Seven things I meant to thank you for, but never did

One.
Before you saw me waddle onto the school bus for the first time, my entire being not more than three and a half feet tall, everyone had warned you that I was a loud, irritating pain in the ass. They told you not to sit with me, but you shoved your bag in a corner and smiled at me.
Thank you.

Two.
I tied your pigtails together because you used all the Hello Kitty stickers, leaving none for me.
Later that afternoon my mum asked me who’d decorated my bag.
I offered you a half eaten chocolate as an apology and you forgave me.
Thank you.

Three.
I told you about that guy I’d been crushing on since the past two months and you told him within the next hour.
But I also told you who I was secretly rooting for in the custody battle between my mum and dad and you didn’t tell a soul.
Thank you.

Four.
I had partied all semester with new friends I’d made and I never replied to your texts.
You called to suggest ways to fix the hangover.
Thank you.

Five.
You told me I was being naïve and innocent but I blatantly ignored your advice and did it anyway.
You picked me up, dusted me off and whacked me. Hard.
And then hugged me long enough for my tears to dry.
Thank you.

Six.
You and I grew apart as the years passed by. No birthday parties, no gossip sessions. I accidentally bumped into you on my way out of the mall. You smiled, we talked and I made you a hollow promise to meet again.

Two weeks later my phone buzzed
Hey! I miss you. Message me when you’re free.”
You never gave up on me.
Thank you.

Seven.
In the words of Shane Koyczan, “when everyone else seemed like a wrong answer, you settled for being my best guess

You are the reminder of what I was and what I am
And what I am, is thankful.

So thank you, my love.
I appreciate your existence.

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This particular question

I’ve been stuck in a conundrum these past few weeks. Absconding work for too long came back to bite me in my posterior. But it kept me busy, so I didn’t really mind. Amidst all the running around and furiously studying (or at least pretending to, that’s equally tiring) I met a few great people and reconnected with some long forgotten friends. I barely had time to think and was feeling like I’m missing out on, well, life ; so when a friend told me he wanted to talk to me about something important I didn’t even hesitate before fixing a date and time. Both the urgency of his voice and the ambiguity of his words caught my attention.
Curiosity kills the cat.
He expressed his apparently “long standing” devotion towards me and used that four letter word whose meaning I still cannot grasp fully.
He was, and still is, a good friend so he completely understood why I couldn’t reciprocate.
So obviously, that wasn’t my conundrum.
That episode got me thinking about what love really means.
To me, or to anyone.
How can one differentiate between liking and love? Who draws the line and where?
I, like most of us, have been exposed to love from all sides since I grew old enough to understand that it meant something besides Mama Bear and Papa Bear.
Popular media like books, movies and endless soap operas cast, according to me, love in two lights.
Either it was eternally unattainable. Such an exclusive emotion that what you’re probably feeling for that childhood friend of yours doesn’t qualify as love. It is a war only for the passionate and valiant; and that too, in vain.
Or, it showed love as an everyday deal. Something so pedestrian that it can happen to any and every Tom, Dick or Harry. Yes, you “love” that cute guy in your English class.
My point is,
On one hand, it’s a game of nuances and shadows,
Of hesitation and deep breaths,
Of deep meanings and obscure implications.
And on the other, all attraction is construed as love. (see: Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Diya aur Bati…well, you get the idea)
I’m still grasping all of it.
This concept is either indecipherable, or all too easy.
Probably why I prefer to steer clear of it.

*mom wipes her tears of pride in the background*
Ciao.

Unsaid

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~Erin Hanson

“Love is a verb, not a noun.”

People are weird.
We want new experiences and yet, when things don’t go the way we want them to, we aren’t satisfied.
From “don’t say it, show me”
To “I haven’t heard you say it once”
We have such rigid ideas in our heads that we can’t digest even the thought of anyone doing it differently.
We expect so much, try so hard to make everything perfect. Plan the aesthetics, forget the emotion.
We clutch these moments so tightly in our hands that when they finally break into a million shards, piercing every illusion we’ve ever held, we’re too busy complaining to notice who puts them back together into a beautiful new picture.
Not everyone can write ballads or make friendship bracelets.
But if they smile whenever they see you,
If they laugh at your jokes, no matter how bad they might be,
If they don’t hesitate to call if they need something,
If they talk to you once a year, but make it count,
If they try to unravel every part of you, even though they know it might be in vain,
If they ask you to be their person, their one, unwavering support system,
If they don’t call you for days, but wait for you to call them just so they can hear you say how much you’ve missed them,
If they quietly keep memoirs of all your best moments together,
If they can’t accept anything but a smile on your face,
If they don’t mind you cursing them because they know you don’t mean it,
If they go behind your back to fix a problem you’d deemed unsolvable; without asking for anything in return,
If they put on a brave smile for you, no matter how bad the tornado of their own life is,
They care.

Never again.

Never again could anyone ever make her feel like the sun was something they built in their toolshed for her,
That every night, the stars she gazed at with wonder in her eyes were ever so carefully placed there for her,
That she needed to keep smiling because he said it made his day.

Never again did she feel like someone’s definition of beauty started with her.

Never again.