Before You


Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t trampled over my heart. I would be a different person. I can’t say I’d be a naïve little girl, no. Because I knew exactly what I was getting into the moment my eyes fell on you. My mind didn’t say it out loud. But it had established this fact, somewhere deep inside, that you were going to bring a bucket full of trouble.
It’s laughable that I knew, that I’d basically gotten a premonition of the destruction you would cause. Sometimes I would look at you when you were busy humming a tune. I’d look at you, and say to myself. No, I would urge myself to run; to run and never look back; to not think twice and run. My mind would tell me in a clear, authoritative voice to stay away from you, to distance myself; that what was happening was dangerous–dangerous for my heart.
I wish I’d listened.
But before you, my soul had never felt more alive.
I would wake up with your thoughts invading my mind. My heart would race when I’d realize that today was another day, another opportunity, to see you. I’d never had the patience for dressing up. But for you I’d spend an hour in front of the mirror, brushing my hair repeatedly, applying the eye-liner carefully; putting on just the right amount of my cherry flavored lip gloss because you didn’t like girls who wore excessive makeup. For some strange reason, I would always smile at my reflection in the mirror, telling her she’s pretty; telling her she’s amazing–basically repeating all the words you’d already blessed her with. It’s ridiculous how special you can make a girl feel with a bunch of words.
I remember how the butterflies infiltrated my stomach when I finally saw you a few hours later. The moment your eyes used to meet mine–I swear it was magical. Time would cease to exist. Space would become a mere term. As cliché as it sounds, it really felt like it was just you, me and this big bubble wrapped around us. You had the power to make me feel like the only girl that existed, you would have eyes for no one else. I’d be across the crowded room, surrounded by faceless people, and you’d be on the other side. But you could spot me all the same. And when you did, you would smile your beautiful, heart breaking smile at me. I really miss that actually.
Later in class, we’d sit side by side–silent like the rest of the students. I’d try so hard to focus on the lesson, and I would succeed to some extent–but my body, it would be always aware of you sitting only a few inches away, the heat radiating off your skin, tickling mine. Your legs would always be touching mine, and sometimes your hands would brush against mine. I’d stiffen myself, trying to act nonchalant. I wanted more than those mere touches but I was shy. At the same time I didn’t want you to scoot away. So much sexual tension.
Then suddenly you would nudge me, grasping my attention even more. You’d tell me a poor joke, or a not-so-funny-incident that occurred. And I would laugh. Oh how much I would laugh. I’m not saying you weren’t funny. But you weren’t that funny. But I would laugh so hard, and my stomach would hurt so bad and my eyes would fill with happy tears. That’s what I remember about us the most–the laughs. We’d laugh like lunatics, and everyone around us thought we were just that. But who cares, right? We’d just laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Even the teacher would notice and reprimand us. But we never stopped, nope. And then in the middle of the laughing, I’d sneak a look at you, not able to help myself. And the joy I felt, oh the joy I felt when I realized you were already looking at me! It was just us then, in that moment. And I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
It reminds me of this line from a Taylor Swift song–
The rest of the world was black & white. But we were in screaming color’.
With you, time was slow and fast at the same time. Every moment stayed fresh in my mind, impacting me severely. At the same time, the day would flash by in seconds, and before long I’d be bidding you good bye, heading home, while my mind kept replaying everything that happened today again, and again.
Well, I’d known from the start
You would completely destruct my heart
But I kept holding on
Until all the pieces of my heart were gone.
I just miss my old self sometimes, that’s all. My old self was more prone to pain and hurt, but she also had the capability to find happiness in the tiniest of things.
My new self is still struggling.
But if I had a choice, I wouldn’t go back to the time before you, or the time after you.
I’d choose the time I was with you.
© Copyright Shreya Pandey

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