Lost dimensions

21st November.

It’s an important date. It used to mark anniversaries of a past love. Year after year of gifts and romance, cards and special surprises, then absence, distance, bitter fights to coming back stronger with a sweeter love. The aging date stole time from under our young, naive eyes, only to throw them back at me as memories of a lost dimension.

5 anniversaries later, I started resenting the lost years of stumbling through life unquestioning, unaware of who I was and where I was headed. I was restless, and I knew this time the upheaval was far too big to be subdued under compromise. I knew then, that I would always be restless in love. I would always be certain only of what I don’t want, and always seeking what I want.

On 21st November last year, I bade goodbye to my first love, scared of letting go and guilty of having hurt him. But my instincts told me I’m doing the right thing. A year later, and nothing has changed; but nothing’s the same any more.

Who knew so much could happen in a year, especially so much of what would ultimately be remembered with either sadness, guilt or regret? I believed I was still the same person inside, just doing things I didn’t usually do. It’s just a phase, and I’m living someone else’s borrowed lifestyle of excessive partying, drinking and occasional screwups, I kept telling myself. Well, not anymore. This girl is sobering down, it’s done and resolved.

NewYearsEve

The date is still significant. This year the clock struck 12 and time passed by a drunk me in a stranger’s arms. It gave me a good hard much-needed slap on the face. It left me wringing my hands in despair, and the more I thought of what I’m doing the more I fell into depression, terrified of confessing to anyone for fear of being judged, and completely clueless of how to get out of this mess.

So I wrote this post and decided that if there’s one thing I knew about myself, it was that I’m not a coward. I told myself to take a deep breath and start by being completely honest, without fearing who I might lose in this process. Once again, this date seems to have woken me up from a deep stupor.

I guess now the date marks my years of stumbling down an unknown path, stubbornly alone, just as unaware of who I am, and just as sure of what I don’t want.

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Crush-ed

Denise opened her eyes, collected her thoughts for a moment, and then flung up from her bed, suddenly remembering what day it was. She hit her leg against the leg of the nightstand with a loud thump, and ignoring the all-too familiar pain, too excited to wince, she proceeded to get ready for work.

She had been waiting almost all of her 24 years to fall in love. Waiting for someone she would fall for who would then pull her right back to her feet. All her crushes had lasted only like a week till she lost interest and gave up. And then she met Neil. Handsome, charming, and sharp to think on his feet. She had seen his quick wit smartly lashing out at the client during a presentation, and she had almost drooled all over her notes. It had now been a month of shameless staring at him from behind her folder, and it was time to make a move.

She believed people only get one chance to make a good first impression, and she desperately wanted that to be a long-lasting one in his mind. She was a harsh self-critic, and she had planned down to the last detail what she would say, what kind of jokes she would tell so he’d find her funny and sexy at the same time. Tonight after work, a bunch of them had decided to go clubbing, and she politely invited him to come along. She checked herself in the full length mirror before work, and smiling, clicked a full length picture to send to her girlfriends, with the caption, “Decided to go with the black dress. Can’t go wrong with this one, right?”

She never saw him all day at work, and had begun to think he wasn’t going to turn up. She joined her colleagues and was seated comfortably at the bar with a beer in her hand, when he showed up at her side. She looked at him and smiled, and he settled into an explanation of where he was all day, which went on to his pitch to a new client. She found herself focusing on his features thinking, “He does talk a lot. I wonder if he is a romantic sensitive guy, or the type who never talks about feelings and stuff.”

At this point he seemed to look inquiringly at her so Denise gathered herself and gave an appropriate response, such as, “That’s so true.”

He looked confused and asked her again, “I’m sorry, I was asking if you wanted a drink?”

Denise blushed and answered, “Oh, I meant, yes please, thank you.” Then turned furiously red in the face and sternly told herself, “That’s strike one, not paying attention! What’s he going to think of me? And he did not even tell me how beautiful I’m looking. Strike two is it?”

He returned with her drinks and, and as rehearsed she turned the conversation to a hilarious excessive-drinking bachelorette party incident that had ended with her jumping up and running out of the club screaming as soon as the stripper started dancing. She was herself in peals of laughter with little snorts, regaling him with her ‘wild’ tale, but he barely twitched a muscle, and looked a little shocked.

Finally he smiled, and she relaxed.

“You don’t go out much, do you?” he asked, amused.

“Strike three”, her despondent brain told her as she said, “Well, I’ve been out with a lot of guys. Theoretically.”

“Theoretically? What does that even mean?”

“I’m very good at reading people and analyzing them, you see. So even though technically I’ve never been out with a guy, I can predict exactly the kind of  relationship I could have had with him!”

At this point he was staring at her like she was mad or something. Wanting to explain, she tried a different track.

“But I also read you, and I can already tell, that you and I will be very happy together. It is already the beginning of a very happy future!” She told him, smiling lovingly at him.

He stared at her, aghast, saying, “I just came here for a drink, not a date. You might have let your intent known.” Shaking his head at her, got up and left.

Dejected, she thought about her ruined evening and her date plan theory. Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned. 

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less

(1) with some kind of reference to the media prompt, a short film by Tanmay Shah, entitled Intent, AND

(2) use the last sentence of:  “Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.”

This is my very first time participating in this speakeasy prompt, though I’ve read entries from the many talented writers here. Now that even Trifecta‘s closing, if I don’t start now, I may never get inspiration enough, so here I am! Decided to do a light romance-y thing for my first entry here!