I don’t know, this feels awfully autobiographical, not very well-thought out and just basically some sort of catharsis. In the words of N.W.A., “Express yo’self!”


I didn’t have much to be happy about. I didn’t like what I was doing with life, I didn’t like all the confusion, all the requisite angst that came with being a young man of eighteen years. But somehow I was happy. Somehow I managed to smile, to laugh, to enjoy the things I enjoyed doing.

But then she came along.

It was no fault of her own; she was simply being herself. I won’t say I loved her for that, because I don’t think I ever did. It was never a question of love at all.

Simply being in her presence caused my thoughts to deviate from the path of vague optimism I had always tried to keep them on. But she didn’t make me sad. She simply reminded me of my troubles, brought them to the surface in that inimitable way she always could.

She didn’t prod. She didn’t insist on anything. But she would listen. To anything.

And so I, confused and in search of someone to open up to, someone that wouldn’t look at me with contempt and sneer at my so-called “sissy” emotions and thoughts, gravitated to her like a moth to an open flame. It was really the only thing I could do.

So we talked. We shared. Sooner or later I began to depend on her like a drug addict depends on his dealer; except she didn’t deal anything, and I wasn’t addicted to drugs.

As happy as I was, or tried to be, I could not ignore the fact that I liked the depression and all the sad emotions that came to the forefront whenever I talked to her. My moments with her were really the only chances I ever got to shed the facade of happiness that I wore everyday. Inside I was bloody, bruised and battered, and just by listening she did a better job than any doctor could’ve ever done to fix me up.

That was how it went on for nearly a year. I still don’t know how, in that time, I never felt those tell-tale feelings of attraction and so-called love. Perhaps you don’t love people like that; you cherish and appreciate their presence and their company, you acknowledge the impact they have on your life, but you just don’t love them like people would expect.

Perhaps . . . perhaps it was something more than love.

I learnt more about myself by talking to her than I could have ever learnt during nights spent alone on the balcony, smoking cheap cigarettes to mask an unpleasant odour of piss and beer emanating from the balcony next door.

And though it all she listened. Never judged. She knew when to say things and when not to say things. She understood, and that’s more than I can say for everyone in my life before and since.

But you can guess how it ended. The only way it could have. Not with a painful breakup and tearful goodbyes, but with a short text message and various emoticons expressing sadness and regret.

I think I mentioned to her more than once that I hated text messages.

Maybe she never listened after all.

Categories: prose and poetry
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