January 31

You said, “I love you as much as I hate you.” I understood in that instant what you meant. I wanted to embrace the dual sides of your feelings but I stopped myself. Though this kind of love seemed strange and tempting to indulge in, it wasn’t healthy. It showed the promise of adventure under the guise of abuse. It would leave me second guessing everything you would say or do. And, anything I say or do would be interpreted in love or hate, I would never know. It is like a coin tossed in the air with me guessing which side you’d catch. I would hope to be understood in love, but the coin wouldn’t have flipped in my favour. And, I wouldn’t be prepared for the hatred that would pour out of your heart. This would never change. And I would still love you. That would never change either. Someday, it would be the death of us and I wouldn’t want it for you or me. 

So, when you said to me that night, “I love you as much as I hate you” I simply smiled and waited to see what you’d do next. You never showed up and that sealed it for me.

January 30

As a little child, I had an obsession for new currency notes. The denomination never bothered me. All I cared for was that they be fresh and new, straight out of the currency printers. I never had the heart to use them, so I kept them locked away. Sometimes, my dad would come home with a few new notes and hand them over to me. I would religiously put them along with the tiny stack of new notes in my locker. Years went by, I grew older, met new people, made new friends, fell in love, got married, had a kid of my own, but my obsession stayed. A few more years went by, I got separated. I was heart broken, alone, and remained locked in my apartment. By then, I had forgotten to be happy, I had forgotten most of who I was. One day, as I went through the items in my locker, I found that little stack of notes that remained wasted—just like me. And, I realised these notes were meant to be spent on things that make us happy, without which they lost their purpose. Just like my life that is meant to be spent with and on people who make me happy. No?

January 29

I basked in the warmth of the sun this morning. It is always the best part of winter and my only consolation. Nothing about the cold season excited me, not even the snug blankets, hot meals and soup, my favourite book or nook. Nothing, except those few moments under the sunlight when my body stopped fighting the chilling breeze and gave in to the warmth of the sun. Isn’t there a word for it? I think it is apricity. Yes, it is apricity. And, I once loved a man who was like that, like the warmth of the sun on a wintery day. It is sad how he didn’t last long and I had to wait for another winter to see him or experience long cold days to appreciate that fleeting moment of warmth. Perhaps, I think, the feeling is best left unassociated with him. 

January 28

I once knew a little boy who loved to doodle and took care to add as much details to his visual stories. Every time I went to see him, I bought him a new and different pack of colours and drawing sheets. He would start off excitedly on one of those white sheets, but after a few minutes he would trail off on the floor. I would patiently guide him back to his little canvas and he would trail back to the floor. I would religiously wipe and clean them off but it never stopped the little boy from ruining the tiled floors. You will sometimes meet people who are like the little boy. They will love you but in ways that will dirty your heart. They will do to you things that will destroy your heart. To them, they are only making art, beautiful art. And no matter how much or hard you try, they will do what they did. Until, you stop worrying about the floor or start walking them out the door. 

January 27

Why is it so difficult? To fix this wretched heart and not crush the soul? To come and never leave, to tread on trust softly, to make promises to keep? To not scar or keep a score, to not wait for the door bell to ring, to not suffer when the day sleeps, to not dream of better nights? Why is it difficult?

Because love is never easy. And darling, so should you be.

January 26

It was a cold day spent drifting in and out of sleep, boredom, and craving chocolate cake. The sun preferred to stay shut behind clouds and didn’t care to warm up the air. Another day wasted, she thought, as she lay on her back staring at the wall and simultaneously sketching out the interiors of the house she hoped to move into. The sun had set without the slightest warning but she wasn’t done drafting dreams or cribbing over a day lost.

And then, it rained. 

January 25

She preferred to indulge in art that was therapeutic. It soothed her angst and calmed her raging emotions. Though creativity was stamped on her genes, she preferred to keep it within the transparent enclosure of her paint box. She never ventured on the road to becoming a renowned artist, she never practised the strokes on large canvases, she never beat herself to perfection. She owned tools, mediums, and colours of different sizes and textures, she knew she’d never fully use. It was different the way she felt around them… as though, she felt at home.