Edited by: Pratyusha Gupta
A one-sided exchange of texts and fingers that never clutched mine. The cruel ingredients in a recipe for disaster.
Ah, Unrequited love. Sounds straight out of a coming-of-age film, doesn’t it? Eternal longing, dreamy glances hoping he wouldn’t notice yet (secretly) praying that he did? A lulling dream left unfulfilled, a fairytale of hope and fate?
Yeah, scratch that.
It’s a gruesome game of tug of war between a heart and a shard of glass. Well, simply put: I once had a heart filled with loving words and cheesy love songs for a boy who would probably spell my name wrong, and a shard of glass poked it dry. If you were hoping for an intellectually worded analogy of hearts and minds and a cruel conundrum that went south, sorry to disappoint you.
Unrequited love is the greatest evidence ever tampered with, concealed deceitfully with “he’s just a friend.” These specific pairs of shoes instilled in me the brutal fact that life is not a Nicholas Sparks movie. Your love is not obligated to love you back, your hand won’t always be the one he finds in the dark, and hugs don’t always have to be returned. The demise of unrequited love does not exist in what happened next. It’s in the very essence of a love left forever unreturned.
While I was lost in his hazel eyes, he looked at mine like they were just brown.
Lovebombs To Breadcrumbs
Enveloped within love’s mercurial dance of crossroads and chaos, I found myself grossly uninterested in a boy who swore he’d give me the world. He had always, for years it seems, been just a glimpse in the crowd but suddenly the light shifted and he was the only one I cared to search for. His words, once just utterances in the distance, came alive with new meaning. His laugh once brushed off as annoying, became my new favorite song playing on repeat in the fragment of my mind reserved just for him. I swore I’d never fall but I let myself believe in the promise of a genuine love that would never let me down. He fell first, but boy did I fall harder. I guess it’s true what Tay Swift writes in her songs. He really “took off faster than a green light go.”
It baffles me how once his love I’d run from. But now, and I write this with trembling fingers, I’m the teary-eyed idiot with nowhere to run to. Echoes of his presence catch me off guard sometimes, leaving me wrestling with the drought of his ephemeral affection.
I poured my heart into a sieve and I bore the brunt of this ill-fitted pair, questioning if it was even worth it, surrendering to the chase.
Left On Read
I saw it in his eyes. The same eyes that once gazed at me with awe and adoration, now glanced at me only sometimes, with an ignorant look of utmost normalcy.
Like watching a canvas of acrylics, stripes, and spots lose its vibrant hues, I watched him fade our love into a grayness I had never seen before. God, do these shoes hurt?
His laugh, which once echoed at the nonsense British accent I’d put on, turned into a rare and distant chuckle. A phone that never stopped ringing, turned into a series of unresponded texts. Conversations about fate, god, oceans and hope turned stilted, decorated with filters, and hesitated small talk.
Was it what I said? That witless thing about growing apart eventually, and asking him if he agreed? No, it can’t be. It has to be the dress I wore. He hated it, I know. Did I speak too much? Perhaps too little? Should I have been more considerate? Maybe it was how I talked to him the other day. I shouldn’t have raised my voice. My mind blared incessantly with every ‘should have’ and ‘could have’ possible but I learned that night when he called me to say his heart doesn’t beat the same anymore, that love is a bittersweet little b****.
Ill-fitted shoes have been the bedrock of my existence for as long as I can remember. I knew I’d love the wrong boy before the right one appeared. However, the only plot twist they left out was that it may take nineteen years. Despite the labyrinth of bad luck and heartaches, I found myself entrapped in, I found a strange solace in lessons learned and the morals of the stories. I may not have found the correct sole in my shoe, but the soul within me dances with cathartic melodies of how far I’ve come.
The shoe never fit. But eh, I’d rather run barefoot anyway :)