filling the dead silence.

“Yeah…” Why was he doing this? Why wasn’t he saying anything? Why was he acting so normal? Like nothing had happened. I knew he had seen it. I knew that he knew, so why? Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I asked. “You got the message didn’t you?”

“What message?” He was lying! He was lying! I knew he was! I knew he had seen it.

“The one I sent on Facebook?” I asked unsure of his response.

“Nope” Liar!

“I think you should see it.” I tried to keep a cool voice.

“I don’t want to” His voice suddenly pleading, filled with the obvious pain. What had I done?

“You need to.” I said sadly though I had already known that he had seen it.

“No I really don’t want to, please?” No. No. No. He was doing it wrong! This was supposed to be the easy part! Why is it becoming the hard one then? He deserved this! Or that was what I thought few moments ago… Had I gone too far? Had I been too harsh? He hadn’t become serious, had he? He couldn’t be! He isn’t the type of guy to get serious, at least not so soon… but isn’t this what we wanted? Isn’t this how he was supposed pay for what he did to her?

“Is it true?” His voice was in the verge of tears. It almost broke my heart. What was I supposed to do now?

“Yes. Every word of it.” I never resented myself more in my life than this particular moment. When had I become so heartless?
“Okay. Thank you.” And that very moment he hated me more than ever. “You’re welcome.” I replied coolly. He gave a small sound of disbelief, pain, hatred and then ended the call. I slowly put my cellphone down feeling numb and empty, hollow. It was over. I had done it. I had broken his heart and all I felt was relief. Relief that it was over.