The Irony in my life. The last book I gifted my ex boyfriend before I left him was called Never Let Me Go.
We met through friends. I had met him before but I pretended not recognizing him. He did not recognize me but he did know a little about me. Some random things like how I talk in monosyllables. It was one of the usual gatherings at strangers. They were smoking up. I was watching them roll. He did not know how to use the paper. I was clueless. I was with strangers for the only reason that they were about to offer me some food. So much for the love of food, you know. And I played my part well. Sitting at one corner pretending to listen to people and not saying a single word. He was probably the nicest person in the room, I assumed, because he offered me the joint, which I denied and then he said hi. I told him we had before. He wasn’t sure about that. I described how his room was, how his mother looked and how he looked four years back. He was convinced that we had met before but he was still unsure. I was glad my memory wasn’t a failure.
He dropped us home. He offered me a hug and I gave him a handshake. Formality. Clean shit. I don’t like hugs. He did not like awkward formality. He didn’t take the handshake. I remembered him for his awkward denial. He remembered me for my awkward handshake. End of the conversation. We never exchanged numbers.
We met again at different places by mere coincidences. Sometimes while I would be checking out clothing stores and commenting over bad garment detailing. Most of the times he would be trying to finish unfinished books sitting in the bookstore. He would join us most of the times and he seemed excited learning about fabrics. I found out knowledge made him happy. It wasn’t the clothes. I fed him the fashion knowledge. He understood my point. It wasn’t the clothes and he wasn’t against homosexuals. Something about that made me happy. I finally started talking. He fed me literary knowledge. He was an English student who sincerely loved Helena Bonham Carter and our conversations never ended. We exchanged numbers. He later thanked me. I wasn’t sure why but I thanked him too. He was an honest man.
We met with friends. We ate at strangers’ dinner invitations. We walked at the park with dogs. We had dog conversations. We slept on park benches. We made fun of people on the streets. I stole his father’s shirt. We shared secrets. We made fun of each other. We made fun of the dogs. I made fun of his songwriting. We shared headphones. We sneaked in strangers’ houses just to watch movies. Everything was about movies. Everything was about books. Everything was music. We discussed songs. He understood the kinds I listened to. I never understood the kinds he liked. I sang once on repeated request. He denied singing. He was a paid vocalist but I have never heard him sing. He never sang even after repeated requests.
We were friends who never talked over phone. We were good friends. We never posed together for a photograph.
It’s been more a year now. He disappeared completely after I left him. Left no trace. My stalking skills never really worked. I eventually stopped thinking about it after I realized I am better off alone with no responsibilities to tie myself with. There is an utter peace in letting people go at the right time for the right reasons before you start hating them for the wrong reasons. Memories seem more precious when they are only the happier ones. It was a nice memory and it was lovely meeting him.
I am grateful to him for introducing me to this song.