She was standing at the window, watching the trees drip with the fresh rain. There was no silence. There was never any silence within this city, and it was one of the things she loved about it. The din, which let her drown her thoughts, mostly. But sometimes, when there was too much noise inside her, the city didn’t help anymore.

Watching the rain fall, blurring the green of the leaves, she felt the same sadness wash over her.

There is triteness in writing about doomed love, and I wish I wasn’t doing it. What will I get by describing the death throes of a passion which has outlived its heat, or one which can be described with that inglorious phrase- ‘having no possibilities’.

When you think about the rise and fall of emotions, and all the heartburn it encompasses, it becomes difficult to visualize someone voluntarily enter that hellhole while knowing that there is no exit.

Hence, the sadness.

She knew what she was doing was wrong. It was the same old path, she had walked enough number of times. The alcohol, the haze, the misjudgment. And then, the fear of loneliness, which made her stick to those errors. As stubbornly as an ant, which bites and freezes on, knowing it will be crushed nonetheless.

At some point of time, I might have written of her with sympathy. Life teaches in a hard way and it teaches young, and I would have given her the benefit of that doubt. But, again and again, she kept creating those cesspools, and I kept dragging her out by her hair, trying to hold onto her slippery hands, trying to hear her shouts for help, see behind her smile which never reached her eyes. At some point of time, I might have.

She put out hand to feel the drops, and there was a nebulous thought forming in her mind, of taking another step forward, feeling the wind on her face and seeing the trees rushing past. It was nebulous, and his hands on her shoulders, broke her out of it. These thoughts scared her. The readiness with which she gave up on life, on relationships, on blood.  He turned her around, and kissed her eyebrows, and then just held her close.

In the chaos of her mind, she saw her love for him. And her love for someone else. She saw her confusion, and her inability to resolve it.

I knew her helplessness. I knew why she could not say no. To please and to please always. It was a lesson she had learnt early, and she could not forget it now. It was the only lesson which has worked for her. But I could not let her keep using it. I could not let her keep going on the same path, and though I was bone-weary of rescuing her every time, she was my darling, and I had to be there for her. Such a child, amused by trifles, bought by money, so eager to love, so passionate in hate- my darling.

His hands were heavy and they crushed her. Her ribs always made a cracking sound, and somehow it reassured her- the pressure on her lungs, of his love for her. Only in utterly being crushed, did she feel utterly wanted. This was her cocoon and every time she emerged, she emerged a little less capable. She knew she had to stop, but the world bewildered her, and the arms around her were too comfortable. He talked of love, and she shrugged it off. She knew only melancholy, and degrees of it, and the slight lifting of the gloom when she was with him.

I wanted to be those arms, she craved so much. I should have been enough for her. She should never have looked elsewhere.  I knew her, as well as any mortal being could, and I loved her, as well as any mortal begin could. She had always been heartless. So utterly selfish, it broke my heart to think of her in her own world, never letting me in. I wish she had seen me for myself once, instead of through the eyes of the criticizing world. I was not good looking enough, I was not smart enough. I was mediocre, and she could not condone me. Yet, I kept saving her.

He talked of life, and he talked of dual lives. And what was there that she did not know about duality. At her age, she should not have known the meaning of it so well. But she did, and she learnt. And she knew that it was in her fate. To long for something and not have it. And to not settle for something she owned. Rapacious- her longing for something better. She needed it to be quenched, but it would not be. No amount of alcohol was enough. Her sadness was too buoyant. It would not be drowned.

I knew what she needed. And I knew that she did not have the patience to wait. She would rather have burned and gone up in flames, than waiting in proud aloofness, for something that might or might not come. I knew she expected much of life, but I wish she had even once thought of me as the answer.

She knew that there was always someone to fall back on. To drag her out and make her start again. Like a coloring book. She never minded the lines, and that person always had a fresh page for her. Chin up, square the shoulders, put on the dazzling smile, and have a do-over. As she stood in his arms, and weighed possibilities… Ah! but that never happened. With him, she never thought. But later, when there were only the two of them, her rescuer and her, she cried herself hoarse over the unfairness of life, and laughed over the humour of doomed love.

I had given her whatever she had wanted. I had slit her wrists for her. And I had bandaged them for her. I had seen her blood flow, and I had washed the dark stain, later, much later, when she had wanted to live again. She had hugged me in the darkness, and prayed with her hands in mine. And all through, I had waited for her to see me. But she never did.

He left of course. Like others. That’s the fatality of love.

And she never saw herself. Her strength, her courage, her savior.

She only saw her reflection, and she kept running.


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