“Excerpts” Part 4: Someone I Used To Know

I remember the day you left, leaving the keys to my apartment on the kitchen counter next to your favorite coffee mug.

[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,

It is that day again. I can’t believe it has been a year. Is it the fact that it has been so long or whether all of it seems like yesterday? It was supposed to be just another Sunday, until it wasn’t; until I realized the heaviness that this day carries within itself. It feels like the first day without him, the day he left and decided never to return, but easier. As if my lungs aren’t weighed down by a couple of anchors and my heart isn’t held on by iron chains. Not like I have grown a pair of wings like a butterfly who has just cracked its way out of a cocoon, but like I have collected enough feathers for myself that might help me fly someday like Icarus. And when I do, I’ll make sure not to fly too close to the sun. It has been a year since we broke up; since he left and decided never to return and I sat somewhere in a different part of the city with all this love inside of me but no one to give it all to. Today, I don’t just make a diary entry, but I write to you, to someone I used to know – someone I used to love.

I remember the day you left, leaving the keys to my apartment on the kitchen counter next to your favorite coffee mug. You were gone – along with your awfully colorful shirts and your earrings and your trust; with all your warmth and your arms that could make the worst of days better. You left with all your love and a shard of my heart. You slowly crawled out of the bed and kissed me, for old time’s sake. You put on your clothes, but not your earrings- you decided to put them all in a box except the one I got for you. The door slid open and there you were- gone, while I pretended to be fast asleep. I opened my eyes to a world where you didn’t look back and I dragged myself across the wrinkles you left on my sheets- a frail blueprint or a ghost you might have left. I get up and I put away all the earrings. I have stopped wearing them ever since.

But I still have the flowers you would get for me, withered as they are today, decaying into dust. But believe me as I jot this down in a letter that will never reach you, an entry you will never be able to get a hold of – the dried up flowers are still alive, as alive as my love for you. And wherever you are, I hope you find white flowers and I hope they remind you of me. There are so many more things I hope for. One of them being that you have someone on the other side of the bed who loves you more than I ever could – all I had was white to give you but I hope your lover is as colorful as you. I hope you have found the warmth you always needed – after all, I could only burn as much, like a heretic consuming hell fire itself.

I have been okay. I have found new ways of being. I have found a new friend and a new place to live and how to turn it into a home; I have found a new person to grow into, like a child who slowly grows into an oversized sweater. I have found other things to do and weeping is not one of them anymore. I have cried my share and shed my tears into every river that might lead to you. I have found other things to do and I hope you have found some too – like kittens and the color lilac and great sex and greater sunrises. I hope you have found yourself like you always wanted to. I hope you have found yourself to be strong and brave that if they ever come for you – those who lurk in the streets with their eyes and their slurs coming at you with daggers veiled as roses, you will know what to do. Beware, if they grow on you like the mold and cobwebs in the room you left me in. Cut off their necks, their roots. Let there be a storm and let there be a fight. Let there be blood and filth and fire and once you are done, let the dust settle. Collect yourself, exhale and compose; gather your martyred ashes in three different urns – one for yourself and one for your lover.

And one just in case you decide to return. 

Because honestly, even when I am over you, I do feel that you might return. And in case you do, I will still be here in this city you left haunted. I will be here but I won’t be the person you fell in love with. I am here but in a way I am not. No, I do not despise you because I still cherish all the nights we spent and the late afternoons we lazed around. I can never hate you, even if I tried. But all the love I had for you on the day you left, I decided to keep it to myself and let it grow the same way I am growing into the person you won’t know anymore.

This story was about: Gender identity + Expression Sexuality

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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.
Sarthak Chauhan

We hate spam as much as you. Enter your email address here.