I never wanted to be anything like her.
Which is sad. Because she loved me like no one else.
But love, like we all know, is just as straight and simple as a tangled mass of overhead wires over a DDA colony.
She loved me the way she knew how to. Strict. Scared. And vulnerable.
All because she never believed in herself enough. She didn’t go to college. She didn’t work. She was never financially independent. Or wildly popular.
And then she married a man, who was everything she was scared to be. He loved everything new. And he was fearless.
So again, like we all know, love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring. Well, this one made a ring that trapped them both.
She scared. He happy. She fearful. He gregarious. She friendless. He loved by everyone. And the more everyone fell in love with him, the more uncertain she became.
Because, you see, he was the only thing she had.
Then she had me.
And I sensed all her fear, all her insecurities. I didn’t understand them. But I knew I was the only one she had. To take them out on.
And I built a wall around myself. I kept her out. I blocked her from my head, my mind. I was scared of her moods, her temper, her questions, her expectations.
So I ran away. Only to return with my return ticket firmly in my pocket. With a friends number at hand. With enough money to flee at the slightest chance.
For years I battled my demons. The biggest was will I ever turn out to be like her. Sometimes I found myself using the same words as her. Or the same lines. And however innocuous they were, they chilled me. The same words? The same lines?
The same fear. I was turning into her.
Then, something changed. And two years back we started to talk. On the telephone. First short conversations. Then slightly longer. Initially a little hesitant. Then a little more confident.
They came to meet me. Yes, love is a burning thing. And it makes a fiery ring. But this time it looked like they were bound by it. Some good, some bad...but well, like we all know that’s love.
So anyway, they met me. It was a start. They met me some more. I visited them. A day, two days... and now a week.
Then today I saw dust. In the bookshelves. I saw a high cabinet that had fingerprints near the handle. I saw a toaster that looked like it had been used and then kept on the side.
And I saw her. A little more human. Not so exacting. Older. More willing to forgive. Gentler. Happy.
And I realised she’s making an effort. To battle her demons. And she’s been making one for the last two years. It’s not that easy to change. But she is trying her best.
That’s when I realised I still don’t want to be her.
But neither do I want to be without her.
Then...this is to us. And the effort we make.