I ‘Unlove’ You

Graphic by Banani Kalita

“Can you recall the first time you met him?” Dr. Shikha, my therapist, asked.

Without breaking my gaze from the crystal stone that I was fidgeting with from the start of the session, I started to recollect the faint memory in my head. A light chuckle might’ve escaped as I juggled through the thousand beautiful memories I had with him.

“It was in school—my first day in class 9th. I had always been a shy kid, not someone who’s likely to initiate a conversation. On the other hand, he was among the ‘popular kids’. Everyone knew him.” I took a pause as the nostalgia started to sink in. I started looking down at my hands, lying ideally on my lap.

“I used to wear braces. Something that made me a subject of bullying among my classmates and the reason for my insecurity. I never used to laugh like the others and always covered my face with my hand whenever I did.” I took a deep sigh and continued.

“One day, I was sitting on my bench, immersed in my textbook. With a loud thud, someone landed on the seat beside me. I moved my head in the direction with a visible surprise in my eyes.”
“Hello there!” He blurted while panting heavily. I give him a side glance. “You do realize that all those rumors about me being a book-eater are not true– right?” He mocked my lack of response. I nodded. “Oh! So the rumors about you being a metal-eater are true, it seems.” I couldn’t help this time and moved my head slightly to meet his eyes.
After two seconds, a smile paved its way on our faces and we laughed. As my habit was, my hand found its way to my face.

“Don’t cover your face. You look beautiful when you smile” he had said. It was the last time I ever covered my smile, and the first time I felt so beautiful.

I moved my eyes from my hands to grab a glass of water when I saw Dr. Shikha extending a light grin.

*Ding*
A text from Mayank appeared on the screen of my mobile phone. “Okay,” it read.
A deep heartache along with a feeling of relief rushed through my body. I had never felt so happy and sad at the same time.

“So, where do you think did it go wrong between you and Mayank?” She asked the most complicated question and probably the hardest to answer because I had no idea where it went wrong either.

We spent the rest of school and college life, sticking together, rejoicing in happy moments, and helping out through the dark times, until he asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. “I still find your smile beautiful. Thought I might just make it the most beautiful part of my life too.” He had said while going down on his knees in the parking lot and asked me to marry him. Another beautiful memory that I cherish to this day.

“I don’t know,” I said as I traced the lid of the glass. “I don’t think it happened just once- oh! I don’t love him anymore. It was a slow, gradual process of falling out of love” I cleared my throat.
“He was still the very person who I fell in love with, at one point of time- was all over head to heel about him. I still love him and I think I always will but I don’t think we should stay together anymore. I know he’d never admit it, but he feels the same way. Everything has become monotonous, and we fight over the most trivial things- almost, everything. I think we have stopped growing. We don’t bring out the best in each other anymore, only the worst. ” My voice started to get heavier with every syllable that escaped my body.

“I think it’s better to part our ways before we turn into people who make it hard to believe that there ever existed a thing called love between us. I will always love him, which is why I want to see him growing, happy, and becoming a better person. I know he wants the same for me too.” Dr. Shikha extended a box of Kleenex and that was when I realized tears had started to escape my eyes.

“Are you sure he wants the same?” she interrogated.
I took a deep sigh.

“Yes, he just texted “Okay” to file for divorce.” And this time, I cried out loud because I didn’t know whether to mourn or celebrate.

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