You can’t say I don’t try. I try all the time. I try . When I make myself spiced tea, inhaling deeply the whiff of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and all those spices which remind me of home , I’m breathing in a light breeze that flew all the way across the seas, instantly painting my mind with forests deep green, backwaters still and skies thundery and wet. But then I remember you, pale and slightly ill. I remember wanting to make you feel the warmth of the spices, so that they’d make you see what I could; I remember making you the same tea. The spices are not just mine any more. I stir my tea vacantly, stir and stir. Clockwise and anti clockwise. I forget how many times I’ve stirred. There are still faint swirls of steam floating up from the cup. I place my hands over the cup, letting the steam warm my hands. I try.
Reason has long since left the recesses of my mind. I gaze at my necklace. Golden chain, dusky rose stone pendant. Pretty, I thought when buying it. I gaze at myself in the mirror, wearing it. I touch the necklace , feeling it rise and fall gently across my collarbones. But then I remember you, I remember you touching it. Pretty, you told me. You took it off. And then you touch my collarbones, your fingers trace their outline, your lips lightly skim across them, sending shivers across me and making me kiss you. I look up sharply and take it off. I fling it away, furious. I try.
There is barely any space to sit or any space to even move my arm. The room was filled with people. I knew some, but not many. The room’s owner was sitting on the window ledge, casually strumming her guitar, drawing glances of drunken admiration from the room’s inhabitants. I hoped she wouldn’t drop the guitar. Everyone had a glass. I had one too, but it was half empty. I sipped my wine and noticed the photos on the mantlepiece. Her and her friends, her and her guitar, her and her family. Your photos were all across your walls. In one straight line that crossed them. You and your friends, you and your family, you and yourself. You would fall asleep, but I would stay awake and look at your walls. I saw bits of your life on these walls, the bits which I had never felt and the bits which I would never be a part of. I break my gaze away from her mantlepiece , away from the photos and walk out of the room. It might be colder outside, but at least I try.
My heart was beating fast. Too fast, the nurse said, her voice laced with concern. I look at her face, searching it for a sign that she wasn’t serious. It wasn’t there. She held my hand gently and squeezed it. I could feel the tears welling up at the back of my throat. I wring my hand away weakly and clutch the sheet. I feel a sharp sliver of pain and I see her pushing the needle into my vein. It scared me, watching my own blood rush up into the syringe, dark and red. Then I remember you, angry, upset and in pain. I remember my heart beating fast as I held your hand. The hospital made me nervous but funnily you made me more nervous. I remember the nurse telling you that you would be fine. I remember sighing with relief. I’m cold now, and the drip sends cold drops of fluid into my parched body.They’re keeping me overnight. Someone takes my hand again, and I respond gratefully to the touch. It’s the nurse, ofcourse. Not you. But now, you see, I don’t have to try any more.