To Mark

Reply to To Yvonne written earlier on October 17, 1962.

December 13, 1962
I was dazed and nauseated after reading your letter this past October. I was staggered by your temerity to send me an epistle about your forlorn life and how you wish to get me back and how somehow you think that I can make your existence better. I wanted to write back right then, but I took my time to read it, assimilate it and plan a good, final communication. I’ve written you so many replies throughout these years, but I assure you that this one is the last. Even though I thought I would never be writing this in my life, but we are done Mark. You could think that this is an impulsive decision (since once upon a time both of us mutually thought that “we” were inextinguishable), but I have thought this through comprehensively. Remember you once told me life is a series of out-takes with so many blunders and funny stories, but what matters is that we accept those mistakes and move on and put on a good show in the end. I’ve been dutiful and I heeded your words. I’ve accepted that “we” were a mistake, and moving on is what is best for me.
Out of all the numerous ones I’ve had, there is still one feeling I have left for you, and that is: gratitude. I want to thank you for so many years: these years of fondness and intimacy, years of being alone and lackadaisical, years of mourning. Thank you for giving me a life in which there are hardships, the one where I am not cosseted because I learnt for the first time that it is dark and sinister out there. Ten years back when you shunned me off your life, I understood what it is like to be helpless: a feeling of being stranded on an island, or jettisoned off a plane. Thank you for teaching me however you did, that there is a higher power looking out for me, because when after you left I sat there crying that night on the sidewalk, an old woman saw me shivering and took me home. She cared for me because somehow I mattered to her, but not to you. Thank you for giving me that hope that there are good people in the world and that even when you don’t find someone, you will find someone. Knowing the fact that I had no family to fall back to, you walked away from my life like I never existed. After years of dawdling around in the streets, impetrating my livelihood from erratic strangers, doing a series of unrelated menial jobs and eventually contemplating suicide, I had lost hope. You were right, you were toxic.

Mark, I don’t have any more tears left to cry. But these ten years, I’ve felt it in the pit of my stomach: the grief! I was in pain, like I had never ever felt before. I wanted it to stop. I thought maybe crying, and sobbing like a baby for hours will lessen the pain but it didn’t. I’m amazed at your effrontery to even think that we can have what we had yet again. When I read that you miss our times, our small things: those escapades, those mornings and those long walks, I felt sorry for you. Our mornings of those times and my mornings have been so dissimilar. My nights became scarred with an unceasing hysterical fear. Sometimes I just was left gasping for breath. I had dreams of you choking me to death, or sometimes pushing me off a precipice. Those moments felt like infinity. Adrift in the panic, when I woke up, the arms of my husband assured me that I was safe. My children have given me hope, an aspiration and a reason to daydream. When everything flashes before my eyes and all the past moments come rushing back, I know that I am a victorious person. I have annihilated my fragility, defeated my weaknesses. I have defeated you.

There is nothing left now. Your “fairy tale” life ended a very long time back. I fought with myself for a very long time to keep the thought of “us” alive. I had a hope that someday my love for you would heal us. I waited for a miracle to happen. I fought with God, refusing to believe that my tears are being thrown around like confetti by someone who I held so dear. Everything now seems so humbug. But it doesn’t matter anymore and I am glad we are done.
The sun has set.

I wish you happiness.
And for what it’s worth, I will remember you every year on St. Patrick’s Day.



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