Day after day I used to wait to hear back from you. Until the day I would receive a small yellow letter from Ladakh, I would always be on edge, left to come up with conclusions of my own. Fear would settle in if I wouldn’t hear back for months on end and I would often wonder if I was supposed to expect a letter at all. But all of sudden, when I was not expecting it at all, your epistle would make its way to Delhi. And that piece of paper with your beautiful cursive etched on its white surface would give me hope to go on further, to still imagine a life, with you being a part of it. I am still surprised to this day, by the gift you gave me. It was so sudden. As usual, you had made me wait. Left me longing to see a little letter make its way to my hand. But as I opened the wooden door to my lift; I was awestruck. For it was you standing there, in your military uniform, holding a duffel bag over your shoulder waiting for me to welcome you into my arms.
Today, this letter is unlike the ones I’ve ever written before. It contains my hopes as well as my fears, my happiness as well as my sadness; the truth.
I remember to this day, the first time I saw you. We were still kids. Still young. Still naive. We would never have gotten to meet each other if it weren’t for our parents. They were visiting your place and I tagged along with my sister all the way to Rajasthan. I barely remember it, but it was you who was crying at the trip seeing me leave. Tears trickling down your face; though I don’t remember it, I would have probably told you it was then I knew that we were meant to be.
Yet my love could never overturn your decisions. It felt like a betrayal; it felt wrong; it felt like a mistake. My face must’ve hidden it with placid supportiveness and you couldn’t tell. My heart felt like it broke into a thousand pieces. And every time I thought about you leaving, my head would be filled with melancholic music. It felt like a movie, was this really happening to me? This wasn’t the life I had imagined; the life I had expected. I had often relented my thoughts to the fact that you would stick around. Stick around for the thick and thin, through pain and sadness, through happiness and joy, but every time I would turn around to look at your face my gaze was met with a blank wall instead of you. But I understood. Your reasons, your intentions, your purpose; you. However, I have always regretted not telling you to stay, regretted not telling you that I loved you no matter what but I wanted you to stay.
I had never experienced this before. The only opportunity I would have of interacting with you was writing these letters. Letters which I didn’t know would ever reach you. With immense joy I would write; pouring my soul into the little poems I would pen down for you, only to be left on edge about the fact whether my words and thoughts would ever reach you. Not one day went by when I wouldn’t think about you. Thoughts about just leaving Delhi to travel through all the cold to meet you would cross my mind; irrational but serious. My heart learned to bear emotions of fear, sadness, and loneliness. I had forgotten how to dream at night for it became something unnatural like a luxury I could only dream of having.
But I understood your love, your heart, and you. I began to understand your sacred duty. But I couldn’t understand for the longest time, these unfamiliar feelings. Until I finally did and related like crazy to the agonising quote: ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ Though I hated myself for it, I couldn’t help it. I would do anything to see your face. Take you in my arms and hug you. Tease you and tackle you to the ground like I once did. I would do anything to have that back. And then I would snap out of my daydream and remind myself, “All in good time.”
And now seeing you stand at my door, my heart is full. I take you into my arms and hug you tight. I sob tears of joy, sadness, hope, and love. That warm feeling felt like home. A feeling I wasn’t accustomed to. It was you. And it was all in good time.
As an avid reader at a young age, Rhea Subash indulges herself in writing poetry, articles and stories and she continues to find herself in through her writing as she puts her thoughts into words and tries her best to make everything she writes better than her last.)