You show up every single day and do what you did the day before, until you perfect showing up.
You wash your face, paint your lips red, smile, and pray that your eyes don’t give away anything.
You squint your eyes, open them only half. The smaller they look, the less they reveal, you always tell me.
You smile. I see you grin wide till your cheeks hurt. You talk to everyone. You smile again. Laugh a little, throw your head back at times fooling them into believing that you are in the conversation.
After a few hmms and oh reallys, you look at me and signal with your eyes, now wide open just for those few seconds. We take leave and walk to our car. Inside, you put the seat belt on, and sit stiff. I do the same, and wait. Carefully and slowly, I take your hand in my hand and we just sit there.
We both wait for it to happen.
A few seconds later, you squeeze my hand. I look at your face, see tears rolling down. They start slowly and pick speed soon after. Your lips part and a strange sound comes from your throat. We sit there, holding each other’s hands as the emotions boiling inside you, dive out.
We are alone; it’s dark outside.
Nobody can see you; cry your heart out. I squeeze your hand slightly, hoping my presence can be reassuring.
You cry a little more because you still don’t know why this happens to you. Why are you crying, why does your heart feel like it’s sinking, why does your world seem to be collapsing?
You remind yourself in between tears, what a wonderful life you have. I never know if you are talking to me or to yourself. But we are one. I am as helpless as you are. I remind you this is not your fault, it’s okay to cry, I love you and will always be with you.
You chastise yourself in between sobs, for its outright ungrateful to have a wonderful life, yet be anxious all the time. Nobody likes an unhappy, ungrateful person, you say. I remind you that you are neither of those.
You are the kindest girl I know, one who wants everyone to be happy. Maybe that is what the undoing is, you look out for people who don’t remember you at times. Your sobs increase because now your mind has found a legit reason to be upset.
“Have I become comfortable with sadness?” you ask. “Damn, what have I become?” you ask again.
Where has the girl you knew, gone? You look different, you act different. These are your questions, not mine. I love you as much, if not more as I had loved you the day we’d first met. Possibly more.
Your tears start drying after what could be hours, but the heart still feels like it is sinking. दिल बैठना, you had told me once. I slowly start driving and we reach home a while later. Tears keep pouring down your cheeks, as you struggle to sit noiselessly next to me. In bed, I hold you close to me, your head near my chest while you whimper from time to time.
I sing to you.
You slip into deep sleep sometime later but the patch on my t-shirt which is now wet with your tears keeps me awake all night.