Reminiscence

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it’s funny how it’s the little things that remind me of it. like the chill of the August rain pitter-pattering on my naked feet at the doorstep. like the taste of strawberry cream on the tip of my tongue. like the little spots of red, yellow and green in the darkness as i close my eyes against the sunlight.

it’s funny how the memories resurface out of nowhere. like an uninvited black cloud suddenly overshadowing a bright day. like an inescapable reality casting a darkness upon every soul that toils under it. so unlike the calm shade of a cheerful, happy reminiscence. so unlike the happy nostalgia of a gentle, radiant day

it’s funny how some words stay with us forever. and every song we ever hear is like an echo. an echo of those same old syllables we fail to forget. a long lost prophecy foretelling our destructive destiny. like a happy high note melting into a melancholic low lullaby.

it’s funny how before and after works. how easy it seems to conjure up dead realities and yet how impossible it seems to ever be able to touch them again. how easy it is to remember and how impossible to forget. how easy it is to wish it wasn’t real and how impossible to realise how real it really is.

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Letter to My Stranger

Dear Stranger,

I guess I’ve got some things to clear up with you. And even more to apologise for.

I know I’ve been acting weirdly and I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable. I did not mean to stare quite so hard at you, really. But it is partly your fault. You were the one who looked over first. And how do I explain what that did to me?

No, it’s not how you think it is. No, I’m not obsessed with you.

Fate is cruel. And so are your eyes. For they remind me of something. A someone who once mercilessly grabbed my arm and stomped on my already broken sanity. Your eyes have his laugh, Stranger. It knocks all breath out of my body.

It’s so much easier telling the world and even myself that I’m attracted to you because it’s the biggest lie I’ve ever spoken. And I could be a professional for all the lies I’ve told in my life. So that’s what I do. I tell them I’m hopelessly attracted to you so they’d think my abnormal attentiveness to your presence is normal.

Attraction is thrilling. But the shreds of my mind confuses that thrill with fear way too often. And that’s what’s happening between you and me. My own fear is pulling me towards you instead of making me run. It’s not courage. It’s self destruction.

My eyes are fixed on every move you make in a horrified paralysis. My mind is frantic with terror, seeing nothing but that imaginary monster in you and that monster alone. My body is cold with memory for it remembers more than my mind does, even the bits I subconsciously shut out to protect myself.

Dear Stranger, you make it more difficult when you stare back. And I’m so sorry for never looking away. I’m so sorry for hating you for something you never were and never will be. I’m sorry for glaring at you and I’m sorry for the unreciprocated friendly smiles.

But mostly I’m sorry for ever having run into you and dragging you into the middle of my crazy world. You deserve it even less than I did.

Sincerely,

That Girl Who Stares Too Much.

Growing Up

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I want to be five years old again. Back when colours were just colours and not reminders of people I once used to know. When happiness came in tiny, brightly-coloured packets of shiny candy and wasn’t accompanied with bitter memories that turned my tongue sour. When love was the toys I shared with my friends and not an elusive firefly I could never catch, glowing dimmer and dimmer the closer I got to it.

I want to be eight years old again. Back when games were just games, innocent fun to pass a lazy summer day and this deadly hide-and-seek life now plays with me was still in the future, far away. When my fingers were still learning to grip my pen with ease and not ripping apart notebooks filled with words from a past me. When songs were sung in high, exulted notes and not a voice near breaking for the fifth time today.

I want to be fifteen years old again. Back when breathing was something I did without a thought and didn’t have to think twice about laughing too hard. When a door was just a door with exciting adventures behind it and not a door with monsters lurking in the corners beside it. When life was a road I was yearning to walk, my eyes blissfully oblivious of the weeds that grew further down the path.

I don’t want to be twenty years old yet. I still have to call the people I think of when my eyes catch a certain shade of yellow. I still have to thank everyone who bought me candy when I was eleven. I still need to chase that firefly and seek the future. I still have to tape together the ripped notebooks, still need to try singing that song again because I’m positive, this time I can do it. I still need to catch my breath just so I can laugh some more. Still have to try the knob of every door. And when I’m done with all of that, I still need to put on a new pair of shoes and dance my way through all those weeds that lurk down the paths I choose.

Threat

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It’s a vicious cycle. This endless cycle of disappointment.

You say words I never expected you to, words that sting like a mother. Then I defy you in those open acts of rebellion that are the shining feature of my personality. Stubborn. Irrational. Self-destructive.

It makes you glare at me, my defiance. I can feel the heat of your anger rolling off your skin. Your compulsive need to tame me making your hands itch. I can see your fingers twitching. I can feel the red spots in your vision.

And that is when your hand rises. The end of the power struggle. Your victory over me. Brute strength always wins this battle. Especially when I am right.

You are in control. And you leave no opportunity to remind me of that.

But that is not where the story ends. Because the wounds you inflict on me are the signs of your real failure. Your failure as a man. They are the evidence of how wrong you are.

One day, I shall parade them. One day, when you’ve ruined me enough for nakedness to not bother me anymore, I will parade them. One day, you’ll feel my shame. One day, you’ll see disappointment and hate in their eyes too, like I saw in yours.

My bruises might be hidden for now, protecting you awhile, but one day, the bloody gashes inside my head will give me the ink to write out your doom.

 

 

Image Credit: https://agnes-cecile.deviantart.com/art/are-scars-on-body-217843735

Relative Reality

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The image is blurry, as if seen through a film of smoke. Fading memories – realities slipping through my fingers.

One of them said it never happened. One of them whispered that it did. One of them laughed at my perplexity. One of them shrieked the sordid details in my ear.

Hours pass each day as I think and think it all through. Real or not real, who will ever know?

And how does it matter – my truth or their truth? The universe is all relative and history is written by winners anyway.

Real or not real – they have fucked up my brain. The damage is done now and I’ll never be the same ever again.

Image credits: agnes-cecile on deviantart.com

Things That Are Real

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Five Years Old

 

  • The green umbrella we shared that July evening when neither of our mothers were watching. The way you held my hand – your fingers wrapped so tightly around my own.

 

  • Your anger when that other boy pushed me off my bike on accident. The rainbow in the sky and your hand placed protectively under my scraped knee as I cried on the pavement.

 

  • The house we built from chairs and blankets and toys in the veranda. The dolls I cradled in my arms like our babies and the clay bread I served you with a smile when you came home from work.

 

  • The day you pulled me against your chest to show me how my head barely reached your nose. Your steady breath on my forehead and my foot making circles in the dirt beside your toes.

 

  • Your wet, trembling lips against my warm cheek and the thundering of my heart in my chest. A curious parrot watching and my mother calling me for dinner from far, far away.

 

  • The last hug we shared and my promise to call before getting into the car. And the little strip of paper with your number that I lost long before I reached my destination.

 

  • My bones trying desperately to run to you and the ropes pulling me back from your waiting arms. The conviction that you were the last real thing I felt before I fell.

 

  • Your fading memory that I hold onto so hard. And the cuts and bruises that the ropes inflict on my struggling fingers.

 

  • Fingers that want nothing but yours wrapped around them like they did so many years ago. Like they might never do again.

The Beginning of the End

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Take me back

To the time my steps were small

And there was always someone to save me

From each and every fall.

Take me back

To the time my mum was my world,

My dad was my superhero

And life, just a mystery to be unfurled.

Take me back

To the time the giggles were real,

When life was so simple

And love wasn’t a deal.

Take me back

To the time when it all began,

I’ll try to turn my feet around

And change the course of the plan.

~Diksha

Drowning Reality

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Blurry eyes

And clouded vision –

My own mind

Feels like a prison.

Desperate fingers

Struggling in the smoke,

Trying to grasp reality

Which is but a joke.

The chaos in my head,

Like a bottomless pool,

Threatens to drown me –

The delusional fool.

Here in the water,

With no air to breathe,

I flail around, terrified,

Of the monster underneath.

My screams go unheard

And fighting is no use,

My throat feels choked

By an invisible noose.

Limbs getting paralysed,

I strain my eyes to see

But I might as well be blind

For down here, it’s just you and me.

~Diksha

About You

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One thousand,

Three hundred and

Eighty six times

She thinks of you

In a single day.

Tapping her foot,

Chin in hand, biting the end

Of her favourite pen,

She wonders and wonders

And wonders about you.

From hate to love, exasperation

To adoration, every turn

Of her heart dances –

Dances and dances and dances –

Entangled and caught up in you.

And yet

When it comes to words –

Words to explain…

To confess, to profess –

Words it is that fail her.

For how to string together

Sentences, how to choose symphonies

Sweet enough to confess,

To express, to address

That which she cannot say?

Which poem, which letter,

Which book can she write;

Which lyric, which ballad,

Which song can she sing

In which words does her love’s truth lay?

And her pen that spewed letters –

Millions and millions and millions of letters –

Can recreate anything,

Anything but

How she feels for you.

And damn you,

You oblivious, silly little human

For failing to hear that

Which was never spoken,

Never hinted, never expected.

Damn you

For never suspecting that

Which was always expertly

Concealed, always veiled,

Always disguised and always hidden.

Perhaps, one day

She’ll write you a song,

A poem, a ballad,

A letter

Or a sonnet.

But until then she’ll sit,

Tapping her foot,

Chin in hand,

Wondering and wondering

And wondering about you.

~Diksha