Here I am, bare, stripped to the bones. Lying deep in the pool of my shallowness and blames. I am nothing more than a slave to the cruel mistress, time— it hurt past as I enjoyed, and crawls slow as I suffer. Tic-Toc. Its incessant guardian draws for me glimpses of you…
The clock strikes one;
Singularity of a black hole has a lot in a little. When I saw you it took me only a fraction of a second to realise that nothing would ever be the same again. I had never understood what a sun-dress was until I saw you in one. I stood witness as men from over the universe slowly started orbiting you.
The clock strikes two;
Two months, and I had lost all control. You were the conductor of the orchestra and I a lowly musician, playing tunes at the swirl of your hand. I was vulnerable, but I was also ashamed that it felt so good.
The clock strikes three;
The three am kisses made us one. Those sheets were cold and hard; I remember how your body felt against mine, amber. Your nails tore into my back, and in that moment we were all the shades, in all their glory.
I watched, as you fell asleep. There was a beautiful blush in every breath, and soon you crept away.
The clock strikes four;
“Baba, Ma, Krunali and Snobs, they are the diamonds of my eye!”— we talked about your family on a cold night, you said no one and nothing mattered more. I saw a glimmer in your eyes and felt a bead of sweat slide on the back of my neck.
The clock strikes five;
Do you think about our solo vacations? Because I can’t remember much. There was a lot of wine and weed, there was dressing up and pressing down, we were a big merry and a bigger riot every year for five years.
The clock strikes six;
Six slices of pizza and the limits we pushed for those. The 2 am rides to the pizza place, the pepperoni, the cheese, and you. It felt like pizza is all we ate that summer and I couldn’t tell when it just became my favourite food.
The clock strikes seven;
“I am going to sound hopeless, but I want you to kiss me at all the seven wonders of the world”— I hold the bucket list we made together against the mellow sunlight, it’s clear we were both romantics, and quite the hopeless ones. We wanted to do everything anyone ever could, and so much more.
The clock strikes eight;
People outside have started to go about their business. Some late for work, some for school. I chuckle as I think of all the times we slept past the 8am-lectures. How we tried to cure each other's hangovers with sour lemonade, bland painkillers and sweet kisses. We'd always end up skipping college the entire day. Do you even remember?
The clock strikes nine;
9th September, your birthday. I remember each one we spent together. How you would get up and excited about it a month before, and how I, surprisingly, would always be beaming the hardest.
Well, it mostly just haunts my passwords now.
The clock strikes 10;
“Punk!”— your ugly frown every time a DJ played the billboard top ten at a party. You always had your own playlist to dance to. You made me dance to Sinatra and Sukhwinder on the same night, skipping, hopping, breaking and tapping, I still find myself copying you on some drunk nights.
The clock strikes 11;
Some pricks believe that eleven is a sign from one's guardian angel. I've stopped believing in the crooked angels. There is no supernatural, just people and people leave. Nothing can change that. You plead, sob or bleed, a mind made up is hard to fix. Love always blows itself out when it’s nothing more but a meagre habit.
The clock strikes 12;
Everything that had to be said was said. Everything that had to be done was done. Its barely been a year and I have no idea how I'll get through the next 12 months.
Its time to go about my day, coffee in one hand and your absence in the other. I think that's the funny thing about people, everything could be going perfectly according to plan, but if you're missing someone, everything feels nothing more than living hell. And, I hope you know, when I say I miss you, I don't mean the most obvious things. I’m not talking about your smile or your eyes, but the way your presence made the whole place kneel. Everything looks fine today, I'm sure it’ll be tomorrow too.
Sketch By: Savni Pai Panandiker