It's a story about how we take love for granted to such an extent that we often strangle and devour it.
She was beautiful. I was undeservingly geeky.
But, somehow, I was also lucky. I was lucky enough to fall in love with her and also to have her fall in love with me. My past bad relationships and all my vices had never taken a toll on her love for me. Not even to the day we broke up. Oh! Yes, she'd been pushed to the limit and we finally broke up.
But, what I relate to you today is the story of how luck really blessed and forgave me. Take it as a warning. Perhaps, unfortunately, there are more out there like me and we all need to see what's going on and what we've become sooner than we lose all that we have, and luck won’t be gracious to everyone, I believe.
If I were to briefly tell you about our days together- It was perfect; it was beautiful. I had the perfect relationship and the best girl. And sometimes I wondered if I was happy only because she had a pretty face…Trust me, it never was the answer. The real answer to why I was happy was the docile, calm, patient, and beautiful heart that she had.
The heart that like a sponge had soaked my negativity, insecurities, rage and always replaced it with optimism, levelheadedness and a blissful calmness. She filled colours into my life- colours I wasn't used to and colours I had exploited. Soon, my stomach stretched like an elastic bag and it was enough to engulf not only all her love but herself.
So, pretty soon, that’s what I set about doing. I was never satisfied with what she gave me. I always sought more pushing my luck and her limits to the extreme. And one day, her smiles were replaced by frowns. And finally, I broke it off. For, she wasn’t what we started off as, anymore. Or, was I not what we started off as, anymore?
A week after the breakup as I sat in front of my Mac, I fidgeted about on google looking for ways to get her back. Yes, I had become desperate for her now.
There was something missing from my life.
For, now here was no one to tolerate my tantrums and put up with me. So, while I was idling away on the internet, I saw something that caught my mind.
It was the story of a woman who had a python for a pet. Quite interestingly, her pet python had stopped responding to her affection and had stopped eating his meals, and was trying to be physically close to her- coiling around her and trying to seek something that she couldn't quite give it.
This left her very guilty and frustrated and pushed to the limits. When the vet was consulted, the vet shocked her out of her wits. It so turned out that the python was preparing to eat her. Of course, she was shocked- filled with a paralytic sense of betrayal and horror. She got rid of her pet as soon as she could.
Yes, then. Precisely then I realized what I had become and what I had done.
No, I don't denounce the reptile here. He did what he is designed for. Of course, he isn't deaf to the language of love but, quite possibly, his language is different from the human language. So, I personally feel it is wrong to denounce him. However, it isn't wrong to denounce me.
Finally, I saw what I had been doing to my girl for half a decade now. I had been her pet python. Only, I was devouring her emotionally. I was wringing her dry of love. All the time… All along, she had just been my prey. Of course the realisation knocked the air out of me.
But, there wasn't much I could do about it. It was perhaps too late. Maybe, now if she saw me, she'd have realised what I had been doing to her. Surprisingly, I wasn't even sure if I was an unintentional or simply a sadistic human python. But, however it may be, it was wrong.
We are humans. We don't have to resort to the reptile's ways of love. We speak human words. We break down in human arms. We reside in human hearts. It's alright if she has a life of her own.
For, she's as human as me. In fact, why should she not have her own stuff to do? Her own tastes and dislikes? Why does she have to stick to me all the time? I'm not mapping her surface area to devour her. She's my love… Not my prey. Moreover, since when did love become unsatisfactory?
Of course, even humans have different ways to love, but, I refuse to believe that there is a single heart that can't recognize any way of humane love. How can we- We who recognize the mutest creatures- how can we fail something as blissful a blessing as love no matter in what guise we get it? Surely, everything is fair in love. But, how far do we go about hiding behind Tolstoy's innocent philosophy and camouflage our undeniable sadism? How long will they stand by us? Why should they? How are our deeds pardonable?
My new realisation gave me a new meaning wrapped in shame and guilt. I would often pick up my phone and type her number or a lengthy message, but, somehow, my heart would scorn me for being unbelievably shameless and not leaving her alone despite knowing that it was what she needed. When one day, my phone beeped with her name.
You can anticipate my excitement correctly or a little less perhaps. And though the influx of her messages continued, I controlled my strongest urges to do something – the only thing, I knew to prove my sincerest love for her- and protected her from me. One day, even her messages stopped. I was happy for her redemption and sad that she had to go through it. Well, for myself? Who doesn’t pity and hate himself at times like these?
Thus, between missing her and scolding myself, a year of our lives rolled on and I had no idea where my better half was- only if she still was so by any golden fortune. However, it maybe, I was miserable.
It was a year later when I saw her again.
I had just bought a new home and was still looking for the furnishings. I was choosing from an array of curtains draped in one section of the large store. There was one particular silken one that caught my eye. It was emerald with patches and stringy lines of dark green all over it. "That's my taste, you know." It felt like a dream. Surely, it was a dream!
How? How was it possible? In the second that passed since she uttered her last syllable to when I whirled around, my heart was overjoyed and overwhelmed knowing that I was finally forgiven. In that infinite moment, I was grateful to many – herself and an infiniteness of the Universe being two of them.
There she stood, wearing purple- a colour I always complimented on her.
"Hi", I managed.
"That's my choice, you know.” she repeated, pointing a beautiful hand at the curtain now flipped over in my hand.
"Oh yeah. It's beautiful. I liked it." I heard my voice.
But, there was so much more that I had to tell her. So many things more important than this curtain,yet, this seemed an equally important reason to hear that familiar,soothing, homely voice.
"How are you?" I asked.
"I'm fine, thank you. How are you?"
"Became better this very instant"
She eyed me curiously. "Since when did you become so cheesy,Aryan?"
I shrugged. "Coffee?"
She nodded. In the next instant, we were headed to the café downstairs. Everything was happening so smoothly and quickly today. I pulled the chair for her. She was surprised and rightly. I had never treated her like the queen she was. I had always taken her for granted; never been the gentleman she deserved. But, now I would show how she deserved to be loved.
She ordered her usual Cappuccino and I had my Latté. Sometime while she was holding her cup in both hands, her eyes opened up to depths that only I could fathom. For, I was the only one who had swam in them- considering I had no successors.
" You didn't miss me", it was a sad statement. My heart broke. If only I could tell her how wrong she was. But, I knew no way.
" You didn't text. You didn't call. You didn't respond to my texts either. " she stated facts that sounded so much like accusations. "You were happy far away from me. I tried to love you as best as I could but it wasn't enough. You did nothing to wi- take- me back…"
"Hey! Stop. Right there. You have no idea how I missed you. You can't even guess what it took to ignore you like that! You just don't understand!"
"I don't understand! What? That you are over a college infatuation you thought was love? Oh God! Why did I stop you today? It was over a year back! What was I expecting?"
We were hissing by now. Soon, she gestured to ask for the bill. By the time I placed a note in the black pocket, she was already standing. Before I could stop her,she was stomping out of the café. But, it was high time I stopped suffocating her and killed my guilt.
My throat went dry. Something in me told me that if I didn’t stop her now, there will be no chance encounters that would open up to chances like this one. Something within forgave me and finally allowed me to let go of what I had been to embrace what I should be – for her first and then for myself. In front of the café, I knelt down. She was already a couple of feet ahead when I called out her name. She whirled around with an indignant "what?"
" I have been the worst guy to love. All this year, I was craving a second chance but I knew how undeserving and brutal I had been. That’s why I couldn’t even think of asking forgiveness of you. But, there’s something I have to ask you…."
she had walked upto me now,evidently undecided.
" It was never just infatuation. I have grown in and after the relationship. It breaks my heart that it is over. But, I guess, good things must end for better things to replace them. I know, this isn’t the time or the place that a picture perfect proposal deserves, but, will you pick out furnishings for our house and make it our happy home? Will you…marry me?"
The rest is my happy ending to live and cherish. But, you are to live and learn your lesson. You might not be as lucky as me. You shouldn’t be as lucky as me. I know, I am not supposed so lucky either and so I am ever careful of having to live without her. Only, this time, she isn’t my sponge for all my mess… She is my life. So, don't try to be something that you aren't meant to be. Don't strangle and eat up the love that gives you wings and colours. Don't burn your own house down. You never know, it might not-in fact, it shouldn't- rise from the ashes again.
Don't be a python to the love that you receive from anyone whosoever it may be. Be the safest haven and the sweetest heaven. Be a sweet dream come true. Please be lines of smiles on their wrinkly skin and not frowns when they are but minds filled with memories- be the large magnitude of happy memories. Build a togetherness that's their castle to reside in.
Please, don't eat their love … Please, oh! Please, just love them.