Inspired by The Girl He Loves by Lang Leav.
There was a man who I once knew
For me there was no other.
The closer to loving me he grew,
The more he would grow further.
I tried to love him as his friend,
Then to love him as his lover;
But he never loved me in the end-
His heart was for another.
“Is this love, or is this madness?” I write for everyone to read, “Is this heartache or self – preserving selfishness?” I ask myself. I write about him, and how he’s grown, but I haven’t written about how much I’m falling for him, deeper and deeper, harder and harder. Maybe that’s why everyone is so spineless in love. Maybe it’s just me, trying hard to deny it. Maybe that’s why I stopped texting, and replying, and calling back. Maybe that’s why I stopped meeting him, and maybe that’s why I stopped trying.
Was it that he didn’t notice? I’m sure that’s not possible. How can you talk to someone everyday for years, and then just not notice their presence one day. Why then was it that he stopped trying before I did? Why did my heartache have a visible, tangible proof, and his was just a void? Why did I have a sudden affinity towards poetry, and why did I pen those down for the world to see my agony? How did he miss it? How did he miss that my words were not just icy sharp, but also a chronic dull ache? Why didn’t he sense the melancholia?
It was a couple of weeks later that I found the answer. He’d found her: her who everyone thought was his soulmate – the leading lady in the novel of his life. Turns out, I was just the practice ball before the actual win-or-lose finale. And all the answers fell in place. He didn’t care because all his care was now directed towards wooing her, and he didn’t notice because his interests always were singular and focused, and now I’m just somebody he can deal with later, because as a friend, I was supposed to be understanding, and supportive, and loving. And I was just loving, because I was in love, and to me, he was supposed to have understood by now, and he was supposed to have loved me back, by now. That’s what our shippers wanted. How could Jane and Fred not end up together? So I wrote about how happy Fred made me one unexpected day, and everyone was happy that night. Except me. Because apparently his novel was progressing faster than my short story.
But then, a month later, I find that his novel was a tragedy. His leading lady went off with his friend, and he let her. Quite the benevolent man, my muse. Giving up his happiness for the two people who he thought deserved it. And we started talking. He was not himself, and I probed him, but he refused to tell me about his problems and his afflictions, and I reluctantly let him be. Because I felt that as much as I love him still, we’ve lost our touch. I feel that the magic is lost. I feel that we’re falling apart right in front of our eyes, and that he doesn’t seem to care at all. He doesn’t seem to realise it at all. He’s so tormented that he’s blinded by everything else.
I don’t let the world know the paroxysms of self doubt he’s left me with. I don’t let them know how much he wounds me, and I don’t let them know how much I want his trust, and his loving, and his friendship. I tell them, instead of the mint ice cream that we shared, and the bottle of wine. I tell them about the lingering gazes I felt on my back, and the times I fell asleep talking to him, and the nights I dreamt of him, and the mornings he woke me up with a coffee sent to my house. I tell them about the times I romanticised the hell out of his heartbroken tête tête. I tell them about what I know about his heartache, and what I guessed, and they fell for us. I sold both our souls to entertain them, and he said, “That’s what writers do, no?” and I believed him.
“My heart is scarred, Jane. And I am scared,” he said, one fine day. I thought that’d be it. That he’d finally tell me what’s been hurting him, and in turn, haunting me. “I’m scared of everything. I think my one month of solitude has shattered me into pieces I cannot pull back together. Do you think I have changed irrevocably?” I tell him yes, yes he has, but he doesn’t have to stay like this forever. He has changed, but his present is not his permanent.
And I leave him to himself for a while. This healing will take him some time, and I’ll give him that. Because I, and my love for him, as pathetic as it sounds, will wait forever.
Thank you all, for the overwhelming response!