It was a beautiful day. A day that had risen in the aftermath of a storm. The birds had come out to sing. Children running around the park without any idea of the heartbreak the years ahead may bring them. Couples were walking hand in hand - hoping that the other does not let go before they do.
We sat there in silence. Our storm had also subsided. After a 1000 days of being in our own world, where we made each other laugh, made each other cry, made each other scream with anger ...it was over. Our beautiful journey together had abruptly come to an end. My mouth was dry. Unable to shed tears at the risk of damaging my alpha male avatar - I just sat there. She silently wiped away her tears and walked away. Walked away from the 1000 days of us. That was the last time I ever saw her.
I remember the first day we had met. After years of meaningless pursuit of something meaningful, I was ready to accept that I may never find what I was looking for. Then one fine day she literally walked in to my life. She had an air of quiet confidence that unsettled me. As we spoke, I wanted to pause every moment to understand the way I was feeling around her. As she left the room, I took a deep breath, composed myself and decided that she was the lost meaning that I was looking for in a sea of meaningless words and I had to do all I can to make her feel the same. Luckily, for me, she also saw something in me that she wanted to explore.
What followed was 1000 days of our two lives intertwining, with an emotional intensity that created an impenetrable bubble around us. As the days glided by, our differences became evident but we refused to let them extinguish the fire that burned so brightly. Things moved fast. We told our parents and they were overjoyed. They wanted us to make it official and tie the knot but we told them there was time. We had all the time in the world because nothing was going to change the way we felt about each other. Our friends sensed that this may not end well, but their reservations were overshadowed by our overwhelming desire to be with each other. As we crossed the 500 days of us, we fought more frequently but made up even more passionately. The cracks began to appear but we wanted this to work so much that we just ignored them. Suddenly the things that made us smile about each other started to wear us down. The emotional intensity was still there but it was fuelled by anger, turning into resentment. We began to grow apart. This culminated on the thousandth day of us. We sat in silence like strangers. It was over. Our story had run its course.
The first few days after the thousandth day was a haze. It was the first time in 1000 days that I had not heard her voice. In the following weeks, I resorted to blocking out the thought of her and engaging in my newfound singledom. However, I struggled to fill the void created by her absence. I woke up one morning in a panic as I realised that memories of her were slowly starting to fade. This hit me like a bullet. I looked at her photos to remind me of her face. I walked the streets that we had walked together - hand in hand. I listened to the music that she liked. I ate the food the she loved. I sat at our favourite coffee shop, hoping that she will walk in.
One day my phone rang - her name flashed across the screen. My heart skipped a beat. I answered. First few minutes of pleasantries was followed by a few minutes of silence. Then she said the words that broke me. She told me that she has started to see someone else and wanted to let me know herself. I took a deep breath, composed myself, thanked her for letting me know and ended the call. It felt like an out of body experience. As I snapped out of my daze, the reality of her words hit me hard. I could not understand how she could move on so easily. Why she did not mourn the end of our time together as I did. How can the hand that once held me mine so tightly betray me by holding another? As the years went by, news of her engagement and then marriage came through. Each time it felt like a stab in the heart. I was angry with her. I was angry with myself for letting her make me feel this way.
It has now been over 5 years since the thousandth day of us. In these five years, I have learned many things. The most important being that everyone is responsible for their own happiness and you cannot begrudge anyone for making choices in pursuit of this. I look back now and understand the choices she made. Those 1000 days will always remain a special period in my life and I hope that, wherever she is, they mean something too her too. Maybe one day we will meet again and be able to share a smile about those 1000 days of us.
Featured image: Screen grab from Nijamthaana song.
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