Today, Unlike Most Days...
By Dharshini Sivabalan
I keep seeing you in all the places we never went to. Though, you promised me we would. Today, unlike most days, I feel light, I even smiled today, and its been so long since a smile found its way beyond that ugly mask you made me wear. Maybe its time to take it off, to show the world I can be happy without it, happy without you painted all over me.
I did cry today, but to my anna’s surprise, you weren’t behind my tears. I cried because the wires that chained me to you suddenly seemed to be invisible. ‘They always were’ anna says, stroking my hair softly. Today unlike most days, I could see myself believing him, a little.
I was convinced I needed to live the rest my life for the both of us. But your clothes tear me open and your skin makes me cry. Today, unlike most days, I found myself not constantly needing to picture your face and hold on paranoidly to your polaroid, just so I won’t forget you.
I even stepped into the kitchen and helped out Amma. Though I know she cries herself to sleep every night, I’m still surprised at how well she hides it. I’ll never be able to best her at that. But today, unlike most days, her smile travelled out from her heart, from the other side of all the pain she conceals from us and from Appa.
Appa came home early from work. And that didn’t sting so bad as it usually would. Because he’d want to have these conversations about me, but ideally, its about you and it would make me sick. I’d be so sick of him wanting to know if I had eaten anything, if I had a good day and things he should be asking me, but also to you. I know losing you hurts him deep, maybe even deeper than it hurts me, but there’s no way to gauge the pain. So, today unlike most days, I asked him about his day as well.
Today unlike most days, I’m capable of breathing steadily. I’m capable of talking without my words stuck in my throat, without your absence pasted in my heart. I feel like a grey sky, I feel beautiful and I realize this is maybe how you would want me to feel. I never thought I could come to this, having spent so many dizzy nights staring up at the sky, crying with my face buried in your pillow, sleeping on your side of the bed, wearing your clothes and your glasses, thinking I could make up for your absence if I became you. I lost myself in the process, but if I had to, I’d do it all over again.
You wouldn’t believe it, but I still miss you, and I will miss you, forever and more. You couldn’t stay with me forever and we couldn’t unravel the future together. But maybe its okay if we don’t go to Milan together, maybe its okay that you won’t be my bridesmaid for my wedding.. Maybe its okay that I miss you endlessly. Because, today unlike most days, I feel like I can fly. Today unlike most days, I feel like I can cry too. Today unlike most days, I feel everything and I’m happy about it.
By Dharshini Sivabalan