I remember how it ended.
I remember how it ended, each time.
I told you that it was the last time and that I was done.'With what?' you asked slyly, knowing fully well that I'll never admit it, even to myself. I looked at you with a straight face but you could sense my nerves. I could pretend all I wanted but you could always bloody sense my confusion, my fear. You knew the jigsaw puzzle was apart and you knew every piece, by heart. So you toyed with the pieces, smiled as you put them together in your mind and then, just like that, you kept the pieces back- apart. Because it wasn't your job to solve this puzzle.
So I kept the straight face up and replied "This. Whatever it is." It wasn't the answer you wanted. But it was the answer you expected. I was being juvenile, you said and I'd told you so be it. Then I let the thought bother me till I couldn't bother anymore and we exchanged some bitterness. How very typical of us, I had thought to myself. Every confrontation dug the same old graves and the same disagreements came to life, again. They stood in the space between us until one of us found a new reason to curse and a new accusation to highlight. I screamed. You asked me to lower my volume. So I screamed some more and called you impossible. Twenty seconds later, I whispered my apologies and told you I was done. I really did think I was. I knew I couldn't handle the conflict anymore but I was wrong to believe this was over. I was far from done.
We were cyclical, whatever we were. We managed to reach the same confrontation repeatedly but all the while we refused to acknowledge what we were. I was too egoistical to ever be in love and you were too proud to be in love with me. Or maybe, I was too scared to be in love with someone who knew me so well only to never love me back. It was the latter, we both knew. The problem is I'd lost control. I was hopeless, unaware, naive and plain stupid. They'd always said that when these things happen, one would be overwhelmed with joy. They'd always said when these things happen, one could safely assume one was in love. They were plain stupid too.
Love can't be a shooting pain in the chest. Love can't be a madness that doesn't end. Love can't be buried resentment fenced by memories of long lost laughter. So it wasn't love. Whatever it was. It should have ended a long time ago. If love really is those things, then why is it supposed to make you happy? You see, I really am better off not asking these questions. I really am better off with my pretend straight face.
So we swung back and forth, you and I. If only I'd looked closer then to realize that you were constant, static while I swung back and forth. And how. I was foolish, they tell me now. They are foolish too. They couldn't feel what I did, could they? I knew that game you were playing all along, but for some unknown reason I chose to be played along. It felt like for once, I wasn't controlling. The problem is I wasn't flowing freely either- you were controlling. I wish you knew you were doing that. And just like, I wasn't done and we weren't over with it, whatever it was.
But I remember the end of the many endings vividly. I told you once again that I was done. Only this time, I really did have a straight face. I wasn't feigning my indifference. Sometimes it hurts so much it makes one numb. I couldn't feel that shooting pain in the chest anymore. The wound was so old and so deep that I had become indifferent. And how. I was wary and worried that I wasn't really the end. But it was and I told myself that if nothing else, I know what to not get into, henceforth. So I took a deep breath, opted out of the cycle and let the wound heal, by itself in open air telling myself that I've learnt my lesson. The moral of story was thrown into my face like unwelcome cold wind and I thought atleast I could survive a storm now.
As I carefully go through that grand ending today, I sit back and laugh. It's not the kind of laughter that rings in the ears and makes me feel light. It's a cold chuckle. Mostly because I don't know another appropriate reaction. We're done but I don't think I've learnt my lesson. Because deny it as I may, I'm falling into the same pattern again with someone who will remind you of yourself. I want to stop before it's too late because I know I won't be able to handle it. But you see, I just can't seem to get a grip. Feels like there's a stronger force pulling me into this. Whatever this is. Feels like I'm not controlling. Feels like am flowing freely. Or am I?