To The Lover Who Could Have Been


I hope you are doing well. In fact, I am sure you are doing much better.

Remember when we first met? It wasn’t a fairy-tale kind of a thing. It was nothing perfect, actually. But it felt so right. When I saw you from a distance, I couldn’t see you smile at me but then I felt you did. The coffee refills had us sitting at the café for a long while. But it did not seem to get boring or monotonous.

I noticed how a tint of caramel swirled inward toward your pupils. You had a nice smile, the kind of smile that thin lips twirl into. The kind of smile that didn’t reach the eyes but was pleasant enough to tell you it was candid. Your curly black hair was settled with such ease. A light crimson color painted your cheeks. I immediately imagined how pretty a picture we’d make together.

Remember that time I stayed over at your place for the first time? I am sure you remember. We didn’t do anything major. It was a simple movie evening and it got late so you asked me to stay over. It was such an amazingly happy night. We didn’t do anything but watch funny YouTube videos. Snuggled against each other, I could feel the warmth radiating from you, I could smell the morning’s deodorant on the T-shirt and then at that moment I let myself surrender to you.

I still remember you asking me to be your girlfriend. I was overjoyed. I liked you so much and we were so good together. You said all these romantically heart-warming things about how much I meant to you and how you had never met a girl like me and how you liked my fingers, my smile, my hair and my voice. You were always so good with words!

You know the time I decided that we should get over with seeing each other because it was getting exhausting for me? Trust me, it was getting very tiring. Everything was such a big effort. It was no longer smooth; so much friction in between the two of us. I didn’t like it. I couldn’t put up with it. I told this to you and you said some stuff about how I mean a lot to you and how you don’t want to let go but if breaking up was what I wanted, I would have it. I know I had hurt you. But that night, at that moment, I just couldn’t be with you.

I offered for us to be friends. Such a horrible consolation, right? Yeah, I know, stubborn silly me.

It felt so good when we started talking (real talking. Not the WhatsApp-text-messages-emails talking) almost every other day after parting ways. It felt so good to be back to going to the café with you, to talk to you about those stupidly romantic couples with their stupid PDA on Facebook, to listen to you whine about veg Subway, to watch the sunset. It felt warm to fall for you all over again. Not hastily and all at once, just bit by bit- slowly trying to capture those fleeting moments of you, with you.

It felt good. Did I tell you it felt good? I did not. And I probably won’t. Not now, not ever. Because you are an incomplete chapter in my life. As much as I would like to explore and read you through, I don’t want to. I’m scared to do that. I also know it was me who decided it to be this way in the first place. Had I not broken up with you, we wouldn’t be here in this tiny café in town trying to figure out why my chicken sandwich doesn’t get over. But that is just one of the many if onlys of life.

Maybe a few years from now I will regret the road not taken, the decision not made. But I don’t care. You are so fragile. Everything about you, about us is so delicate and I wouldn’t want to fuck it up trying to say or do something. Who knows if maybe we are (or aren’t) meant to be? But that will be seen when it will be. Life and time will take us there.

You are one of those beautifully loved things that you rarely get in life and once you do, you want it there.


featured image – Holly Lay