I was blind and you were my seeing-eye dog, but you wandered off when you saw a juicy bone. I was sugar in your tea but you were hot water, crumbling and melting me. We were amateur actors, rehearsing backstage, but when the curtains opened, another took my place. You were a building and I, the scaffolding, but I had to be done away with when the building was completed.
I was seated in a quiet corner of the restaurant that warm afternoon when you walked in with your pregnant fiancée, your hand on her waist. You pulled out the chair for her and watched her settle into it. There seemed to be a celebration: a birthday, an anniversary? I could not decipher. A cake was brought, with a lone candle flickering on it. You called on the waiters and they were all smiles as they whispered, Congratulations.
I sat there in that corner and thought of all the times I made excuses for your crassness, for your forgetfulness. I told my friends that those who suffered abandonment early in their lives were not expected to work up the proper spirits of love and affection. For when you were born, your mother laid you in her arms, wet and wrinkled by labour. Death hovered at her bedside, bidding her to come with him. She chose him over you.
So how were you expected to remember dates, to speak softly, to show tenderness? I understood your need to constantly drape your affections in purdah; I understood your ineptitude at emotions. When I got high on my friends suggestions and complained to you, you said this was all you had to offer, take it or leave it. I chose the former. I said, I would rather live with you in want than in plenty without you. I would rather love you with all the blandness that comes with it, isn’t the world choking in its laughter?
But what I really wanted was this: the dough of love, kneaded with care and thoughtfulness, baked in the fires of eros. I wanted the icing of tranquillity, sprinkled with the dust of laughter. I did not press you for it because I felt you would look at me dazed and ask me if you were a baker. You would remind me that love was no pastry shop.
But here you are. The one I thought was too weak to put up a fight for me, look at you starting a riot for another; you, even are a rabble-rouser, talking others into your cause. Here you are, rubbing a pregnant girl’s cheeks, blowing out a candle with her, celebrating an anniversary, remembering a date.