I loved him like no other man. I did not love his looks, though everyone said he was quite handsome. I did not love his laugh; for me it was just a part of him. And I did not need his touch. All I wanted from him was for him to always be there. To be there when I needed him as a friend, as a mentor, as the strong shoulder you can always lean on.
Surely that was not asking for much? For him to guide and comfort me. For him to be present when I wanted him. I did not think that was a tall order. In fact, I used to take comfort from his sheer physical presence. My love as all those love poems and stories say, was totally unconditional.
But today, as I look back, I feel I probably wanted too much. I mean, is it really possible for anyone to love you that way? Is it really possible that out there someone can care for you like what they call ‘nobody’s business’? He cared. He loved me in his own small way. But it wasn’t enough. I wanted to lock him up so I wouldn’t lose him. The most treasured treasures are locked away in safety, aren’t they?
Those good old days. I still remember those wonderful moments. Moments still fresh in mind. Like the times we walked through the rice fields across the road. He always used to hold my hand, like a true friend. That day I saw a sparkle in his eye, in his smile, in his laughter. I wondered. And then he told me he had found true love. He told me how happy he was. He told me he planned to get married.
I had known throughout that it was not me. He did not love me. Nor did realize that I loved him. I knew that it was the girl he was working with in office. With a brave face and my sunniest smile I had mustered…well who is she? Oh well, you know her, he said. The one with the brightest of smiles…in my office. There, my fears were all confirmed. I knew for sure, I had lost him to another. Not that he had ever belonged to me. But then, now I had lost that thread of hope too.
That night, I had cried my heart out. I decided I would not let him go. I would not lose him to some girl…any girl. He was my best friend and I would not let go so easily. And I am still glad of the decision I made that night. I did not let him go.
Today he lives in my heart, in my thoughts, in my memories. That’s what I had always wanted. I had never needed his physical expression of love anyway. So then, what if his body lies in that well amidst the fields where I killed him? His heart still belongs to me.
(Published in Savvy Magazine, March, 2002)