I read your favorite lines from the books you loved. Or we loved.
The lines we underlined, some you did, others I did. Yours are zigzag. Mine are almost straight. I run my fingers on your zigzag lines now, since I cannot run my fingers into yours.
I listen to our playlist these days. It’s been weeks. I am too lazy to explore new songs. Also, because each song has our story – some story. You liked telling me how you discovered each song. Or how you turned to another song during a heartache.
I listen to your favorite songs over and over. I feel like you are right here, sitting across the table, playing them on your guitar. I would trace every inch of your face while you played. I would follow the map of your cheekbones, how they twerked when you sang.
I would run my eyes on each track of your curly beard. It was fun catching that one unruly strand of your beard hair stubbornly breaking the symmetry. I have never been able to decipher that maze. Because you would stop singing abruptly, and break into another composition. And my quest would start again.
You still strum your guitar and post them on Instagram stories sometimes. You don’t want to say you play them for me. You do play some of my favorite songs though. That’s when I cry – out of anguish that I could never tell you. I could never tell you how words just betrayed me every time I saw you. I could never tell you what I truly felt for you.
I cook the things you loved. Just so when I taste those things, I taste your feeling. I taste your memories. I taste your music, your books, your voice. You were unreachable then. You are unreachable now. At least that part hasn’t changed.
I re-read your old emails. I scroll through pages and pages of text messages. The banters we shared, the inside jokes we cracked, the LOLs we exchanged. How you loved correcting my spellings. How you would remember those insignificant details of our conversations or refer to an information I must have shared with you months ago. I would be pleasantly surprised that you remembered, that you cared. That you analyzed things about my life.
A lot of times I just skipped a beat when you would bring up some such detail. It would take me ages to respond. And then you would rebuke me for being so slow.
How effortlessly you opened up at times. It hurt when you didn’t. Because I could tell when you didn’t.
Everything is virtual now, they say. But for me, it was always very real. It still is. In fact, now it is all I have.
I am living in the hope that I will see you again. Some day. In some other context, in some other role, in a world that would have changed. I will see you and my eyes will say it all. I know words will betray me then too. But I will muster it all up in my eyes.
You will know then. You will know at once. Until then, I am re-visiting parts of you. Since I cannot see you, I am living what I have of you. The parts you left in my books, in my playlist, in my photos, in my texts, in my heart, in my living room and on my soul.