Love is weird

Don’t know how I wound up here

Love is weird

It shows up and disappears

Julia Micheals, Love is Weird (NICO)

You find yourself sitting on your bed in the middle of the night. Alone. Staring at your phone. Waiting for a message that will never come. But you can’t give up hope. Can you? You know the notification will pop up as soon as you keep your phone aside.

So you sit there and wait. All night. For a message that would never come.

In the morning, you try to pacify yourself. You tell yourself that he was busy or asleep. You tell yourself that he needs sleep as you look in the mirror at the ghost of the person you used to be. Your eyes are hollow and dark from not sleeping. Your face looks pale, and your lips colourless. You wonder who that person staring back at you is. Is that really you?

You realize that you are waiting for something that will never happen. You tell yourself you need to give up. And you need to sleep. So that night, you keep your phone on the bedside table and try to sleep. You twist and turn for half an hour. Your mind is fixated on him. You wonder if it’s alright to text first. But you don’t. You don’t text.

You remind yourself that you need to sleep. So you put on some music to drown out the voices in your head. But every song reminds you of him.
Your phone buzzes. You jump. Is it him? Your heart’s beating fast. You pick up your phone and check the notification. It’s not him. It’s not even a message. It’s a gaming app. Reminding you to play. Your heart sinks, and you start spiralling. You wonder if the two of you were playing a game. A game you invested in much more than he did. You wonder if you are losing. It sure does seem like it.

You open up your chats and read the old texts. As you read them, a story builds up inside your head.

You remember the movie you watched together. You remember the hand rest poking into your ribs as you snuggled with him. You remember the feeling of his hands on your body. It still makes you tingle. You remember the bliss. You wonder why you gave it up.

You read on. You remember the night you freaked out, and he calmed you. The night you talked till the sun came out. He stayed up with you. You felt loved at that moment. You loved him at that moment. He was a necessity at that time. You remember crying on the phone and his comforting words. You remember wishing he was there so that you could just lie in his arms. His voice was your reprieve that night.

Your read on. You remember the aftermath of him kissing someone else. He slipped up and told you the truth he was hiding. Even though no texts were exchanged that night, neither of you slept. You remember how you cried. How you wondered where you went wrong. You remember how he apologized. How guilty he felt. You remember telling him (and yourself) that we could get through this. And you did. Your relationship came out stronger than ever. It seemed like nothing could ever ruin it.

You read on. You see the love dwindling to a point where it doesn’t exist anymore. You notice the absence of I love yous. You reach the point where he stopped reciprocating and then the place you stopped trying at together. Your texts were more an obligation than a desire. As you read the monotonous texts, you wonder where you lost the love.

You read on. You remember when you broke up. You were the one to end it. You believed that you would both be better off without each other.
You wonder why it bothers you now. Is it because he is actually moving on, and you are still stuck on the same page? Is it because he found someone to replace you, and all you can do is compare every guy to him? You wonder if it was easy to replace. You wonder why you got attached so much and so easily. And why he didn’t.

So you decide to stop. Stop waiting for him. To move on like he did. You decide to act. You text the new guy. The guy you are hoping to move on with. He is a good guy. Sweet. Intelligent. Genuine. You talk for 15 minutes. And all your mind does for that 15 minutes is compare them. The new guy doesn’t stand a chance. He is competing with someone he doesn’t know. In fact, he doesn’t even know that he is competing.

You analyze the texts, and your mind compares notes. It tells you how he would’ve replied. How he knows things even without asking. At least he used to. So you text him a goodbye. The new guy. It’s not fair to keep him hanging. To keep him in a race with the idealized version of a flawed man.
But you can’t let him go. You need to prove to yourself that you can move on. Baby steps, you tell yourself.

You check the time. It’s 3 am. You need to sleep. So you keep your phone aside. You are almost dozing off when your phone buzzes. It shocks you awake. Annoyed, you pick it up to turn it off. Your heart tells you to check the notification. And despite the warning from your head, you do.

Disoriented, you type the wrong password 3 times before getting in. The bright light blinds you.
One new message.
It’s from him. ‘Hi. Are you awake?’
And your heart starts beating hard as you reply.
And it’s all downhill from there.

But honestly, there isn’t a single cell in your body that minds the intrusion. You welcome it. You reply nonchalantly, hoping that he can’t see through your desperation. You talk for 3 hours. It’s 6 am. The sun is out. You watch the sunrise together, in a way. It feels like old times. And then he disappears without a goodbye. He leaves you hanging again.

And you sit there staring at the sunrise. As the sky changes colour, you realize that the relationship is doomed. But you, also, know that your heart won’t give up hope. So the next night, you stay up again. Waiting for a text that will never come.

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