Story

“Excerpts” Part 5: I Met Someone New

I think that the grief we carry for someone who we once loved doesn’t just go away all of a sudden, like a jolt of inspiration.

[Note from Author: The title of the series is ‘Excerpts’ and the main idea behind the series is to look into queerness at a more intimate and individualistic level. A queer person makes a diary entry on a regular basis and documents their life and experiences while navigating heteronormative spaces and dreaming of a queer utopia simultaneously. The series revolves around ideas of home, love, relationships, identity, solidarity and hope in the context of queerness. In a way, it is very much like ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’, but more queer and more personal.]

Dear Diary,

Last weekend was a bit strange. My last entry must have made it very clear – the repercussions of heartbreak and what not. It was strange, yes, but not difficult. I think that the grief we carry for someone who we once loved doesn’t just go away all of a sudden, like a jolt of inspiration. Instead the grief stays like an uninvited guest, waiting for the walls of your house to expand themselves;  once the room is big enough, the guest packs up his bags and decides to leave and there is too much space in your house that you need to fill in by yourself. I have a lot of space to fill in and maybe I am ready.

Last night, I talked about it to my friend – the one I met at the park the other day. On that note, I might have forgotten to mention how close we have become. How we have bonded over the trivial and the terrifying – like the brown of tea leaves merges with the colorlessness of water. They invited me over to a party that they were throwing for their partner’s birthday at their place. They told me that it would just be a bunch of friends and they would love it if I were there. As much as I despise parties, I decided to give it a shot. After all, I am giving a chance to new things, aren’t I? Besides, I didn’t really have the heart to say no to them.

I wore purple yesterday and finally decided to put on a pair of earrings – the same earrings my ex had left at my place before he left. It was the first time I decided to put on a pair of earrings since then. It took me a year to put on some frail earrings and just the thought of it drove me to all the things that have changed. I have learnt so many things and the most important of it all is that I have learnt how to wait. I have waited for the coffee to get cold instead of gulping it down and burning my tongue. I have waited for my flowers to bloom and wilt slowly before discarding them. I have waited for myself to breathe before I think or speak. I have waited for the old wounds to fade. I have waited for myself enough that waiting doesn’t feel like waiting. I have waited enough for the old to leave the room and the new to arrive.

I waited as I looked at myself in the mirror until I knew it was time to leave.

The party was a bit overwhelming, but the good kind. It wasn’t like stepping on the cold marble floor on a December morning, but like sitting under the shade of your favorite tree during a summer evening in June. I didn’t know anyone but my friend, who introduced me to people as colorful as me. It was one of the few moments when I was not the only one wrapped in glitter – the whole evening was queer to the core and I loved every bit of it. That’s when I met him – a black top and silver hair. And I could not preen my eyes away from him and I knew he couldn’t either. For once, I adored being looked at.

The party was pretty much like all the other birthday parties – the cake and the balloons and the candles and the overall excitement, which I find a bit unnecessary. The only difference was that I did not feel or fear being invisible. I stepped out onto the balcony when I felt a bit overwhelmed (I don’t know why I felt that way, the party wasn’t even for me) and wanted to catch some air. That’s when he came out for a smoke and stood two steps away from me. The conversation between the two of us was not natural – I could tell he was as weird around people as I am. But we talked, despite the awkward silences, until we realized that we are at a party and we can’t spend the rest of the evening out here on the balcony.

We sat inside next to each other and he would place his hand on my shoulder every time I said something that wasn’t even remotely funny. But he laughed and wow! His laugh was more beautiful than any song I have ever listened too. The music faded away and so did the rest of the conversations but ours. Talking turned into laughter, which then turned into smiles. And then there was nothing but the two of us staring into each other’s eyes. Maybe it was the party. Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was both but all I wanted to do was hold him closer and kiss him.

I don’t know if it is love. It feels too corny to be love and ‘love-at-first-sight’ is such a cliché. But I felt so drawn to him, like the ocean draws itself to the moon or like a moth fluttering around a flickering bulb. I have never felt this drawn to anyone for so long and it is both butterflies and nausea – but good God does it not feel good! The highlight of the evening? We exchanged numbers and he asked me out for coffee. I am too scared to write down all that I am feeling because I fear jinxing it. All I can say for now is that I met someone new and I can’t wait to see how it turns out to be.

This story was about: Gender identity + Expression Sexuality

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Sarthak is a photographer, writer and visual artist originally from Shimla and currently based in Delhi. Through his works, he aims to portray themes pertaining to identity, alienation, anger and, most importantly, hope.
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Sarthak Chauhan

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