Category Archives: Fiction

Saturdays with you.

When we were three and five respectively, our parents introduced us. Our dads were friends in college, you see? And our mums neighbours. I hated you the minute we met because you pulled my hair. But our parents loved playing rummy and disregarded us like they disregard children. 

We went on beach days every Summer, and on vacations together. We knew each other’s grandparents, and cut the other’s birthday cakes. You were my way into the school’s who’s who in high school, and I hated the three years we spent apart when you moved to another city, till I followed you there.

But my favourite memories will always be Saturdays with you. Eating breakfast at mine and dinner at yours. Our little sleepovers. Our little fights. The first time we kissed. The first time you fell in love with my best friend. The first time you met my crush on a double date, and you telling me to stay away from assholes who gaslight. 

My favourite memories are Saturdays with you. My best friend, my soulmate.

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Domino.

Your haughty arrogance, and your sharp demeanor would render everyone insipid. Your sharp edges, and your pointed looks, your unshaken spirit, and your straight, unsmiling lips are masks they wish to bare open. They look at your dark patches and wish to scribble colour into them.

Unbeknownst to you, they try to scratch your surface and tear open barely healed wounds. They scar you and scare you. They make a spectacle out of your polished quite, and push you believing it a grand joke you’ve orchestrated. Seemingly unhurt, you try to retreat, but they have chained you with expectations you’re now honourbound to fulfill.

They don’t know you, darling. The struggle to open your eyes in the morning, and brace yourself. They don’t know you’re hardened against the tide of uncertainty, and hopelessness. They don’t know the scars you hide underneath your fancy suits, or the crescent moon on both your beautiful wrists. They don’t know that your laughter once meant joy and life, not just obligations, and pretence. They don’t know that you’re drowning and you’re shattering, and your greatest struggle is to load the dishwasher, and doing your laundry, and driving to work, and not deciphering stock values, or doing that extra credit assignment, or writing codes for the most complex programs.

Because to them you’re playing the hard-to-get game till they have drawn you out. But, they don’t know that your dark patches came from an amalgamation of different hues, drawn over and over and over.


The Collector of Love

You take a deep breath. It’s time.

You get your heart broken everyday you love him. You give your everything for his most things, and your everybodies for the third place in his life.

This is why I love you

He makes you laugh. He knows how to take care of you. He takes care of you when you’re down. He brings you black coffee before deadlines, hot chocolates when you are upset, and waffles and whipped cream when you’re happy. He brings you soup when you’re sick, and books from his mother.

He’s laughing.

He laughs when he’s nervous- before big interviews and presentations. He laughs at you when you’ve done something stupid. He teases you silly.

You don’t believe me?

He hates how collected you are, how passionate you are. He hates how you always speak your mind. He hates how you are silly but also smart. He hates it because it’s everything you’re not.

You don’t mean it

But you never joke about love. Because love is true. Love is trust. Love is belief.

Besides, do you always tell everyone you love them?

But you never joke about love. You don’t love many, not because they’re not worthy. But because you don’t do love.

I don’t love you

Your heart shatters, even though it shouldn’t. Who you love is under no obligation to love you back. Love is not a zero sum game, even though everyone thinks it is.

I love you

This is a different boy, the one who he hates. This one is joking. This one is amazing, and lovely, but it’s still not him. You don’t love him, because you can’t get yourself to.

I love you

This boy is not fond of him. But he’s a unique soul. He asks whether this boy loves you. Now you wish to show him that he does. You don’t love this boy, but really, really enjoy and cherish him.

I love you
It’s his best friend. His best friend loves you. But he doesn’t. You love his best friend too, but don’t tell him that because you don’t want to tell him.

I love you.

A classmate you helped with some stats.

I love you.

Your best friend, everyday, when you wonder whether you’re worthy of love.

I love you.

Your friend whom you wrote a poem for.

I love you.

Your friend, because you sent her a book of your favourite poetry.

I don’t love you.

Him, because you are a bro. Nothing more. You mean a lot, but not enough to love.

I really can’t love you.

Like it’s a skill, loving you. But it’s okay. You collect other people’s love because you’re worthy of love. It’s somehow not enough, even if it’s infinite. It’s not his.