When you wake up on a Monday morning, cranky and dreading yet another day of high school, just remember that I love you. Always have, always will.
There was a time when looking at you in the mirror would disgust me. There were days when I wanted to take all your journals and flush them down the toilet because words written by you never seemed good enough. I wanted to peel your unclear, acne-stricken skin right off with my very own jagged fingernails on more than one occasion. I had to exercise immense self-control on some nights when I was inches away from strangling you with an iron grip of hatred. I used to skip meals as my throat felt like a cauldron bubbling with the angry gray venom I had for you.
The war was pretty much a daily routine: a silent struggle between you and I that no one else could sense. They just saw the furious red scars and violet bruises that adorned our thin sheet of skin, discarding them with a shrug. Cats often scratch their owners. Kids often play rough. Moreover, I have always been a remarkable actress. My dazzling yellow sunshine of a smile always hid the blue and black you. My carefully tailored carefree laughter always concealed your ear-shattering brutal wails for help.
We weren’t always like this, though, were we? Whenever I decide to visit the memory lane to see the five-year-old naïvely happy me, I always witness the immense love I used to have for you. We would spend hours together without anyone else, knowing that no other being could decipher our mayhems of minds except the two of us. But then, growing up happened. Things fell in apparent perspective. The warm home I had once lovingly shared with you transformed into a stone-cold carcass I desperately wanted to escape from. The chalky parched flesh suffocated me. The concrete but brittle bones prodded me 24/7, making me squirm uncomfortably and wanting to break through it all. At that time, taking my frustration out on you seemed like the perfect plan. There was no other way for me to get accepted otherwise. The society could be kept happy by a flawless façade of mechanical bliss, and for that I had to destroy you, channel all that fury somewhere. Amidst all the bedlam of self-destruction and pretenses of a delightful existence, I didn’t even grasp that I had let go of my first love and, more importantly, the love of my life.
Who knew it would take me a series of almost fatal heartbreaks and mind numbing treacheries to realize that you and I are actually one, each other’s better halves, united against the heart wrenching tragedies of life? Who knew that my biggest enemy had always been myself? Who knew that I was a victim in this sweetly chaotic place only because I had allowed myself to be one? Who knew it’d take me so long to register the reality that I, first and foremost, belong to you and just you?
When you retire to your bedroom after a long day with the world, exhausted and terrified at the prospect of yet another sleepless night, just remember that I love you. Always have, always will.
Manasvi Singh Chauhan