He didn’t leave a hole when he left. It’s because he’d left a big hole even when he was there. Because even when he was there, he was not really there. Sometimes, he was lost without traces. All she could do was wait, for him to come back home. Sometimes, he packed his bags and ran away to some mountains. All she could do was learn about his adventures through the letters he’d send. Sometimes, he took jobs that took him all over the country. All she could do was plan to visit those places in vacations only to realize he was home before that.
The hole grew bigger with each day passing. It became bigger with her realizing that he has been walking in and out of her life, like she was some public parks in the city. It became bigger as she learnt more about how he was absent in her past. It became bigger as he failed to be there for her every time she needed him.
The hole had been filled though. Half of it was filled by her mother. A portion was filled by his brother, another by her grandfathers. Another one by her best friend and another portion by her boss. Then there were the portions filled by boys she sometimes call lovers, always getting replaces for she always believed that men always leave, nobody really stayed.
So now that he is gone, she doesn’t feel a hole in her heart. That hole was filled up and sealed with cement, long time back. Maybe it’s time to dig it up again.
Disappointment tastes like Americano turned cold because you were too busy writing on your notebook about how you like your coffee, when you should have been drinking it. “I like my coffee the way I like my men” you used to say, “strong, dark and bitter.” But turns out you don’t really like its taste after the coffee has gone cold. Halfway through your cold bitter coffee, you almost want to give up. Which is when you also start to wonder why you ever loved the bitter coffee at the first place.
Of course you still love your coffee bitter, stronger, and darker. And of course you don’t mind at times, when it starts turning cold as you listen to your just-arrived-from-months-and-months-of-traveling friend. Or as you talk to your love who proclaims that he can’t seem to concentrate on anything anymore but somehow remembers every single word you wrote on your last assignment.
Only when you are alone, sipping the dark brown coffee as you read an email from your sister, does the coffee taste more bitter. The helpless weighs down on you as you read about how her lover refuses to seek help for his depression. And only when you are alone in a cafe full of lovers and best friends, laughing, whispering, and holding each other, you realize that your coffee is not how it used to be.
But it’s Your coffee and nothing has really changed. It is as strong as it was before – when you had a company. It is as bitter as it was when you were happy. It is as dark as it was when, both, you and your coffee were warmer.
It’s your choice that has changed. And that’s exactly what disappointment tastes like. That there is no one to blame but you, for letting your coffee turn cold as you were too busy focusing on your life instead of enjoying it.
Know that you can break my heart in millions of ways than it had been broken before. And the wounds you would leave behind would be so deep that it will take forever for the blood to clot. And I will have scars all over my soul, of cracks you left behind. Know that I was strong when those boys broke my heart. That I knew I would recover, it would just take some time. That I always heal. That I always move on. But you will forever be etched in my heart like a tattoo and the ghosts of your memories will forever haunt be like a childhood dream. Know that you leaving is something I prepare myself everyday for. Know that you leaving will still affect me anyway, in far worse ways that we can ever imagine. People leave or they die, I always say but know that you are not those regular people in my life. You were someone I would never risk having this close that we can listen each other breathing. You were always supposed to be far enough not to know hear the sound of our hearts skipping. Know that you are near now, and as much as I don’t want to burden you about you being home, but you are closer to it. Know that you were my friend first, the one I turned to in the middle of the night when my PMS is kicking in unknowingly. So I would rant and whine and say stupid things like I hate everyone but know that I never mean that. Yes, I hate people but you were never among those regular ones. Know that you were my friend first, someone I have always felt comfortable sharing my deepest secrets I never dared to share with anyone. You may not remember them and it’s okay. But just know that I will be lost completely if I lose you. Know that I will be empty if you run out. Know that none of those boys could ever break me but I would forever be broken if you decide to leave.
Know that you can break my heart in millions ways that it ever has been broken. Know that I just hope you won’t do it.
Every time you ask me how I am, I have no idea what to say. “Fine”, is not in my vocabulary but I haven’t reached the “Good” yet. I hate saying, “Okay” but since I think today was better than yesterday, I end up saying, “Better”. Sometimes I might end up saying, “Great” but I regret it immediately because I would only be feeling great at that moment and not entirely in life. I probably was feeling great because I might just have had a chocolate cake or watched a good comedy movie or finished a good book. I must have felt great because Kaka took me out for lunch, or because I met my old boss or just woke up from a four-hour-long nap. I don’t feel great all the time. I don’t feel good even or even better or even okay. Most of the times, I don’t know how I am feeling and I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing. What I know is that I am not sad anymore. I also know this is not emptiness because I can feel things, when I feel it. But am I happy? Is this a kind of happiness? I don’t know. So every time you ask me how I am, I have no idea what to say, so I end up saying, “Not sad” and maybe this is a good thing.
I finally realized what they meant when they said people will forget what you did or said but will always remember how you made them feel. Because right now, my memories aren’t haunted by what we did or said but how you made me feel when we stared at the tall temple counting the terracotta Buddhas and discussed about how lions must have entered Nepal. I don’t miss holding your hands or seeing your face or talking to you but I do miss how I felt – the feeling of being loved, cared and cherished – that there is a smile slapped across the face no matter how messed up life is at that time. I remember those feelings all too well, as we walked around the long narrow gallis of Patan, holding each other as you would pull me close. As you looked at me while I tried working, sitting in a cafe, sipping perfectly made chiya but couldn’t concentrate because I could feel your stare and thus my cheeks were warming up and turning various shades of pink bit by bit. What you made me feel that day, I wonder if I would ever feel it again. But what you made me feel that day also made me realize that I don’t miss you at all. Just the feelings. And the feelings will guide me one day to find what I have been looking for.