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.
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 honour–bound 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.