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ungodly lovers note

Ashwini Murali, Bay Area, CA

this is a piece of fictional prose that is meant to articulate the extremities of young love; this is also a reminder that suicide should never be an option because there are people that care for us, infinitely.

I miss you when the sun scorches the sky, when the wind shifts the branches, when the waves of the beach pound against the shore like I am trapped in a bell jar I could never quite escape. I always knew I was different, and I suppose you knew it too: you smiled like a child, and loved like a broken teenager, with too much despondency and never enough attachment.

Maybe that’s why the world pooled beneath our feet like we were the stars in the great expanse of the sky, that simultaneously punctures and wraps our celestial cosmos into love letters. Your love was ivy, fashioned into chains during the year you dropped out of college, but it never mattered. I never noticed. I only ever noticed the marble pillar of your arms, the way the smoke curled from your lips into perfect spirals, the way your jaw clenched and your eyes looked at me when you drank too much.

You were a petulant boy too scared to tell me you loved me, and too proud to peruse the infinite depth of my ribcage. You can hear someone’s stories, but never know their warped thoughts. It was that way with us. I told you everyday of the night I ran away, and you would pretend to know what I felt, because it was better than acknowledging how it felt that time you almost jumped from that building. You said you thought of me at the last second, and you knew you couldn’t do that to me.

We were the broken couple, after all, who got drunk in the midnight air and let the stars swim in our eyes until daybreak when we’d collapse like two lonesome trees in the woods. I know you don’t miss me now. How could you, after all I did to you? I was a fool, I know I was: I just can’t believe I had that in me, but we all do, we all have that in us. It just needs to find expression, you know, like recessive genes?

That’s really the only thing I remember from biology: that something so weak and rare could still find a way to make your life a living hell. Maybe that’s a bit extreme. Of course it is. I don’t know where we stand. Mainly because, you know, you can’t stand anymore. I should have been there the day you took your life. I’m the one who trapped you in that bell jar, right? You spoke of me as if I was made of sunset colors when all I ever displayed were the midnight shades, tremoring like a delicate wave of nostalgia in your hands. I don’t know if I can call what we had love: it was more of a quiet desperation.

The kind that traps all the thoughts in your lungs, lodges them deep in your windpipe, and scars your ribcage (of course, no one can see them unless they dare to pry past your heart). We were both susceptible to it, I’m afraid, and consequently found a temporary solace in each other, a world where we could exist and be as broken as we dreamed.

We were dreamers, of course, you with your ocean eyes, me with my otherworldly smile. If you’re somewhere up there, reading this (somehow) I want you to know I love you when the world never could, when your mother never could.

I love you like I never could.

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You Are Not Ugly - Ashwini Murali

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