Post Break-up Syndrome.

The world seems to be collapsing around you while you desperately try holding onto whatever you can lay your hands on- his favourite band, his favourite poem, the book he last dog-eared or the perfume you never really liked. You look around your room and spot his nail cutter on your dressing table or you look at an advertisement you had both laughed at, together, and then it happens- you feel a rush of tears stinging your eyes, your cheeks go warm and you repent your decision of ending things with him.
He wasn’t that bad after all, was he? All he wanted was for you to cut your hair or grow your nails. All you had complained of was him being an hour late sometimes and surely that can be worked out. All the differences and reasons for the ‘premature’ termination of your relationship begin to seem superfluous and frankly, childish. There is nothing a glass of wine and good conversation cannot sort out, is there? This is the Post Break-up Syndrome.  It is characterised by reckless dating, excessive drinking, excessive shopping, stalking your ex boyfriends, a high sugar diet, self-doubt, prolonged sleeping hours, regret, irritation, reading break-up quotations online, understanding song lyrics and most of all, the need to get back.

So, you call your best friend and ask her if the haste made waste, if the dog pooped early, if…okay, I am out of metaphors. Simply put, you ask her if you were wrong. She will not give you advice but hear you out while you figure out your own mess and while talking to her, and in turn talking to yourself, you hear the reasons out loud and you realise that the decision was in fact right. A difficult choice to live with, but a correct one indeed.

So how does one get over a significant other? You can delete his number, block him on facebook and hide the photographs. You can remove his physical presence from your life, you can pretend that he doesn’t exist and all of this will go on perfectly fine till that one day where you suddenly listen to a song you both danced to, or an old message in you inbox that got ignored while you were on a deleting spree or the news of him dating someone else reaches you. The world will be a perfectly rotating spheroid TILL THAT DAY, after which all his ticks and non-sensical habit will make sense. You will see that you’ve grown and have matured enough to accept the mistakes he had made 7 months back and you will ache to get him back but it is too late. He has moved on, probably as painstakingly as you have (or may be not) and he won the break-up game.

But that’s what popular belief says; that the one who dates first is the winner. I do not agree- I believe that the one who ends up happiest is the winner. Yes, there will be hiccups in getting over him (for god’s sake you loved him once upon a fairytale time ago) and you will question the choices you made. Yes, there might be a chance that ending it was a mistake, you probably should have waited a day or two more, maybe just maybe things would have turned around.

And then you will read something. Something so life-changing that you feel happy and light, like cotton. You’re a reader and he was not. You sing in the shower while he just, showered. You asked philosophical questions and answered them with candy-floss analogies while his dream interview is with Smith and Wesson. You looked at the stars, he saw the dark, dark sky. And then, you call your best friend again, to share your epiphany and she calmly makes you understand that two halves make a whole. That, while you focussed on the stars and he looked at their background, while you read all the time, he read the newspaper (and that’s the point where you make a face and disagree- newspaper is not reading duh!).
Then, once your BFF is done explaining to you why opposites attract, you say just a few sentences to her and she knows that you’ve won the argument-

I need a man who knows what poetry is, how beautifully one sentence flows into another. I need a man who carries a handkerchief with him, not to wipe off my tears but to clean the ketchup that I accidentally dropped on his shirt. I need a man who reads out Beethoven to me, instead of making me listen to his symphonies. I need a man who can make me lose an argument. I need a man who shuts me up by kissing me. I need a man who understands my fascination with House. MD. I need a man whose words seem like a song, whose voice makes me tingle. I don’t get that in him, sweetheart. I get a lot of other things, but not these. I can put in a handkerchief in his pocket and make him watch sitcoms but can I make him feel the beauty of Haiku? Can I make him stir his soul like a good book stirs mine? I am incapable, not him.

Till the time you reach an epiphany, the post break-up syndrome continues.

-All the best, I hope this helped. And if it did not, boo hoo, just start to not care and you’ll soon find another jerk who’ll also leave you 🙂

love_268___break_up_v_by_theplatypusgallery-d333g4a

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G-raped.

I live in a small town right now, courtesy college. Okay, big town but town, nonetheless. I think twice before wearing jeans and wandering there. Why should I? Why can I not wear Jeans or three-quarters comfortably in a town where guys roam around semi-naked wrapping their privates in flimsy gamchhas?
I am not even asking to wear shorts. Oh no. That would surely equal r-a-p-e.

GotStared.At

It could just be me. Or you. Or her. Or any of us. I try to act cool and joke about it. I try to pretend like it won’t happen with me but the truth is, that it might as well have already happened. A single girl being raped equals a rape of all of the female fraternity. No, this is not done and no matter how many times it is emphasized on the social networking sites, this matter will not end if facts do not enter the thick skulls of men.

Yes, I generalized. I said men as a whole because men treat women in the collective sense of the term. Of course all men aren’t the same and I myself know hundred males who behave like humans. Bu the hundred and first male is always there, just waiting to break the trust. Someone is always there. Always. Lurking.

GotStared.At

I live in the fear of being given this punishment by some adrenaline pumped guy just because ‘he felt like it’. I feel scared of saying ‘no’ to a guys proposal because he might just do something which I would fail to prevent. Or erase. Or forget.

Not just that…a guy does not have to go all the way to make a girl feel ‘touched’ and I do not mean touched emotionally. Groping a girl or ogling at her will not make her like you any more (or less). Take her permission. Ask her. Respect her. That’s the way to go.

This is not a gender power-play. You cannot ‘assume’ that you can make us do what you want. You cannot mis-treat women because you are men.You cannot simply, rape us.

GotStared.At

The more I say it, the more stupid I feel. Why am I writing this? Will those men read this? I have seen how guys discuss women and by guys I mean men from well-educated backgrounds and families. It is simply disgusting and it makes me want to vomit, the fact that I know such guys. This mentality is the seed for all the vengeance that they harbor. They keep count of the number of girls that they have ‘done’ and they assess a girls qualities by the size of her breasts. What are we- dolls that you will play with? I witnessed a boy go up to a girl and ask her why she wears clothes that cover everything. Imagine his audacity. The answer my friend (sadly), is you. Men like you make our parents teach us to dress well. And by ‘well’ they don’t mean what makes us comfortable; they mean what makes you less animalistic. Why should it be this way? Why can your parents not teach you to look at us with respect?
Why can’t you listen to your folks when they tell you to ‘ask’ a girl out? Why can you not let us believe that we are safe…that the roads as much ours as they are yours after the sun sets? Why do we have to quicken our steps in a ‘bad neighbourhood’? Why does there have to be a bad neighbourhood?

GotStared.At

If a girl bends in front of you to pick up a piece of paper, she was not provoking you. No, she does not want to entice you. All she wanted to do was to pick up that piece of paper…she did not want you to mind-rape her. She surely did not want you and your friends to gang rape her in the alley near her hostel. No, she did not want to be killed.

GotStared.At

I am not safe, and neither are you. And this fact will not change. Accept it.
But don’t stop questioning it.
WHY can it NEVER be safe?

GotStared.At

(all images and posters are from GotStared.At. search them on facebook and follow them. spread the word. that might just help)

Way to Love.

Love me. 
Hold me like you’ll hold your heart when it jumps out. 
Hold me tight, hold me warm, hold me close. 
Hold me. Now, tomorrow, for ever.

Touch me, like you’ll touch a glowing spark. 
Wonder, bewilder. 
Believe that this, the thing we have, is and will remain.

Feel. 
Feel my breath, a tinge of coffee and lots of you. 
Feel it linger around you and ultimately engulf you with 
such passion that there isnt time to breathe.

Listen. 
Listen to my heart’s beat. 
Listen to it so closely that you know how i heave. 
Count the droplets of sweat beading.
 And while you do that all of that, listen.

Look at me. 
Look into me. Look with me at what i want to see. 
Look into my eyes, search for reason. 
Look at the lines that go across my hands. 
Take my hand in yours. 
Crush me.

And then, love me all over again.

‘And then…’


They loved each other, still.

The sadness encumbers,
The atmosphere poisoned.
The moments blurred,
The time consumed.

He sipped on his drink,
Neat Vodka, iced.
The walls closed in,
He curled up, sobbing.

He shouldn’t have done it,
Never should have let go.
He messed up.
He knew it as a fact.

The soft, winter touches,
The warm nights sigh.
The silken brown hair,
Her luscious lips so red.

The names she called him,
And the words that annoyed.
The love she offered,
The ‘break’ he gifted.


He shouldn’t have done it,
Never broken her heart.
For it was his own,
The heart that he killed.

The songs she sung,
The lullabies he hummed.
The games they played,
The foreplay on bed.

He missed it so much,
But now she was gone.
She did what she should have,
Moved ahead, moved on.

He repented it now.
But what’s done is done.
She was broken inside,
Her heart, torn apart.

The giggles, the snuffles,
The tickles and ruffles.
The goodnight kisses and loves each morn,
Alas.. this goodbye lasts forever.

But how was he to know,
She loved him still?
How was he to know
They could be together, still?

She lamented her loss,
He cried her death.
They lived for each other,
Who was to tell them?

The last dance, the last wink.
The final wave, that lonely tear.
It’s all in vain, they know not that.
They lived their death all day, each day.

How would they know,
They loved each other still?

They both took their lives,
With each other’s name on their lip.


My heart’s a scar- here we are, there you are/ Mellow tone

The lamenting heartbreaks- for what?

I’m the insomniac and I’m disgustedly sleepy- BUT I have to get this out of my head.
Why in the world DO we ever like-like someone. You know, the eye-fluttering, Oh My Gosh he/she’s cute routine that all of us are so eager to jump off into?

It’s bull shit. Crap. Suicide.
The number of hours we simply waste day dreaming about him (I shall write ‘him’, you suit yourself) when we KNOW he wont like us back. Screw him, go invent a space ship or even better, play Counterstrike or something.
Fact remains, he’s not yours. he belong to that blimey-eyed-doll-faced chick wearing next-to-nothing. He’ll not like you when you like him. No. That is just simply against the laws of boy-hood. Silicon draws ’em more than sweet talk, I guess.

“Jo bhagwan hume naihn de saka, woh hume Doctor de sakta hai”

 And trust me, it sucks to know that you’ll always be Just Friends. Damn you, idiot. I don’t want to be your ‘just freind’. I am ‘just friends’ with girls thankyouverymuch.
Go, drown in your pool of porn.

Boys, I tell you are freaks in there own way, but then why do we still love them and kill ourselves over them- him to be particular. I am just so annoyed. Ugh! I am blabbering. I just hate the fact that I drool over a guy who’s so cute and adorable but so stoned. Not stoned as in doped,
 stoned as in- no emotions.

See, I’m losing my sleep all over again. At first ‘cuz ‘I’ liked him. and now ‘cuz ‘he’ doesn’t like me. Teenage! God’s cruel in His/Her own ways. 
We’re all so bundled up with studies and then added to it the Hormones.
Girls, specifically have a glorious few days to smile about every month (thank you God, again- you rock 😐 ). Then you have all these conflicts with your parents, the relatives with the ‘Oh, tum kitni badi/ lambi/ patli/ sundar ho gayi ho song, the friends who text you incessantly and you just HAVE to reply… Sigh.

Then add the cherry on top of the cake; love with a rolling ‘rrrrr’. Lurrrve.
We draw, sing, write, dream, doodle, drool and did i say dream? Dream about
a) how it would be if he really does like you
                                           b) the proposal
                                      c) the kids.

Yes, omg. I know girls, friends (even boys dream) about kids right down 
to the gender and eye colour! Say that to your X chromosome now.


But still we have Dabangg  heart-on-sunglasses type expressions when we see him. It’s like the best feeling in the world when he touches you by mistake, when his fingers brush yours while he hands over his pen to you, it’s disarmingly adorable when he hugs you to say goodbye, when you’re jealous because your Friends tease him with some other girl, 
when you look into his eyes and time freezes.

We’re suckers for romance when it comes down to all the good stuff. But what about the nasty side of it? When his touch was just a touch, when his fingers brushing yours was a coincidence, when his hug to you was a hug amongst mannnny others, when he actually DID like that other girl (bitch) instead of you, when he stared at you only cuz you have funny hair that time and time only froze cuz the AC was on 16.

Yeah, i know, horrible, isn’t it? and I’ve been through it way too many times now (at least for me). And I’m scared to like people now. I’m scared that I’ll be turned down every single time and that finally my name will end up in the Times Matrimonial column with an Alliance Requested line written underneath. :O

I want love too. And I want the boy to be man enough to admit his love. 
Love, not a boyfriend- I want love. 
I want this life where heart breaks are as impossible as stars in a city sky. 
I want want want. 
I need.


‘As I kick you in your behind’

Stars or just a single Moon?

“It’s the moon.”

“What’s the moon?”

“That. That’s the moon”

“Sweetheart, that’s not the moon. 
It’s a cloud.”

“No. The glow is the moon.”

“It’s a star.”

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”

They sat in the plane and kept arguing, both mother and daughter peering into the 
window while the rest of the mortals on the plane were busy dreaming 
in the REM cycle. Maya always looked out into the sky when 
she travelled by air. She felt that she was seeing a side of 
the sky which she rarely ever saw- which always changed from 
the last time she saw it. She saw the belly of the clouds that
 rained on her; she saw the gurgle of the fluff which smiled at her… 
This was her first ever over-night flight.

“The moon has a mark, then why is it beautiful?”
“That’s because it doesn’t believe that it has a scar.”
“But why? Is it not good to be aware of ones shortcomings?”
“Yes, but we shouldn’t let it over power our sense of belief and beauty dear.”

Maya slumped back, not too convinced by the answer 
her mom gave. She was sleepy and tired but the window kept 
luring her back to itself.  She looked at the glow again. 
Was it the moon or was mom really right? 
No, it WAS the moon.

***

“Mayaaaaa!”

“Neel? Hey, what’s wrong?”

“She left me Maya, she left me and went away”

“ Rhea? Shucks, why?”

“I don’t know. She just left. Without a word. To another country.”

“But she loved you.”
“Yes.”

“And she left you.”
“Yes.”

“Did you call?”

“She left her phone. She’s going to take a new one there.”

“Where there?”

“Stupid-America, there.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why did she leave? Even I did not know.”

“Family issues”

“Oh.”

“And she left. No good-bye. No I’ll miss you.”

“Nothing?”

“No.”

“Mail her. Don’t sweat. She’ll call you when she can, trust me.”

But Rhea never called and Maya was happy that she did not. 
Neel was moving on, but not with the one she hoped he would. 
Maya was always his friend. She was never any more or any less. 
She was just one of his stars, but not his moon.

***

“Ma, why do we lose things we love?”

“We only love them after we lose them child.”

“But what if we loved them already?”

“Then your love increases after losing the thing.”

“But why do we lose them in the first place?”

“Because we don’t care much when it’s nearby.”

“And what if we do?”

“Then, we never allowed it to understand we cared. So it goes away.”

Maya wasn’t sure what her mother had replied to. Did she understand 
Maya’s reference to Neel or was her mother referring to something 
else- someone else? It was raining outside. The seatbelt sign went 
on and an announcement was made. Maya locked herself in.

***
“Aaaaa. Drive carefully Raj.”

“Hold on tight. I love you.”

“That does not give you the right to murder me!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Look in front.”

“No, I would never lose you.”

“I am more worried about me losing you, dumb-ass.”

“I am Immortal. Hahaha.”

“And I am batman.”

“Really?!”

“Shut up. Raj, drive carefully.”

“Relax babe, you’re with me. Smile!”

“I cant. You just freakin’ jumped a signal”

“Maya, wait.”

“For that, you need to stop your bike, right?”

“Oh yeah, sorry.”


“Shucks, it’s the road, why are you sitting on the road?”

“Will you, please, let me talk this time?”

“Yeah”

“Maya, we’ve been together for four years now. It’s a verylong time. 
No, very, very, very long time. I know you like I know myself.
It’s a lot, but it’s still not enough.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Maya. Shush. What we have is a lot like love but I’m not sure it is. 
I mean, I love you. Do you love me?”

“Yes, I love you. What are you talking about?!”

“Maya, then will you marry me?

“Shucks.”

“Shucks?”

“Yes I love you. I will marry you Neel. I will.”

“Neel?”
***

Maya shut the window. She did not want the moon to see her pain. She was 
tired of replaying the conversation. She was tired of analysing where
 she’d gone wrong, why she’d said Neel instead of Raj. 
She glanced at her mother;she saw her reading a book.

“Have you ever felt true love Ma?”

“Yes , I have.’

“Who was it for?”

“You”
“Me?”

“Yes, you.”

“I mean real, movie-type love…”

“True love has just one type. True love is pure.
 And the only pure love I have is for you.”

“Can we feel true love for more than one person?”

“Yes, why not. It means so much more than what you think it does?”

“It does?”

“Yes. Ever thought of it this way- turn love around and add a ‘ve’ to it.
 It becomes ‘evolve’.”

***

Maya re-opened the window. She wasn’t in pain anymore. After thirty years of life 
and one marriage later, Maya still loved Neel- True love, pure love, and infinite love. 
She smiled at her reflection on the double window. It had stopped raining
 but the plane kept jerking. The seatbelt sign remained on.

***

“I can’t take it anymore.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean it’s enough.”

“What is?”

“You. Your tantrums. Your entire presence in my life. It’s enough.”

“Then what do you want?”

“A divorce”

“It’s not that easy.”

“I know. I just want to be out of it.”

“Fine”

“Fine?”

“I know this is just a phase. I’ll wait for it to be over and then we’ll talk.”

“It’s not a phase.”

“We’ll see.”
Three months later, Maya was free. She walked out of it without a penny. 
She was happy. USA had made life much simpler for divorcees. 
Maya decided to go back to India. Her mom came over to help 
her make the move and that’s how Maya was on this flight.

“Ma, did I make the right decision?”

“As long as you’re happy- yes”

“I am happy. Now”

“Later?”

“I don’t know.”

“Maya, beta what happened?”

“Between him and me?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you know?”

“I just supported you through this. I know what you did, I don’t know why.”

“But I thought you knew. Why did you not stop me?”

“Do you regret it?”

“No.”

“Then I think I did fine by not stopping you.”

“But I thought you knew!”

“I asked you why.”

“I didn’t feel happy with him.”

“That’s it?”

“Is that not enough?”

“For how long were you unhappy?”

“25th March; last year”

“But you got married on 20th.”

“I did not love him.”

“That’s the real reason.”

“Maybe”

“It is.”

“If you say so, Ma”

“I know so.”
***

Maya did not respond anymore. 
She felt as if she was spiralling downward with each question her mother asked. 
She felt naked. She felt revealed. She felt exposed. 
She had hidden her love for him so well, but not from her mother.  
She loved him. She hoped he loved her. But she knew he did not.
 He did not love her even when he was her friend. He did not love her 
when he was married. Or even now, when he is alive. 
And he still lives without loving her. 
He lives without knowing her love for him. 
He lives, breathes and lives again, but he’s ignorant about 
the one true love he could have shared.
He missed out. 
Right? 

Maya knew she was the moon and not the star. But then again, he was the sky.
She knew the glow in her sky was the moon.

“It’s the moon Ma, it’s the moon”
Her mother just smiled and Maya felt like a little girl who was lying to her mother.

She knew and for the first time- agreed, 
she would always be just a star in his sky but a moon in her own.

“I’m telling you mom, it’s the moon.”

Life and Breath


You are not mine anymore anyway.
But I cry, silently now.
For I know what I want will never be.
What I need will never be.
I cry silently for you.
For you to just look back this once.
For you to be beside me just once.
I may have been wrong before.
But I know with that I gained much more.
I gained a friend, a midnight bud.
But I lost my love. My only love,
I lost you, I realise with a thud.
And trust me that hurts.
I am sorry, though I shouldn’t.
But I am. For I have sinned.
Not the cardinal type. But I have.
I let you go…
Then, you let me free.
We lost the love together.
I want to re-build it.
But not like this. Not alone.
Don’t leave me like you left me before.
Stay with me, hold my hand…
Hug me, I am your jigsaw.
Kiss me, I am the one.
Smile with me, be my reason.
Hold me, I am for you to hold.
Feel me. I am yours.
Look at me. Be my vision.
Talk to me. Touch my senses.
Bring me the tingles,
Seal my lip.
Sing me songs. I am your rhythm.
Be the music. And I’ll lie in your arms.
You are my light. It’s darkness otherwise.
Be my wings. You are my destination.
Be the cold, so I snuggle into you.
Be the whisper, so I come closer.
Adore me, I am your girl.
Look at me once. And you’ll see it all.
You’ll see how we were.
I’ll love you all my life, until death.
You’ll see that it is meant to be.
You’ll know
‘cause-
You’re my life
and
I’m your breath.


The Next Time :)

I’ll bring the heavens closer to you.



If you wanna spread your wings and fly.
I’ll give you up my happiness for yours.
Even though without you I’ll die.

I’ll let you go and chase your dreams.
If that’s the way it’s gonna be.
I’ll let you walk by my shadow.
Even though without you, I will never be Me.

I’ll leave you alone with your sad smile.
If that’s the way you wanna live.
I’ll let you leave me alone and Go.
Even though, for you, I’ll have only love to give.

But.
If you ever come back.
I promise I’ll be more strong.
The next I wont let you go.
The next time I wont go wrong.

Will you?

When the heart breaks from within, it’s the worst ever feeling.
Like the time when I wanted to go on a long drive on a rainy day in Shimla, the landslide ruined it. Like the time when I wanted to have an ice cream but my health ruined it. Like the time 
when I wanted to see the TV but the current went off. Like the time when I needed peace and my mind refused to rest. Like the time 
when I liked someone and he refused it.
Very honestly, it just, plain and simple hurts. 
My heart is as strong as its weakest link. My heart beats like yours. 
My world is limited to what you know. My life is as beautiful as you think it is. I am as good as I get and you perceive. So, why do I come across bumps more thank you do? 
Why can I not be like the yellow butterfly that flies across the garden? 
Why can I not be like the beetles on fresh green leaves? 
They are so tiny, so pretty and full of life and purpose. 
Why am not happy-happy? 
It is all so over bearing.
I fall in love and then out of it within a few days. 
Then I doubt if it was love at all. Aah! It eludes me to such an extent 
that I lie awake at nights and dream of a prince charming coming my way until I snap out of the stupidly desirable vision of mine. I mean, which girl wouldn’t ‘take it to her heart’ 
if she doesn’t find her love? I want him, not a white horse, 
but in a Porsche or maybe a Skoda, to sweep me off my feet, shower rose petals on me, give me chocolates and wine and take me out. I want him to be loyal and chivalrous and charming. All in all, I want him.

 I look down upon the days when I cried myself to sleep. 
I’ll hold on to the happy memories, paint over the unhappy ones, and start afresh.

I just want to be happy, loved and free.
For once.
Just this once.

Till then, will you give my the love I need? 
Will you hand me the support I want? 
Will be mine? Will you be a friend and not turn back on me, ever? 
Will you stand with me and see forever go by? 
Will hold my hand when I hold yours? 
Will you stay close to me yet let me breathe free? 
Will you?
Will you care for my heart the way I care for yours? 
Will you surprise me on my birthdays and even when it’s not? 
Will you let me do things for you? 
Will you let me be yours? 
Will you let me be me? 
Will you be my best buddy and still be my critic? 
Will you love me till the door shuts down? 
Will you be my Maguire? 
Will be my valentine? 
Will you be my song and my tune? 
Will you ever understand? 

:: Inspired ::

She woke up with a start. Drenched in sweat, she looked around her room. Her hand clenched a crumbled sheet of paper. Her tears had washed the ink off it. But what had been written on it was etched on her heart forever. She couldn’t take her mind off it. She looked at the watch- ticking methodically. It was 4 in the morning. Counting each second, she lay down again, crying. She did not have the strength to go on anymore. The heavy curtains were drawn tightly, but a ray of fresh sunlight managed to escape through it, into her room. She put her fingers through it, waving them, creating a rippling shadow. She looked at the paper again. She tried to read it but her tears made it impossible. She touched it with her hands, caressing it, as if to coax it into life. She touched every word written on it. The phone rang- Once- Twice- Thrice. But Breeze was too tired to walk up to her receiver. She was broken from within. She wanted to end her life then and there…
Breeze had met Jennifer six months back in their photography classes. Breeze began her classes in June, just a week late to join. She entered the class, wet from the gushing rain outside. She ran into the class and slipped and landed exactly in front of Jennifer. Embarrassed, she quickly got herself up and slipped into the seat beside Jennie.
And that was when they first spoke. Breeze, like her name was free spirited. But Jennie was more reserved, quiet and accepting. Jennie’s laughter drew Breeze towards her. Their differences were what got them closer…
Jennie’s photographs were of people-Their lives, aspirations. She captured moments from their life and created a story out of it. Like a thread of memories… She was a photo journalist for the Times Daily, Manchester. She liked being a part of their life, however brief it all was. She felt a deep sense of joy when she brought a smile onto anyone’s face. She looked at Breeze, purely out of habit to look at people, with her paraphernalia. Dressed in a body hugging white top and khakhi trousers, complete with bangles, bracelets, anklets, necklaces and slip-ons, Breeze could draw anyone’s attention. Jennie then looked down at herself and smiled. Simple and subdued, in a summer dress, she liked the way she was different from Breeze.
Breeze was brought up by her father, for the fact sheets, but in reality it was her grandma who had made her who she was. She had moved all over the world with her dad but it was her Mamaw who gave her the stability she wanted. And her photographs epitomised her nature of being what she was. She focussed more on the things others overlooked. A bird perched atop a pole, the cloudy patterns on rippling water and the sudden bursts of light during the dusk.
Jennie was from a catholic family. Mature and in her mid twenties, she had seen a lot more of life than Breeze, who was just eighteen. But that did not hinder their friendship. Jennie and Bree gradually came closer. Every Wednesday, both of them waited for the classes to start. They shared their talent, their passion and dreams. Chloe (there had to be a Chloe) was Jennie’s little sister. All of fourteen years of age-she was Breeze’s best buddy! Jennie had lost both her parents when she was thirteen and had stayed with her Uncle Jerry. Loneliness had made her take up photography. And Chloe was her first muse. She learnt to cope with her feelings by venting them out in her pictures.
Chloe was a beautiful girl. Her cheeks were rosy red and she had the blue of the ocean encased in her eyes. Her brunette hair tied up in two pony tails looked adorable. Her lisp, her soft round hands, her pink shoes and abound amazement and curiosity of the world was something Bree admired.
Bree stayed in an uptown apartment, financed by her Daddy and Jennie lived with Chloe in a shared flat with her boyfriend, Drake. Drake and Jennie had been going steady since college. Both of them were Philosophy Majors from the University of Manchester.
Bree and Jennie shared their projects and dreams over coffee. Their favourite hang out was at Junc-T, where they would discuss their problems and ideas. Bree looked up to Jennie for every little thing and gradually their lives intertwined. Drake and Jennie broke up and patched up again. Bree was always there for Jennie and Chloe.
The photography classes ended in two months and there meetings became sparse, their life got dis-entangled.
Bree did met Chloe at her recitals and plays but the friendship that Jennie and Bree had nourished so lovingly began falling out of place. Theirs was ultimately just a passing friendship, right? Something that happens once in a lifetime-where two people come close to each other, share some of the best moments together and then time engulfs them along with their presence, leaving them to simmer, all alone, just with memories of those times.
Jennie had to go to Kenya to clear out some unfinished photography. And that was just a week after the classes, so Bree did not even get to say a goodbye to her. Her work often took her to places where she wouldn’t want to go. But, it was work alright. So, Chloe too was dragged along with Jennie to far off places- Kenya this time.
Bree got several post cards from her friend but over time that reduced to just an ‘I am alright, see you soooooon’ and then it stopped all together. Bree too had college to go to. New people to meet and newer things to be around kept her mind off the absence of her once-best-friend. Christopher was her new boyfriend and she couldn’t wait for Jennie and Chloe to meet him! But as life is what it is, she moved on and so did Jennie. After returning from Kenya, Jennie tried reaching Breeze, but she couldn’t. Bree had shifted in with Christopher. Like the wind, she couldn’t be caught up with anything for too long. Jennie tried communicating with her at college but Bree was on her photography internship and not reachable for quite some time. Somehow, Jennie managed to gather Christopher’s residence address and sent her a letter.
This letter was the one Breeze held, clenched in her fists…
“Dear Breeze
I’ve had a crazy, crazy time. I simply couldn’t seem to reach you. A lot has happened with me, with us. Drake and I got engaged and he moved in to Kenya with me. I got posted there as the manager of the Time Magazine. I couldn’t even pack all my stuff properly. Chloe too had to shift with us.
I’m terribly sorry. I know I should have written to you before. But things happened. Wrong things. I took a long time to cope up with it. And now, it is time that you know it too. Chloe is no more. My little sister died. I know I should have told you earlier, but I was too shocked to have spoken about it to anyone, and out of all people YOU. You had been Chloe’s best friend. Just the thought of you tearing down dithered me from telling this to you. I knew you had started off with a fresh life. And I wanted to thank you for caring about Chloe like she was your own, when I was away. I have no one other than Drake and you now. Breeze, we need to meet and talk it out. I’ll tell you how and when. It is too painful to write about it. I hope you understand. I will call you in three or four day’s time. I still don’t have your number because the officials wouldn’t let out any other information about you. Please stay calm. I now it is difficult for you sweetheart. I’ve been there for you, always, have I not?
My number is- 077 23422969. Give me a call if you can.
Yours,
Jennifer”
Breeze read the phone number again. 0-7-7-2-3-2-2-9-6-9. She willed herself to walk on, but she could not.
But, Chloe? She was just a child. Why did anyone want her to die? Why would anyone harm such a girl? Breeze couldn’t think straight. The sunlight still poured into her room. She looked at the shadow it casted on the floor and wondered why she had never been able to click a photograph of a shadow. Her head muddled up. And then, the phone rang. It was Christopher. He hung up. Then the phone rang again. Once-Twice-Thrice…
And then Bree knew. It was Jennie.
‘Hello. Jennie?’
‘Yes. Thank God! How are you Breeze?’
‘Chloe? Why? Jennie… I don’t understand.’
‘Meet at the usual place, okay? There’s a lot to be said’
And half an hour later Chloe’s death wasn’t a puzzle anymore. Even in this day, Kenya is a place littered with land mines. Chloe, had stepped on one. It was as utterly harsh and simple as that. Thousands of children lose their lives over the hatred countries bear for each other. Even worse, some of them lose a part of their body, a limb, an eye and have to live with it…
Breeze had lived a sheltered life but this enraged her. Why is it that, innocence is lost along the way, always? Why couldn’t Chloe have been careful? What right did these people have to play with Lives? She wondered whether they could sleep peacefully at night. All she wanted was to end this war AGAINST life in the name of peace.
And that is what I beg out of everyone. Peace lives longer. Stop this violence. Too many lives have been lost over the pretext of Peace-in the hoax of peace.
(Inspiration: Karen Davies)