I Should Have Told You How I Felt When I Had The Chance

Maybe it was the way you spoke, the way you made me feel, the way you looked at me. Yes. That’s it. The way you looked at me. And the way it made me feel. It made my heart stop. I remember it distinctly. That  searing look. Like I was the only one. The one that held you captive. I will never forget those eyes till the day I die. I don’t remember how old I was when I fell in love with you. The way you were, the way we were. So easy, so pure, so natural. Amidst every silly game ever played, each stolen glance exchanged, the many instances our hands brushed against each other, I don’t know how time passed but it did. No words were ever spoken because they would seem too small.

I never thought distance was something that would’ve mattered to us, but it did. I guess life seems very simple and clutter free when you’re kids. Things are never the same when you grow up. We’re so far apart now and not just physically. We’re not the two kids who were content as they sat perched on a rock on a long lost beach enjoying a vacation. Or the same crazy kids who fought over the remote.

You live a different life now. A life with its own demands and priorities. You rarely look at me now when you speak. Hell, we rarely speak. When you do look at me, it feels cold. You smile but it doesn’t light up your face. You’re always so annoyed. I wish I could comfort you but I can’t. I wish I could run my fingers through your hair and soothe you. I wish I could act on my impulses just this once and touch you.

I wish I could show you what you really mean to me.

Like bouts of memory surfacing amidst an amnesia, you keep emerging out of the meticulously avoided past. The enormity of my loss amplifies every time I come across someone new. Because I still look for you. You are fastened to me like the heaviest of scents that refuses to wear off. I live in a daze, day in, day out. My utter desperation is to be blamed when I see you sometimes in the faces of passing strangers(or rather don’t). Looking at the unacquainted in front of me imagining changes in his appearance that may make him look like you. That the hair doesn’t fall on his face like it did with you, or his bearing doesn’t communicate the innocence that was in you, or that even his affluent semblance can’t hold a candle to the simplicity that was in you. From there, it all goes downhill. I rescue myself from your recollections carefully, only to drown in them once more. Even unconsciously, I want to see you. Everywhere I go, I breathe you. You are what ails me and you alone are the cure. My soul turns bitter with disappointment when I realize it’s all in vain. But my heart refuses to grasp that.

I wake up every day following a set path. On the outside, I’m full of sunshine, on the inside I’m fatally fragmented. Funny how I dole out advice to those around me but refrain from following them myself. I try to keep it together all the time. I don’t want to be weak. I try focusing my energies on other things. Productive things. Isn’t that what they say is the right thing to do? Be positive. Stay logical.

I keep reminding myself to be strong whenever it gets too much. Speaking hollow words of motivation to my core. Trying to reassemble my shattered ego. I was never good at expressing myself. So I learnt to bottle it up. And I’ve gotten really good at it over the years.

I never told you how I felt and here I’m penning my thoughts knowing very well that you’ll never read it. You’ll never know and I’ll never show. So this is what we will be. Wedged in an impasse. I’ll see you once in a while but we’ll never talk. I will catch you staring at me like you always did and you would avert your gaze. I would be screaming your name inside but I would be quiet on the outside. We both would have words to say to each other but they would never leave our lips. TC mark

featured image – Khánh Hmoong

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