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By Mayank Gupta

There is a doll I always carry. Like Mr. Bean carries Teddy. I hug the doll to sleep. I call the doll -pain. I lie and hold tightly to the doll and cry tears of grief, sometimes invisible.

At times, I hug the doll too tightly as if to stifle it, more than needed. The only one who ends up gasping for breath is me. At times, I hug it closer than it actually is, only to make other dolls appear more distant.

I have had the doll for far too long. The doll fills the voids sometimes created by those who gifted the doll.

The doll is a souvenir I carry. A token of unfulfilled love. Unrequited love. Unexpressed love. All the love I want to give, but cannot. All the love I want to have, but cannot.

Sometimes in order to avoid feeling something, you shut off everything. Maybe that’s why I keep the doll. A constant reminder that I can feel. I am alive.

I have had the doll for far too long. A keepsake for something beautiful. I am scared to lose the doll, the only bridge to beautiful possibilities, some never even there in the first place.

(I am going to have a separate bed for the doll in my brain. I will stop feeding the doll.)

By Mayank Gupta

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