I nurse this nothingness we share
As if it’s a secret love affair.
I never tell anyone that I speak to you.
It’s like I never do.
In the mornings, I pretend the conversation didn’t happen.
The frenzied messaging,
And the half-hearted conversation of last night,
Crumbles in the light of day.
If I tell myself often enough that it didn’t.
It won’t happen again.
It won’t happen again,
If I never let anyone know.
But another night of loneliness engulfs.
Loneliness is bearable, but what does one do with boredom?
And then I remember how you made me laugh with your nonsense.
And I would have messaged you without meaning to.
Then you answer.
Call me up and then we talk.
I whisper into the phone
So I wake no one.
And you make me smile again
Like only you can
Even when we discuss loss, failures, and news.
And I am happy.
For that wonderful second
Everything is right with the world.
And then you say, ‘Talk soon’.
And I only nod.
So you do not know what I mean.
Even if you saw me,
You wouldn’t know if I meant a yes or a no.
The classic Indian nod.
And so we leave it open-ended.
And I pretend it never happened.
People cheat with far more.
A hushed conversation, what’s that about anyway?
If I ever indulged in a one-night stand,
Maybe I’d do the same.
I know I would leave at the first light of dawn.
Mornings are best spent leaning an aching head on one’s own pillow.
And who bothers with tea and breakfast
If it were just a one-night stand?
I’d probably leave by a back door.
A forbidden booty call.
A secret no-affair.
That’s what we have.
Because I know I don’t like you.
Not any more, I cannot.
But the love, that never fades.
It quickens and warms my blood, my face,
When you speak.
It must be as you had said so long ago.
You fell in love with me, the minute you heard my voice.
Perhaps I did.
I know I still do.
But no one will ever hear me say it.
So I drive around the city, thinking of how much I have to forget.
You. Our love. Our fights. And now this nothingness we share.
The conversations I will never acknowledge.
This secret no-affair of ours.