Saturday, March 03, 2018

That Little House in Langford Town That we Left Behind


Dear V,

I know this letter may seem strange considering we haven’t spoken to each other in two years. I have been meaning to write to you for a long time, but I was never able to translate the weight of my feelings into words.

Last week, I was passing by Langford town and it reminded me of the time we rented that five-hundred square feet crooked house beside the Cyprus tree. That neighbourhood hasn’t changed much after we left. Do you remember how every once in a while I’d panic about the house collapsing? You’d drag me outside to an elevated patch of barren land from where we could see the entire street. You’d explain that the house was on a slanting street and that was why it looked crooked. And when I’d nod unconvinced, you’d tickle me till I shrieked.

That house sure was small, wasn’t it? We’d spend all our time together sleeping late till Sunday mornings and rainy afternoons, flipping omelettes in that rectangular blue-walled kitchen, watching the neighbourhood stray dogs run havoc at twilight and reading Rimbaud and Rumi to each other until dark skies were swallowed by the sun.

I remember us being immensely happy although at the time, we didn’t know it. We assumed what we were experiencing was something we’d feel for the rest of our lives, without having to try. Sometimes, the two of us from that time seem like faint memories of someone we once knew, but lost touch with. I still don’t know what led us to grow apart. Maybe, it was because we met at a time when we weren’t geared for a lifetime of togetherness.

Omi told me you’ve met someone wonderful and that you both live in a house tucked in the hills bordering Bakloh. Very animatedly, she also went on to tell me  that your fiancée has eyes that sparkle every time she sees you and a smile that  can make a cloudy day blow away. She of course seemed regretful after blurting this out and grasping my hands, apologised profusely for being insensitive. You know how she is — she doesn’t mean harm.

I know that by the time this letter reaches you, it’ll be the end of summer and you’ll be married. Lately, I often find my mind wandering around thoughts of you and her. But I don’t want to think about your new life in the hills of Bakloh. I’d rather think of you at the terrace of our crooked house with the wind in our face, my head leaning against your shoulder, us staring into open skies with Springsteen’s voice in our ears.

(Once) yours,
P

*First published by Women's Web as a part of the eight winning entries for the blogathon contest, Letters to my Ex (February 2018).

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