When I stopped pledging heartbroken words on every poem I composed for my next recital. When I stopped wondering will you be showing up in one of those Reading groups we’ve been attending. When I wouldn’t cringe hearing our writer friends mention your name, asking me how you have been lately, whether are we still in contact, whether you have any plans to make a comeback.
When I stopped singing each melancholic love song of our mother tongue with all sorts of ‘what if’ that are swimming in my head. When I wouldn’t switch that radio channel as our favourite songs hit the airplay, but to hum the melody, sing along with my own rendition, for it has been my ‘duet’ with Chris Martin (of Coldplay) long before we met in that dreary June afternoon.
When I stopped frowning seeing the alphabet of your first name appeared in any sudden thin air, or your last name on a Chinese restaurant’s receipt, similar to the cashier’s, or the waiter’s. When I stopped re-enact that midnight hour along the solitary highway, when you drove me home under the navigated moonlight. And I did not feel one bit of intimidation when you’ve found her, the Ying to your Yang; the Shakti to benefit your spiritual emergence.
When I stopped talking about you to my family and close friends who only know you by your name. When I deleted your contact number and profile from my social media account and did not feel a sting of devastation. When you send me a text message one morning and I don’t remember the name that once I held it so tightly to my heart and soul. When I reconnect with those like-minded people you’ve introduced to me, when I can finally say your name without churning butterflies in my stomach.
When I’d fully committed to take care of myself, to eat and sleep well, shedding ‘teargas’ of laughter and happiness, limit those glasses of alcohol, and drink with people I trusted. Until then, with all these baby-steps taken, one day I am ready to love again.