Our fingers had their own memories – they found each other and got entwined without us noticing. We were sitting in our spot, those grey concrete stairs, no words being exchanged. I was thinking of a time before you.
“You’re too ugly to be seen with.”
“Why do people call you funny? You’re not.”
You know the people who attack you with remarks on every insecurity you’ve ever lived with? Who prey on those insecurities because they know how it affects you? Who remind you of things you try to forget as you tell yourself you’re stronger than that? Before you, my life was a who’s who of people like that. Their caustic remarks were what I had always lived with, what I believed about myself.
Remember the day when we were watching cartoons on TV? I said something about a Tom and Jerry cartoon I’d seen, about how raw and brutal it would be if it weren’t a cartoon? It should have been disturbing – giving such a gory angle to a children’s show, but you laughed and told me I was the funniest girl you knew. You laughed on and off for the rest of the day because you were still thinking about what I said.
On another day, we ran into one of your friends, the DJ who played at your favorite pub, and also at, we later learned, my favorite pub. When you introduced me to him, there was unmistakable pride in your voice. Not vanity, like you were showing me off. But an acknowledgement. That I meant something. That I wasn’t someone you minded being seen with.
You restored some parts of me on those days; parts that others had ruined or robbed.
I don’t like comparisons. Comparing you with anyone else is an insult to what we share, even if you’re coming out looking better. But then, I wanted to know myself through your eyes. I wanted to trust you the way my fingers trusted yours.
If anyone could allay my fears and doubts, it was you. This I knew with conviction.
Comparisons had nothing to do with that.
Hi everyone! I’m working on a minimalist fiction project for this year’s #AtoZChallenge. The story will be shared in snippets, and the events occur non-sequentially. It is for the reader to interpret and form the “whole”. You can read all the posts here. Join me, and do share links to your AtoZ posts as well!