“…don’t say it…you’ll hurt yourself…” I said over the phone.
“I’m already hurting…” He replied.
We hung up. I was relieved that he listened to me, that he didn’t say it; or so I convinced myself. Why did I not want him to say it out loud? Would it have mattered? My heart hushed me – ‘don’t say it…don’t think it…let it go…‘
The next morning I was sitting with my boyfriend in a cafe; we held hands, he kissed me and said – “I love you.”
I didn’t think twice before saying, “I love you too.” The words brought a sense of relief to my heart. I knew I didn’t lie, my heart agreed; my head said – ‘yes, indeed you do…but….‘ my heart cut it out and whispered – ‘there’s no ‘but’…‘
My phone buzzed – “You know what I feel for you is far more liberating than what he feels for you…I don’t expect you to say it back.” The text was from him.
I didn’t know what to call him. I could’ve easily called him my friend, but my feelings for him wasn’t that easy to put into words. Neither was it so complex that I could name him ‘my love’. He was neither.
I had already found the love of my life and I was happy with him. But I couldn’t deny the fact that this man I met a couple of months back had triggered a storm within my heart which would otherwise have remained asleep thinking its job was done for this lifetime.
‘Yes, my purpose is served…let me sleep…‘ my heart shouted back.
‘You’re a coward…You never accept your own sin...’ my head replied.
Feeling knackered, I closed my heavy eyelids. I expected to see my boyfriend’s face, much to my surprise, I saw another vague face in a distance. I could’ve seen it vividly, had I tried. But I opened my eyes and dialed his number.
“You’re making it difficult for me…why don’t you go away?” I snapped, as soon as he answered.
“It’s not me, it’s you who’s making it difficult…by not letting me say it out loud.” He replied in a calm voice.
I remained silent.
“I love you…” He finally uttered the words that I dreaded. Surprisingly, it brought a strange calmness to my heart and a peaceful silence to my head; I could feel the storm fading away slowly.
“I don’t expect you to say it back…” he continued, “…but do say it when you’re alone, whisper it so the words don’t reach your heart, and ask your head to keep it a secret for your head cannot be fooled. Good bye…”
Our paths never crossed again. It was the final goodbye. I didn’t have enough courage to do what he said, but I did ask one question to my heart and my head –
“Is it wrong to love them both? Is it really a sin?…”
– Chirasree, a dreamer.