Letting Go...

I don’t know why but my heartbeats seem to be on an overdrive today. Perhaps it is due to this trip down memory lane. A trip that evokes an odd degree of nostalgia and remorse, all at the same time! Remorse for the time gone by and nostalgia of my bygone smiles, shrieks and setbacks; quite an experience really!

It has been years since the last time I was here. However, I can still close my eyes and make my way through it without tripping. And that too after all these years! All these years I avoided coming back here but finally I had to. I guess I was just waiting for the right time to come back. So here I am, more mature and stable; a grown-up Mia as opposed to the Mia who was here a decade ago. Still somewhere inside I am the same young girl who once wanted to just run away from this place, a place that she so dearly loved! 

The college looks the same, more withered really, but essentially the same. The corridors too are unchanged; enclosed on each side by classrooms and huge gardens. The love lanes as they were called by students back then. Just the students have changed, old ones giving way to the new every year. And a few more scribbles on the tables and pillars have cropped up with names of new lovebirds professing their commitment to each other for eternity. I can still see the benches where I sat with my friends ridiculing a certain professor or two. And there are the steps to my department which if scaled led us to the office of our head of the department or the lion’s den as we called it those days. The sensation is overwhelming really to come back to where it all started; my real life so to speak. 

I feel so anxious today so much so that I just couldn’t wait till morning to be here. And now I am here standing within the walls of a place I called home for many years. It is as if an invisible force is trying to drag me and I just seem to have no control over it. The Library! It was a place where I spent most of my evenings and sometimes entire mornings. 

All of it, the stairs, the foyer, the shelves and the sections; I know all at the back of my mind. Ten years! Yes, it seems just like yesterday that I was here. Yet it was many years ago. Remarkable! I was younger then, more foolish really but young nevertheless, and this was my favourite place to be. My college library, my sacred space and my treasure trove of memories! 

It’s still the same, the same pale blue colored double glazed door. Strange! I had walked through those doors so many times before but never did I stop to look at it. I can just about manage to see the foyer through it with a student or two passing by. 

Memories! A rush of memories suddenly seems to engulf me. I can see myself walking past it to collect books for a new semester. I can see myself rushing out of it to a class that I’d rather miss. I can see myself going through those doors with him. I can see myself walking through the foyer up the stairs to the fiction section with him. Yes, with Rony! 

Ahh it’s been so long that I have taken his name, even in my thoughts! 

It is silly really. I was in love with him but for him our bond was not love but just something special, a deep rapport. He didn’t want to burden it with the nuances or the tag of a relationship that only culminated to marriage. But that didn’t stop me from loving him and wanting him even more. I guess love does that to you. And here I am, ten years down the line still so much in love with him but never saying it out loud. Avoid! That was my mantra to cope with being away from him. I avoided thinking about him. I forbade myself from even trying to contact him. It wasn’t difficult for once he reached the States for perusing his masters; he just fell off the grid. Except a few snippets from friends here and there, I never heard about him.

As I walk through these doors, I cannot help but miss him terribly. My feet tremble as I walk up the stairs to the Section of Shakespeare’s books. This was my temple back then where I sat reading, writing and even thinking. Rony too loved his books; perhaps that’s why we connected! Shakespeare’s books were like our imaginary fairy god mothers with whom we could talk about anything under the sun!

Ahh! The books still smell the same! Of history and stories divine!

There! The desk where I spent countless hours lost with Lady Macbeth, Juliet and Othello. 

And there is the desk where Rony told me what we had was just a deep bond not love! He left me there heartbroken and never realized it! I could blame him, which I often did but to no avail. I can still smell his cologne so strong is his memory. But I am here to bury these feeling forever. I need to go away from this vortex of nostalgia more so as he is getting married today. And what better way to do this than at the place where we first became friends debating on one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies! 

There! The book Macbeth! The twirling at the edges, yellowish yet crisp pages with my note camouflaged within its covers of my promise ‘I’ll wait forever’. It seems just like yesterday but it wasn’t! So today I remove along with it my attachment to you Rony; symbolic but heartfelt! 

Yes as I stand here, I let go of you Rony! I let go of you!