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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.

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Falling in love with a poet

There is something about falling in love with writers and poets. They always paint pictures of you in flattering ways. Your body, your mind, your soul is a muse to them, and they add details to it to make it more beautiful, more ethereal. 

Today, my favourite told me that the way I wake up in the morning is not a mess, it’s a stretch of the mind as much as of the body. The way I carve my body is not to loosen muscle from the terrible way I sleep, but the arch of my arms is his morning drug.

He said that the way I like my coffee isn’t random, it’s a reflection of me- dark with a dash of whipped cream. My breakfast, a croissant, is our relationship- beautiful, classy, unique, and sometimes cheesy. 

He said that the house my parents built is beautiful, because it’s a reflection of them- brown wooden doors that are sturdy, brick walls that are hard to break down, a porch that’s easy to access for outsiders. 

He said we’ll build a glass house by the beach, so we see the beautiful waves and the sunrise, so that we are open to aesthetic beauty of the nature, but we’re not one with the nature. Boundary to save ourselves when the weather is too harsh. 

He says we can have a Summer home somewhere cool, where I can leave my hair open and he can kiss my neck by parting my hair. That the sweetness of my lips would be far better than the ripe golden mangoes that we’d have grown in our backyard. 

There’s something about being in love with artists and poets. Everything is music to them. Everything is beauty, everything is grace. Everything is ethereal and eternal.


You might be the Preston Burke to my Christina Yang.

I think of you, you know. Each day, everyday. Especially now, when all universe seems like a void. Surprisingly, unlike those novels and poetry that I read, you don’t fill in that void. But I guess that’s why I like to keep my distance.

I sense that you want me and need me as much as I did at one point of time. Sense? No, I don’t mean in a sixth-sense soul-mates kind of way. I sense it from your voice. At how defeated you sound in your texts and your calls, the total of ten times we interacted in the past year. Of course I noticed. Your ex-best friend, as you graciously signed off sometime back. How could I not notice?

I looked back all year looking for clues that we were breaking away from each other-shredding into pieces- pieces of me with you and you me. No wonder we were devastated. I knew I was getting better. I knew I was healing. I could feel it. I was no longer that lost person who didn’t know what was going on. I was growing and I had sincerely hoped you were too.

I thought hard. Everyday I thought why we weren’t together. You did love me. Was I scared? Of course I was scared. You were breaking each of my walls with your love, and I let you. It was a trust exercise, alright. But I let you. And you hurt me. Perhaps unintentionally, but you did. And there I was-standing stark naked to you, in the icy chill that you left me in-defenseless.

But you came back. And I let you break those walls again. And this time you didn’t run. But I didn’t trust you. We were both idiotic, of course. And I ran instead. Every guy I mentioned you got jealous, and every girl you dated, I got jealous also. But it didn’t stop us. We did what we did. We were who we wanted to be, but in this complicated web of feelings and emotions, tangled beyond repair.

And we stopped. I know I did tell you things. But I had a life too. I couldn’t help but feel miserable because I ditched you when you needed me most. But I had to. You don’t have to see it, because it was selfish of me- but you had taught me to say no, and I did. I had to figure out things that didn’t matter. But I did.

So I thought. Everyday. Of what my feelings were for you. Until a week back, when I realized you had cracked the code years back. We are different people than who we were when we first fell in love.And we grew separately from there, and dragged it, going back to an older self that was nothing but a lie now.  And so we fell apart. And now, that I realized that we couldn’t be together, unless we were ready to let go of being mature adults and live in a fantasy land of Crescents of Moon and Black Beauty and Historic Heroes (the opinions on each, too, have changed), we wouldn’t be happy. And knowing this was the thing that made me happy. That letting you go wasn’t wrong at all

And then, you called today. My instinct told me to cut your call and I did. A couple of times. Then I switched it off, and thought why I did cut it. But I noticed it again. A kind of heat spreading through my body- not the good kind either. It felt like poison- like something was getting rotten inside me. No, not a demonic power. Just something- like when you want to throw up, or you are in-between getting a bad cold. I was uneasy. You made me uneasy. Or was that just me?

And then I called you back and we talked for about half an hour. With awkward pauses, that somehow made me feel better- at least those weren’t awkward words. I noticed how different our worlds are today. And that, my darling- the awkward chuckles and awkward words and beautiful silences- made me realize that I had truly moved on. And I don’t regret it-or you- one bit. It makes me incredibly happy and liberated.

You might be the Preston Burke to my Christina Yang. And I am glad it will stay that way.