I wake up, drenched in sweat. My heart is hammering away. I look around. It’s a brilliant day, the sunshine glistening on the red rooftop of the neighbours. By all accounts, I should be happy. But instinct tells me something is wrong. Something is missing. What is it? I look at myself. Nothing wrong with me. I get out of bed, finding that the sheets have been wrapped around me like a straitjacket. A dream comes to me vaguely – a dream about some pain. A pain the magnitude of which haunts me. But I can’t remember what it is. I walk to the bathroom and surprisingly look at the disfigured collage on the bathroom door. One of the photos has been ripped out from it. No doubt done by my younger brother. Angrily, I decide to sort him out later. But as I glance closer at which photo has been torn, pain hits me like a truck in the chest. I remember everything.
It was I who tore the photo out last night. Your photo. Our photo. Because you are gone. Everything comes back – the shock when I came to know this a week ago, the stunned disbelief I felt; sitting for hours at the corner of the bed staring at nothing, then being hugged by my roommate’s friend who came into the room by chance and finally bursting into hysterical tears, then the exam I fudged up the next day, pretending to friends I’m fine, running away to another city with a friend to escape thinking of you. But finally the holidays started and I came home – and there was no restraint. Every morning I forget you’re gone,but then the pain comes back as I remember that you will never thank me for patching things up with your girlfriend again, that you will never exasperatedly plead with me, that we’ll never ‘accidentally’ bump into each other while I’m eating momos, that you’ll never annoy me with your stupid dumbness, that I’ll never see that lopsided grin again, that I’ll never hear you give lectures about rap for ages or hear your voice again. Nobody even knew how close we were or how often we talked. It was our own private thing. And now you’ve left me alone, and not a soul understands. Frustration wells up inside me, coming out in the form of tears. Come back, come back please. I didn’t have the courage to come to your funeral, nor to talk to any mutual friend about how much I miss you. I think of all the things I said, and how I never told you what you mean to me. Never. I think of what I could’ve done different. You’ve left a hole in me which can never be filled. Life’s never going to be the same again.
I miss you.