Sat, 02 Dec, 2023

Creative Focus: The Breakup

By Pratibh Acharya

There he sat on his chair, looking at the scars on his hand. It had been ten months since the breakup, yet he felt like it was only yesterday. Sayan recalled the memory day in day out. He gazed into the ceiling and tried to remember the conversation they had that day. The phone had rung early in the morning. “Hello. How are you?” he had replied. The girl on the other side had answered “I am fine, but we need to talk”. With a grin in his face Sayan walked towards the window. Taking out a pack of cigarettes and lighter from his pocket, he gazed at the stars. He recalled the conversation. “We cannot be together anymore. I hope you understand”, she had said.  “But I thought we loved each other”, he had tried to reason with her. Slowly he took one cigarette out of the packet and put it in his mouth. Carefully he sparked the lighter. He feared that his parents would hear the click. He questioned himself, “Was there anything I could have said that day that would have made her change her mind? What if I had talked her out of it? What if things would have been different? What if I had been a better person to her? Would we still be together?” Despite all the questions he constantly asked himself, he knew the bitter truth. No matter which way he looked at it, the answer would have been the same. “It just wasn’t meant to be”, he said to himself as he took another puff. He still remembered all the sleepless nights he had as he cried himself to sleep thinking about her. He remembered the things he tried to do to convince her to come back. He felt frustrated with his situation. “Should I consider the 369 days we were together the best thing that ever happened to me and cherish the memories forever or should I try to forget everything thinking that it was a bad dream?” he thought. “It isn’t the first time I have broken up with someone. I never gave second thoughts to the decisions in the past. Why is it so hard for me to get over her?” he thought. “I am going to forget everything about her.” With a fake smile on his face, he closed the window and went towards his bed. He knew that he was lying to himself. Deep down, he loved her more than anyone or anything in this world. He still hoped that they would be together again, for he felt completely lost and lonely without her. With all these mixed emotions going through his mind, he laid his head down to rest. A couple of minutes later, he heard a knock on his door. “Son, open the door.” His father was outside. “What am I to do? The cigarette smell hasn’t gone yet”, he thought. The knocking continued. “Just a minute”, he replied. “Spraying room freshener would just make it look more suspicious” he thought.  He had no choice but to open the door. He found his father standing with a bottle of water in his hand. “It’s hot today. Here, keep this water bottle with you. You might get thirsty.” “Thanks”, he replied with a smile in his face. “And why is your room smelling like someone smoked in here?” his father asked. With a confident tone in his voice, Sayan replied “The neighbor was smoking again. I think the wind carried the smell here.” It wasn’t the first time he lied to his father about smoking. He knew better, it was wise to keep it a secret. He had no idea how he would tell his father he started smoking ten months back, after she broke up with him. (To be continued…)