“You want to fix things with Abhay, but you need to fix things in your own life before you can heal the other person. I understand your intentions, do not be carried away by the vision of the world for you. Think about yourself, what do you like, how you want to be, what is your ultimate goal for happiness in your life, is it with Sharad? People give away everything that makes them happy, choose your happiness, throw away your guilt, it is tying you down from living your best life.”
I look at the Doc, wiping my tears away,
“It is okay to take risks, it is okay to let the things be, you do not have to fix everything, maybe someone else is made for that, you are not responsible for everything in this world, maybe this was supposed to happen, maybe someone will come along to find him and fix the broken things, and that’s how a new love story will start, he may get his true love after all, and who knows it is the best thing that ever happened to him. You need to stop worrying and obsessing about Abhay and start taking care of your own self and your life, these years will never come back.”
“But he has no one else other than me,” I say looking at the doc
“You remember you lived with a girl whose brother passed away, if she can live with the loss of someone so close, Abhay will too, these things take time, but time is a healer it will heal him too. He will find someone else, if not, he will learn to live, love, and laugh, but you have to let him go for him to understand that he needs to do these things on his own, the more you are available the more tightly he will hold onto you.”
“Your time’s up darling, I am asking Sneha to give you the pills for your symptoms, she will explain to you when to take them, do not forget our session today, and do follow what you have been told. Discuss things with Sharad. I will see you next week.”
I take the care package and I walk out of the clinic. I am supposed to see Sharad tomorrow. I walk past the cafe and I remember him, his love-struck face, looking at me, while he waits for his coffee to get cold, I laugh with him, and I remember the moments, It has been months and he doesn’t look at me the way he used to. I miss spending time with him, he looks at me like I am the one he loves, but I don’t see those glances anymore.
I wonder if I annoy him too much, or I do not look that good lately, has something changed. I can’t wait to see him tomorrow. I am so excited, I wish I can tell him the truth, and I know he will understand, I am scared to lose my shit and lose him.
I reach home and spend time taking care of myself, rest, eat, shower, meditate, and take my pills. I am trying to be comfortable not to think more, not to ruin this tomorrow. I facetime Sharad and he is so eager to meet me, I can’t wait to see him and while I am on call with him, I see Abhay’s call waiting. I gulp a mouthful of air, and I keep talking to Sharad.
Abhay keeps calling once, twice, thrice… I am getting anxious. I avoid the calls, I have started losing my balance and calm state of mind. I disconnect with Sharad. I don’t have the courage to call Abhay back. I try to diverge my attention, about tomorrow, I have to let him go, I have to let him find his way on his own, I am not helping, I am not doing any good, I need to push him away, I have to let him go, it is for his own good. I am getting hypervigilant, I try to calm down, take small breaths, look at the 5 things around me, and count until 10.
I think about Sharad, our happy memories, I spend the dreadful night thinking about what things will we do together, I toss and turn, and I am getting breathless, restless, I can’t stop thinking about Abhay, I began choking, I am overthinking, I pick up the phone to call and I stop. I can’t think clearly everything is foggy, I am feeling needles in my heart, sweaty palms, my mouth is dry and I look for the pills, clumsily, I can’t open the pillbox, my fingers shake. The pillbox hits the floor and the lid opens, I pick up the pill and I swallow, lying alongside the little cylinders of comfort.
I look at the ceiling fan, as the tears roll down my eyes, my phone is ringing on the bedside and I can’t get up to pick it. It keeps ringing. I lay on the floor and I am stuck, trapped, I try to move and not a single muscle of my body is in sync with the involuntary reflex of the amygdala. I am frozen, and current run through my hands and fingers, the little sensations, jamming the neuro responses, making me feel like an experiment of the multiple disorders that crazy doctor has planted inside me.
The moon passes the window and dawn breaks in, I can’t sleep all night. I try to move, but I can’t. I close my eyes and I go to sleep, tired, staring into the void all night.
Hours pass by and It is 3pm in the afternoon when I wake up. I rub my eyes and I am laying on my bed. I look at my surroundings. I am trying to recall what happened, I search for my phone. I can’t find it anywhere. I look at the pillbox along the bedside. I remember everything. Oh no, is this Abhay here again, I jump off the bed, looking for my phone impatiently and I shout “Abhay, Abhay” as I move towards the kitchen, to the hall and I am speechless for a moment when I see Sharad.
He is looking at me, I am ashamed and I look at my toes. I want to speak but I am unable to. I hear footsteps approaching towards me.
“Hey Saumya, everything okay? Did you sleep well?” Sharad says in the soothing most tone and voice ever. I love this person and all I did was think about someone whom I don’t know what to do about. He holds me in his arms, and I hug him, “I was worried about you, what did you do?”
“I love you so much I am sorry,” I say crying in his arms. He holds me and somehow his arms feel a lot safer. I have been the most vulnerable with him for the very first time. I never wanted him to see me this way, in my own self, sick and fighting with my own damn self. He doesn’t respond to my love declaration.
“Come sit, I made tea.” I sit with him on the couch, waiting for him to say those words back to me. I sip my tea and he asks me.
“What is going on with you? Why haven’t you said anything about it?” He looks at me disappointed. I am scared. Do I lie, do I tell the truth what do I do.
“I actually was planning to tell you about it,”
Today, Actually I wanted to tell you in person.
-What is it? Is this something serious?
No, no, it is not like that, I have been seeing a doctor, I am taking therapy.
-I know, I wiped the floor off the fallen pills, but why do you need them.
I take a deep breath and I look at his gorgeous face, scared, in love, and making a decision on my mind, to tell you or to lie to you? I don’t want to lose you.
I actually started having some anxiety attacks a few weeks ago.
-Why, what is it troubling you.
I keep the mug aside and I hold his hand, “I need to tell you something, I have been hiding.” He is looking at me but says nothing.
“I have been seeing someone while I met you.” I look at his face, that face with no smile on it, I gulp a mouthful of air, gather all my courage and I decide to speak the truth.
I slowly and steadily tell him everything about Abhay, taking small breaths and I see him not looking at me. He looks at my hands holding him, at the couch and he is not looking at me. I go on and I speak my heart out. I tell him everything that happened, each lie I told him, everything that I have been hiding since I met him, he doesn’t respond.
He leaves my hand and he walks away towards the window, I can’t read his face, his eyes, I don’t know what is going on in his mind.
I let the things I have told him, sink in, and as silence spreads across the entire house, I am worried, I am breathing low, but I keep my calm. The teas have gotten cold, and I no more laugh at his food eating habits, he is standing distant. My head is spinning,
“Sharad please say something” I scream, and as I get up the worry consumes me. I walk towards him, thinking what is his reaction, are my fears coming to life, is he leaving me, will he leave me, is it too much, Have I lied to you beyond forgiveness, have I lost your trust, have I lost your faith, your love. Please talk to me.
and as I walk towards you, my unwavering faith in you begins to shatter and I hear the only words before getting unconscious “Once a cheater always a cheater. How do I trust you?” I remember my heart racing fast, and looking at him in bewilderment and there is darkness all around again.
I wake up, from hours of sleep, and as soon as I wake up, my eyes are dizzy and my head is heavy, I look around and I find my phone, it is 5am in the morning. I have been skipping time for the past few weeks, where are the days going, what am I doing, my sleeping patterns have been unconscious, and it hits me with a sledgehammer, what happened earlier, did it happen for real, or was it all a dream, I look around, I walk in my own house and I look at the teacups on the table, I walk close and I find a note on the table.
“Please don’t look for me. I hope you get well soon.
NO no no, this can’t be happening, this can’t be it you cannot leave me, and I begin to cry, I rush to the room to call you and the call doesn’t go through. The world sure is round, and I was being left just like I left someone who loved me dearly, Karma, surely does returns, I cheated and I now have to pay. I cry I scream, I wail and I don’t know what to do.
I am crying thinking of Sharad, my brain cells ready to burst, how could he leave me like that, I loved him and I recall the years ago session from Doc,
“Why do you hold yourself from loving someone back Saumya?” She asked me curiously
-Because I know they won’t love me the way I do, they would leave.
and my fear became my own reality and all this while it was never about Abhay or Sharad, it was never a choice for me to make, and as I re-read the note by Sharad,, I once again had lost my faith in love, forever. Maybe this was my Repentance, to never love, to never find love, never have love, and to die without experiencing to be in love.