Seeking recluse

August 10, 2016

It's been months and I still can't bring myself to delete your texts, as if the longer I keep them, the more you'll miss me and maybe — just maybe — one day you'll pick up your phone to reply my messages again. As if that mortifying action would remove the saccharine imprint of you in my life. As if you haven't already left and erased me from your memory. It's a tragic, pitiful move so utterly pathetic, it's actually comical if it wasn't happening to me.

“It's time to move on.”

Just how many times have I chanted this to myself? Did I truly believed that by iterating this line, I can effortlessly shrug off the thought of you? That my recollection of you will fade as hours race by? That the notion of what could have been will stop creeping into my mind as the first light creaks through my windows at every crack of dawn?

Whatever they preached about the older you grow, the wider your vision? It's true, verified by yours truly. The world, as I understand today, is filled with vicious mortals watching out for themselves — an alluring irony I soon discovered, because I'm part of this cut-throat globe. Much as I'd love to contest it, the reality is as such: I'm not innocent, I'm no different.

Years ago, I reveled in solitary; I lived in paranoia of turbulence, and I intentionally steered against social interactions, going out of the way to hide in my hermit shell. I shieded away from strangers, insisted on staying obscured, away from the claws of this world who are ready to prance on me if I give them a chance.

Later, I discovered the existence of rainbows that bring a sense of serenity after horrifying hurricanes, and it finally dawned upon me why the people I perceived as idiots would risk entering stormy seas. I'd liken it to travelling — being in a foreign place a stark contrast from the world I came to know was conflicting at best, but it swiftly became an euphoric sense of freedom I grew to love.

Yet there's a remarkably straightforward reason for my absence — I've been forcing myself to seek recluse as a form of escapism, a surprisingly onerous task for newly-extroverted me. Yes, the swelling cumulonimbus clouds pass by after a while. I learnt that sheets of rain don't last but, unfortunately, neither does my new found psychedelia in rainbows.

The recurring unforeseeable circumstances left me absolutely broken. Speechless. Lost for words. Tongue-tied. A wrench, they called me, and if you looked up both meanings of the word, I supposed I can't imagine a better term for myself.

Faced with your belligerent confrontation and paralysed by the unjust situation I was in, this strong-headed, stubborn girl suddenly turned mute and inarticulate. I kept my petulant silence when I had a chance to clear things up.

You have every reason to feel repulsed by me, and I agree even staying cordial is too much to ask from you. My heart swells with remorse and sorrow but the acceptable period to salvage what we shared had passed. What's the point anyway? They probably got to you sooner than me. I didn't share their foresight; I was so desperate for approval, I didn't see any of this coming.

They remained unfazed and undaunted by the fact that I hurt someone I loved. Their calm demeanors should have been the first warning sign but I frankly, and naively, trusted I made the right decision. To my chagrin, I was ostracised by the same people who caused my initial downfall. My quest for the truth was met with repudiation and my feeble attempts at picking myself up only served to kick me in the teeth.

At the mere mention of your name now, my veins run cold, my fingertips freeze, my hair bristle, and my stomach does an overturn that makes gymnasts competing in Rio 2016 Olympics proud. To say my heart isn't smouldering in resentment... Ha, that's a definite lie.

With a familiar forlorn gaze plastered on my face daily, I struggle to catch a glimpse of your mundane life I long to be a part of, praying that you'll do fine. How do I ever break away from the temptation to pick up my phone and scream at you that I'm here? I'm still here. I've always been here. I'll always be here.


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