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Some relationships don’t follow the ‘happily ever after into the sunset’ pattern, but they are no less a love for that. Here’s to exes who stay friends!
Even the love stories that are not ‘happily ever after’ teach us something!
Bestselling author Nikita Singh’s latest novel, Letters To My Ex is all about one such love story. Taking our cue from this novel, we asked readers to send us their own letter to an ex. The best eight are being published here, and win a copy of the book as well as a shopping voucher for Rs.300. Get your own copy here, of Letters To My Ex and curl up with a bittersweet read this February!
Hey, how you doing?
I was thinking about how my life is today, the people in it and I know that I may not ever say this to your face (just because I would hate to flatter you!)…but jokes apart, I wanted you to know. So here goes.
If 10 years ago I had known that we wouldn’t be together today, I would’ve scoffed at the thought. The idea of not being with you for good seemed ludicrous. Yet here we are today. Into our 30’s, completely different from the people we were then.
I still remember the first time I met you. I was with a friend at a popular coffee shop and he had to meet you for some work. You walked in, tall (taller than me for sure!) with long hair and introduced yourself. I nosedived into my coffee while my friend and you talked shop. I barely spoke to you and you soon finished your chat and left.
Fast forward to a few months when you stumbled upon my profile on a social networking site. We connected and spoke briefly. We planned to meet and decided to meet at a pub where I would be Saturday night with my friends. I told my male friend whom I was there with among others, who decided to watch over me like a hawk lest you turned out to be ‘ungentlemanly’ (I don’t think you knew there were spies!). You walked in at about 11 pm post a recording, cool and calm and if memory serves me right after all these years, in a grey t-shirt and blue jeans (we can debate this the next time we meet whether I am right – which I know I am!)
We spent that entire week talking, late at night till the sky turned from black to blue. The days before WhatsApp and all things new. I knew then that I loved you. Not for the conversations and mild flirtation, but the honesty with which you spoke to me. We grew up together so to speak. That’s what the 20s are for after all. Discovering who you are and coming into your own. And that’s what I did with you. I lived each day with you, for me, for the ‘us’. Days that turned into nights and I experienced something so rare that I feel grateful for every day. The kind of nakedness which comes from baring your soul to another. We spoke of ourselves, our childhoods and families, our teen years and fears. Our dreams and quirks. I learnt about a genre of music new to me – Metal (shudders!) while you tolerated my Bolly-craze.
Phone conversations that only you and I could understand. Not because of the content but the way we spoke. Muffled words from your end while my words were at a Shinkansen bullet train pace. We laughed and cried and laughed way too much and too loudly for sure! We explored different places together and before we knew it we weren’t just two people dating/in a relationship/together, we became best friends. And those friends soon became like family. The ones bonded by love not blood. The ones who are in each other’s lives because they want to be, not because they have to.
But short of midway to our decade, I went through a personal crisis. One I dealt with, with as much grace as I could muster (though I didn’t) but could not see you along the journey, step by step as you had been until then. And I let you go. I would be lying if I say I didn’t regret it soon after and later again. And somewhere along the way we found that love in each other again. Though this time it was a different kind of love. Gone were the romantic allusions and butterfly kisses. Yet this time we knew it was the real deal. The one that was unbreakable and ever-lasting.
The word ‘ex’ refers to one who isn’t there anymore or loosely stating – ‘without’. But you never really became ‘The Ex’. You are the one who is there for sure as a major presence in my life. The one who I called late at night in a meltdown moment, who dropped his plans and came to pick me up and take me away from it all. The one who is there for me at all odd hours whenever I have been in need of a friend. The one who has taken care of me since the time he came into my life. The one who makes plans with me even though he is terrible at keeping them, but always comes through when it truly counts. And the one who forgave me for changing his world that ill-fated day, in a way he never saw coming. And in all honesty didn’t deserve either.
But I look at you and I today and I feel at peace. Because through it all we found our respective paths in life. Where we could hope and love again. And through bad times have each other’s backs and always be just a text or call away.
Love doesn’t always have to be that deep shade of red which it’s famous for, the one that reminds us of blooming roses. Sometimes love changes shades and presents an unexpected palette.
It can go from a light blue which represents the peace and trust in our friendship to a rich green which symbolizes emotional healing to a bright yellow which reflects our happiness and energy.
And so I thank you my friend, for the love we once shared and the kind we do now.
Hope your music is less deafening than it used to be! I will make it to a show one of these days (I jest!)
See you soon one of the weekends!
P.S. I was right when I said that the idea of not being with you for life is ludicruous! Thank you for making sure of that.
Top image is a still from the movie Ek Main Aur Ek Tu