I used to chase yellow butterflies. You liked to shut them in a jar and keep them; then watch them struggle and die. It used to amuse you perhaps as to how you held chains to someone else’s life. And I was your alibi in that murder for a casual entertainment of yours.
I used to buy cracked yellow china and porcelain plates because you liked the particular sound they made on hitting the floor, when you smashed them against it. I used to sweep away the pieces and throw out the trash quietly as you went for your walk, which you only took after an anger outburst.
I used to book tickets for a vacation every month because you liked to travel. I would pick up stones from our journey when you weren’t looking, as a memoir, since you hated photographs being clicked. You said it broke the fluidity and spontaneity of the moment.
You didn’t like my study so I used to hang pictures of us there to assure me that we were still together. You would storm into the study and tear them apart at random times. I never stopped putting them back together by cello tape.
You liked reading books. I would buy you a new book each week, just to see your intense yet eager face coming alive with the turn of every page. You never let me read them. You dismissed them as unworthy of my time.
I liked to visit my mother’s grave at the cemetery. I would take yellow sunflowers for her every Sunday as they were her favourite. You’d accompany me reluctantly and that cigarette never left your lips, even if it meant ashing on my mother’s headstone.
You loved rain and thunder. We shifted to a place where you could have more of both. You’d come back from work and see me curled up in bed, afraid of the lightning. You never said anything but quietly came and curled me within you.
You were a rage in bed. Our bodies collided with perfect motion, but somehow I could never quite match you. You were relentless and untiring as I tried hard to keep up.. you never forced or coerced me for more.
At night when we lay together, was when I felt closest to you. It was like your heartbeats spoke to me, the words that you never said. Those creases on your forehead never relaxed but when you held my hand I knew that I had the right to touch, and the power to dissolve them.
You liked your space and I never invaded. I guess I got used to staying not with you, but the thought of you.
Cancer took you away soon, much too soon.
I wonder if you were making it easier for me.. by becoming distant. If you were, then it was a bad try. Your anger I know, was never directed at me. It was always your war against fate and conflict with God.
I never believed in God, having lived with an Atheist like you all my life. But I saw you resort to prayers in the dark when you thought I wasn’t looking. I hope that you didn’t break your convictions for my sake.
Your memory will never be enough for me. The shine and rage of your eyes will never die. The flame that you alone could ignite in me, may have died now.. but the fact that it once shone, and shone its brightest for you, will never be questioned.
I live as a proof that we existed. I see all those torn pictures now, the scars of which I could never hide. I have that broken china, those cracked glasses and everything else that you thought you were destroying. You couldn’t destroy enough baby. It’s all intact... right down to my soul, which is still yours, and forever will be.
I maybe sleeping alone but at times I do feel an odd warmth around me.. as if your arms are still there. And when I open my eyes I realize that you’ve taken up my dreams too. You couldn’t even bear to spare that part of my existence, could you?
I close my eyes and feel you all around me. In the maddening thunderstorms, in the warm morning rays, in the captive butterflies, you’re everywhere; and yet you’re not. It’s with a knot in my stomach that I open my eyes, always hopeful that I’ll get to see a glimpse of you. But I never do.
I don’t visit your grave. I know you wouldn’t like it. But I still travel. I revisit all the places we’d been together and relive all those moments that you forbade me from capturing. Your essence is still there.. in those meadows.. in those shadows.. in that vast, all encompassing ocean.. in every grain of the beach sand.. in every cloud of the moonlit sky.. in that horizon..
that is a memory that neither you nor God himself could taint, destroy or take away from me!