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Accident

For her:

You’ll regret this, love.
In your heart you know it too.
You’ll love her today and,
She’ll leave without you.

You don’t want to believe it, love.
She’s porcelain poison.
The way she looks at you today,
She’ll look at another man tomorrow.

She’ll make his heart beat faster,
Than she would with you.
You’ll stay up long nights
She’ll sleep without you.

Don’t stand a chance against her
Lips, eyes, scent, hips.
Neither can him, so love.
Walk away, innocent.

‘How do you walk away from
Someone you love so much?’
Ask her, she does it all the time.
With one gentle touch.

She’ll be in her worst senses,
Cause an accident with a ‘friend’.
Knowing you would forgive her,
You’ll love her till the bitter end.

And how would I know all this, love?
I am her, I know I’ll do all of the above.

Pretending to be Enemies

Drink up, my love.
It’s the only way you can remember
and forget me,
At the same time.

Why do we do this to ourselves?
Forgetting the good, creating the bad.
Based on past, the history,
Why do we let our history define us?

Old wounds, Old love.
Swords and shields up high in the air.
Pretending to be enemies,
Fighting battles we’ve made up in our heads.

Not anymore.

I am Guilty.
The scar of where my heart once was,
I guard it against the only person,
Who can heal me.
You.

Hold my hand again.
Help me walk up, and I will too.
We have nothing to lose.
Because I’ve already lost you.

I was wrong.
I can’t fight fire with fire, not now.
You don’t deserve fire.
You deserve to be loved.

I want to love you again.
Because hating you isn’t working.

Kiss me again.
“I am Yours.
And You are Mine.”

Coffee and Cigarettes

“My mother will start to worry
– Beautiful, what’s your hurry?
Father will be pacing the floor
– Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I’d better scurry
– Beautiful, please don’t hurry
Maybe just a half a drink more
– Put some records on while I pour….”

The faint sound of Christmas carols fill the air with a cheerful buzz, accompanied by a whiff of cinnamon. She absent-mindedly looks for her coat and keys, and puts it on. She takes out her phone and sends a quick text.

“A few more minutes. Need coffee.”

She puts on the only pair of rain boots she can see, and grabs her umbrella as she tumbles out of her apartment. She should have worn her own rain boots, because his are too big for her.

It’s Christmas Eve and everyone is out doing a bit of last minute shopping. She wonders if she has anyone else to shop for. She bought only one gift. Should she have bought a gift for anybody else? How long has it been since she bought a gift for her parents? She cannot even remember the last time she talked to them for more than a few minutes. But she does remember the last time her father bought her a gift. It was a bar of chocolate that was as silky smooth as her hair when her mother would brush it on cold winter mornings. They were quite well off, and she could and would have anything she wanted. Yet, a simple gesture of love was the one gift she remembered the most fondly. The chocolate had tiny caramel chunks that tasted like buttery sin heaven. The day her father gave it to her, she almost cried. They had just fought. Again. The small offering of peace restored her faith in family. She broke off a sizeable piece and offered the rest to her parents. She felt happy and content. It was one of the last and only happy memories she had with her family.

Her house always had the lingering scent of coffee, especially when her father was home. As things started to turn sour, that omnipresent scent became oppressive. Screaming, fighting and shattered objects became a frequent occurrence. She sometimes wondered if her neighbours had gotten used to the war-torn family that lived next door.

When she was sixteen, she declared that they weren’t a family any more, merely three people living in the same house. When she turned eighteen, she packed her bags and left, vowing never to set foot in her family house again.

Her anger intensified over the years, but also drove her passion to succeed in her life. For one of the last things her father told her was that she would never be successful at anything, certainly if she took up art as her choice of profession. Today, she co-owns her own graphic design house.

She tried to emotionally and psychologically distance herself from her parents as well. Her biggest fear was that she would turn out exactly like her mother, or act like her father. She didn’t want to become the people she couldn’t stand. However, despite her best efforts, she retained her mother’s penchant for baking and her father’s love for coffee.

Oh, how she loved coffee. It would not only wake her up, it would also remind her to be alert, a quality she always associated with her father. Only when her father was in the house would the strong, almost suffocating emanation of coffee pervade through the air.

She trudges along in the muddy snow, steaming coffee in hand. Reaching her destination, she winds up the familiar set of staircases leading to his apartment. The door is ajar. He’s expecting her. It’s so warm inside that she takes off all her clothes, one by one, until she is wearing only the thin dress she layered under all the coats. Sipping her coffee, she sits down on his lap.

He is facing the window on a settee with a cigarette in hand. The fumes of the cigarette and the steam of the coffee mingle, finding the same way out of the apartment though a tiny opening in the window.

“Did your mum call today?” She asks.

Taking a puff, he says, “Yes she did.”

“Did you answer?”

“No but she left a recording. The usual. ‘Merry Christmas and today is the anniversary of your father’s passing. I hope you pray for him.’ She knows that I don’t pray. I don’t know why she insists I do it every year.”

Taking another sip of her coffee she mumbles, “She’s your mother. She cares about you.”

Another puff, and he replies, “I could say the same about your family.”

Irritated, she gets up and throws away the empty cup of coffee. In the kitchen she takes out bags of flour and sugar.

“You should really stop smoking. Your father died of lung cancer. I’m not asking you to care about your family, I’m asking you to care about yourself.”

He gets up and follows her to the kitchen.

“You love coffee, I love cigarettes. We both know why. Some parts of our family life will never fully escape us, will they?” He says as he leans on the counter while she makes a cake batter, her mother’s recipe.

“Yes. But I’m your family now. And I want you to stop smoking.” She demands.

“Yeah, I’ll stop. I’ve been meaning to, anyway. Dad is gone. It’s not the same any more.” He says as he rolls his hands around her waist.

“If only your mother knew how you honoured your father.”

Turning her around to face him, he whispers, “Maybe bad relationships lead to bad habits. Mine is to honour the man I tried to get away from all my life by adopting the same habit as him. Yours is to make the same Christmas cake your mother used to make each year, all the while speaking not more than three words a year to either of your parents.”

She smoothens out the crinkle in his shirt and replies as gently as she can, “Yes, but my habit will not kill me. I want to spend my life with you, trying to forgive and forget our pasts. I do not want you to be my past.”

“I know. I decided before you came in that this is my last one. It’s been 5 years since the old man flew away. I don’t want to join him any time soon. This is the last. I promise.” he utters as he throws the cigarette into the trash. The empty cigarette butt falls into the empty coffee cup.

He breathes in. And out.

“Thank you.” She says before their lips meet and the taste of coffee and cigarettes dissolve into each other.

“You’re not pretty.”

I know.
I’m not.
I never claimed to be.

I cannot change the face or the body I was born with. I cannot change every picture reminding me how completely not photogenic I am. I cannot change my knobby knees or the persistent bags under my eyes or the curve of my body that you might find ‘fat’. I cannot change my scars and marks on my body that have accumulated as I live. I cannot change the way I look when I wake up in the morning, as I leave the safety of my dreams and come back to your world of judgements. I cannot change the fact that there are some clothes I will never look good in. I cannot change the fact that I’m so imperfect, no one is jealous of me.

But.
Don’t you dare think you can tell me I’m not beautiful.

I’m beautiful in every crack and cranny. My marks and scars are beautiful. My slightly chipped nail polish is beautiful. The callouses on my fingers formed over years of playing an instrument are beautiful. My hair on days I don’t get time to wash it is beautiful. Every curve you think is unnecessary is beautiful. My goofy laugh in pictures is beautiful. My awkward body language is beautiful. My smudged make-up at the end of the day is beautiful. My skin, with all the hills and valleys, is beautiful. My ‘candid’ photographs are beautiful. Do you know why? It’s because I can stand up straight, knowing that I’m my own definition of beauty and that I will not bend down to what (or who) you think is beautiful. My mind and soul are more beautiful than any of your pictures.

I’m beautiful because I believe I am.
Trying to make me believe otherwise is a waste of your time.

I Believe in Me and You.

I believe in me and you.

I believe that I can fly and will not need you to be my wings.

I believe that I can walk out into the sunshine enjoy it on my own.

I believe that I can be the woman I want to be, I need to be, and I won’t need you to show me how.

I believe that I can grow into a butterfly and you don’t need to be my cocoon.

I believe I can achieve great things, not by your side.

I believe that one day you can be a guest and not a permanent resident in my memories.

I believe I can protect myself, for myself.

I believe that I can be a bundle of contradictions, an enigma, that you don’t have to solve.

I believe that I can eat chocolate ice cream and cry, but not about you.

I believe I can buy a book without thinking what you might have thought of it.

I believe I can make a joke and not wonder if you would laugh at it.

I believe that one day I’ll stop looking at the words you wrote for me.

I believe I can go to the restaurant where you told me you loved me and sit at a table for one.

I believe I can stop thinking about you.

I believe that one day, years from now, I’ll think of your face with no regret.

And I hope that we meet again, not as lovers, but as strangers in a crowd and just smile at each other. And no more, no less.

I believe in me and you.

I believe in me.

Part #1- Who Travels

“Three experiences, three stories, one emotion”

 

1. Date A Boy Who Travels.

Those who wander are not always lost. Date a boy who travels because he can teach you to wander.

Date a boy who travels because his magnetic wild energy will draw you towards him. He will seem foreign at first, but you will slowly warm up to him. He will excite your bubble-protected sensitivities.

His enthusiasm towards life will inspire you. And when he turns his untamed tempestuous gaze towards you, losing yourself in his radiant power will be the easiest thing you have ever done.

He will ask you to go to dinner with him to dine on a cuisine you would have never tried yourself. You will slowly but steadily fall in love with his tanned, worn-out face that contrasts perfectly with his ever youthful eyes. And when he smiles, his face will wrinkle up in a way that makes you want to do strange things. Like accompany him on his wayward but fulfilling journeys.

He will teach you how to live. You will spend hours navigating the earth that your ancestors walked on, experiencing more in your two-week journey with him than in your whole adult life. He will make you feel alive.

He will be the type of person to choose a small, handmade bracelet to an expensive watch, so gifts will never be a problem as long as they have a significance. Your wedding ring will not be diamonds, but a pearl that he found when he was wandering. And it will be worth a thousand shiny carbon pieces.

He will tell you that he was lost before he found you, and you will know that this is the ultimate compliment he can give a human being.

He will have travelled to so many places that he will have a deeper understanding of the human species, an insight he will never fail to use on you. He will understand that poverty is everywhere and so is human suffering. He will not shelter or protect you from the crimes of life, rather, he will teach you how to deal with suffering.

He will push you to your limits, and you will discover yourself in him. Don’t expect him to give you a lavish life, but he will give you a meaningful life. He will know how to ration money because he just wants to survive, without money, but definitely with you.

He will know you are his soul-mate when you overcome your fear of heights, and you agree to swing across the river holding on only to his toned body and his love as your safety. You will fall in love with him and his way of life, and never look back.

He will teach you to use your body to the full potential of human capacity. You will rediscover the simple happiness in life, and you will learn to see beyond individuality. You and him are part of a bigger plan.

He will teach you to be kind and gentle to all living creatures, yet teach you the importance of death.

He will teach you to love. And your children the will learn the same.

He will teach them that happiness comes from not what is around you, but what you can make from the things around you. And he will love you till the sun rises in the west.

 

The Loveless Storyteller That Didn’t Belong

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” -Ira Glas

She sits quietly on the side. Her green headphones engulf all of her face, but for her eyes. They dart from place to place stealthy but observant. People mull around her, and she knows that she doesn’t belong. But it does not bother her, because she came for a different purpose. So she waits patiently.

She sees happy faces and hears laughter echoing. Yet, she wanders until a face decides to start a conversation. As is a common trend, it is a boy with a drink in his hand. She knows his type. An alpha male who is actually an uninteresting, attention-seeking marshmallow on the inside. Boring, but she decides to give it a try. She might as well get something from the party. He hovers over her and casually tries to start a conversation. Then she looks up and their eyes meet.

She has cast her spell.

The bad-boy act drops and he is lost in her eyes. His nonchalant attitude is replaced by nervous anxiety and unparalleled attraction. He is deeply interested in her but also fiercely intimidated. He is intoxicated and her eyes are the toxin. She smiles.

She sees a warmth spreading throughout his eyes yet she can sense pain. She talks. He confesses. She didn’t expect much from him, but he surprises her. He isn’t like them, he isn’t entitled.

With a sort of nervous desperation, he confesses his story. He describes the story of his family and how at the tender age of fifteen, unfortunate circumstances lead him to break off ties with the ones that gave him birth. He had decided to live with his alcoholic uncle who didn’t give two fucks about him or what he did. Without the guiding force of his parents he fell into a downward spiral. His grades were as bad as his company. His body was on the edge of permanent exhaustion. More than substances, he abused himself.

He would have hit rock bottom on his little rabbit-hole journey had he not woken up in the beginning of his senior year realising he didn’t have a family, nor a future. The weight suddenly overcame him and he had to wake up, but not because he wanted to. He had to live his life well and not merely survive it. From then on, he has been working his way back from the centre of the earth and one day he hopes to reach the sky.

Yet, he expressed no need to have a happy family ending. His family is still of peripheral importance. That’s the difference between real stories and made up ones. Real stories have many rights, and many wrongs.

He shifts in his seat, but not uncomfortably as he did when he first sat down next to her. She has become a calming presence. Her eyes now shine with understanding and an affection he didn’t know he needed. But he needs it now.

She listens patiently as he talks about the career he has chosen. Travel photography. He says that it’s because he realised that there is more than one way to escape the world. Or just certain places of the world.

She feels a growing sensation telling her it’s time to leave. Her job is done and his story has been collected. She has done this countless times before. But she is intrigued by this boy. He seems to have grown into a man through the course of their conversation. Then she sees it in his eyes – longing.

She is used to her muses becoming attached to her, but her job as a story collector is to get close, but not personal. But this type of a longing is different from her pervious muses. It’s a longing that has been awakened in a boy who forgot what longing for comfort felt like.

Her eyes betray both her restlessness and her magnetism for him. He stops mid-conversation and gives her a questioning look. Then fear creeps up his body. He doesn’t want her to leave not now, not ever. Two hours ago he didn’t know her, now he cannot live without her. Once you have found your missing puzzle piece, you cannot afford to lose it again.

With great effort, she gets up. She can feel the tension in the air, but she has to go. She smiles at him one last time once with her mouth and then with her eyes. She gives him a peck on the cheek and turns around. She can sense him standing there, feeling lost and confused, but she moves on.

That’s bane she carries. She chose this life. She collects stories from people she meets, and shares their beauty with the world. It’s a lonely job, but stories can never become too personal because she is merely a story teller; the medium of propagation. Attachment to the story means attachment to the person behind it.

Attachment is never an option.

Especially not love.