Note: this post is not a sad love letter, although the title sounds like one. Its a lyrical line from Philips Philips’ popular song, ‘Gone Gone Gone’. Every single time I listen to it, it reminds me of Starr, whom I adore. Unfortunately, we cannot be together due to factors beyond our control. All I have are a few memories, to be cherished till I meet her next time, if we ever. As Philips Philips said in their song, my heart will never stop beating for her. Thank you Starr, you’re the best.
Having begun confidently, a few seconds into his opening lines, he slurred horribly in her presence, before recovering quickly as if his life depended on it. She had been leaving office, while he had been incoming, having passed opposite her on the same crosswalk, before rousing himself to follow her in order to strike a conversation. She had been polite, remarking how he looked like an ex-colleague of her’s. He had changed the topic quickly. He could not recall the conversation now. All he remembered was “I’m Starr”. It was too soon, he hadn’t taken her number.
It was too soon.
He wasn’t able to concentrate.
It had been three days since the first conversation and they had exchanged a smile once, which expectedly, had been the highlight of that day, if one were to leave out the fact that she had accepted his request for a connection on LinkedIn. He had never felt like this before, except once. He felt he was on auto-pilot, unable to judge his emotions accurately enough, the result, as if he was being transported to the time when he was 16, an age of constant flux, emotionally and subjectively, the teenage period when things felt new everyday, with days left to be spent in indulgent, curious, innocent fun, with a small, peeky eye towards an exciting, unknown future which served up fear in equal measure. He felt blinded, unable to think properly.
He decided to go old-school. A long letter expressing his interest with a call to action for having coffee downstairs. The last time he had written a letter, it had been an e-mail. The last time he had written a letter with pen and paper had been in school, for his English literature tests. He had always gotten top marks for essays and letters, and felt sure he would ace this too. After all, what was he to do except, do something, rather than just thinking about her? The letter took him two hours to finish on Microsoft word. The next day, he transferred the contents to an A4 sized sheet, editing it in between when he realized that the entirety of it would span at least twelve single-sided hand-written sheets.
Having shortened it down to seven sheets by 11 a.m, he headed near the seats located near the escalator to wait for her. He knew she hadn’t come to office yet. The seat also offered him the vantage view of the lane outside that led to the building’s entrance. No sooner had five minutes passed, when he watched her walk-in into the lane from the main road, into the doorway and take the first step on the escalator in 30 seconds flat. In spite of having the time to prepare, he was caught unawares. Something was happening to his body. He felt an oncoming sense of panic, for no reason at all, other than the prospect walking up to a woman he had only spoken to once, having randomly introduced himself to her out on the road outside. What if she just shook her head and walked away? He thought it was plausible. Whatever he thought, it didn’t matter, because Starr had walked hurriedly right past him without a glance.
He didn’t see her at all the next day. Neither the next.
He decided to message her on LinkedIn, rather than walk up to her uninvited with the sheets in his hand.
They were at Subway for lunch.
She had taken him to a coffee shop initially. However, the place looked dead in the afternoon. Soon, their eyes had lit up with Subway. It had been a few weeks for both of them. They had exchanged numbers and then joked, memed and discussed deeply about the issues close to each other, like the social strata, politics and free markets. He had told her how he hated his relatives, many of whom he considered downright annoying and dumb. He would be going home shortly, and the prospect of making his cousins uncomfortable by asking objective questions about their work, life and future prospects, made him happy. Being with her made him happy. He didn’t want to think about anything beyond that. For now.
It was too soon.
His day wasn’t going well, again. He felt anxious, insecure due to the fact that he wasn’t performing at work up to his usual standards. He couldn’t understand what was going wrong, when he was doing everything that was seemingly right and required. He was a sales guy. But sometimes, he couldn’t bring himself up to deeply believe in the product that he was trying to sell. He had become skeptical of what he was selling, a result of the industry that he was operating in – media and entertainment.
His writing had suffered as a result. His reading habit got him through the day, and talking to her, somehow made his day bearable. He kept asking himself, was it only because she was beautiful? Partly. Was it because she found loopholes in his arguements whenever he presented them, on x, y and z themes? Definitely. Was it because they spoke to each other about trying too hard to be productive all the time? Partly. Was it because he could tell her that sometimes, he had thoughts about murdering and executing people?