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Unrequited Love Is A Pain You Give Yourself

After he helped me bathe the slanted ceiling with a splash of’em, he told me that these glow-in-the-dark stars borrowed their glimmer from other brighter light sources. That’s when I knew why they shone so bright. He was my sun, the center of my universe, the shy blinks of his eyes sending out rays of light that warmed me and the room alike, giving us a glow that was, perhaps, emanating as much from inside of us as out.

On his way out, he left a ‘see ya tomorrow’ hanging in the air, like the sound from an instrument strung long ago resounding in empty space. But that was enough. For me. I was used to the few meetings he awarded me, sparingly. I was used to satiating my gnawing hunger for his love with the crumbs of his notice, used to settling the hurricanes of my emotions with his neatly, sanitized packages of detached interest.  So, without further ado, I slipped into my small loft bed, ready to dream beautiful dreams of him under my convincingly infinite galaxy of love, until the morning brought him to me again.

woman crying_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Suggested read: On breaking up with a best friend

But that was not to be. The morning brought torrents of downpour from the skies above the makeshift one of my own, as if crying on cue, to release the restrained flood inside me. While the pitter patter on the roof made my apartment creak, I cried into an old hoodie of him I’d stolen from his dorm room when he wasn’t looking. All of a sudden, his warmth inside me felt cold, like a cold knife piercing through my heart and staying put. As my breathing shrunk to rugged gasps trying to cling onto the last shred of life, life whirled by, as in a slow motion reel of an old feature film,  asking me to sit up and take note of things I was too blind to see, in my bid to outrace the life I was in and be in one I wanted to be in.

man sitting idly by while woman is crying_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I saw how he gave me brunch when I wanted a meal. I saw how he’d stay in touch but his touch on my skin was stiff, rigid, even reluctant. I saw how the smile I gave him turned vexed, when he’d give it to me, but crinkled his eyes in pure joy when he was facing other faces in the crowd. I saw how he was always just a call away- close but not quite beside. I saw how I took whatever he gave, even if it drained the last ounce of me to give him more and more, without expectation.

I took the cordial invites to parties where he wouldn’t talk to me, the sleepovers with friends where his attention would almost inevitably wander into other conversations, the squeeze-in time he’d make for me so I’d feel grateful and everything else that kept it going, just enough so he could keep me hooked to try, over and over, to break into the impenetrable fortress of resistance on his heart, even when I knew a siege was not forthcoming.

sad woman_New_Love_Times

Image source: Flickr

It’s a game, perhaps. Perhaps not.  Unrequited love- or the sting of it – it hits hard like a punch in the gut, like a viral lump in the throat or just the cold-blooded stab I was feeling now. I looked up from the memory reel, not knowing whether to laugh or cry at my own folly. How had I not known, ever? And that’s when it hit me. A glow-in-the-dark star, holding onto the final gleam of its brightness in the daylight brought the truth into sight. He was never my sun, never a sun, never anything luminous in life at all. Just a fake something that kept stealing my own light to eclipse his darkness and reflect the glare back onto me, albeit so sparingly that I craved for more of what I was losing. My light, my love, my life.

Suggested read: Confessions of a rebound girl

And in this moment, as I was scraping the sticky tack of the last star off my ceiling, I got all three back. I was taking charge- of my own light to guide me to a life where I loved myself well, so as to never let anybody steal my life from me.

And if you have been at this end of unrequited love, you should do the same.

Featured image source: Flickr

Article Name
Unrequited Love Is A Pain You Give Yourself
Unrequited love hits hard like a punch in the gut, like a viral lump in the throat or just the cold-blooded stab I was feeling now.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."