Teatime with My Demons

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I sit here taking the last few sips that are left of my tea, wondering whether stagnancy in life should be embraced or treated as a red sign that needs to be acted upon. The bottom of my mug leaves a brown ring on the tablecloth as I place it down. 

Why do stains like staying back until they’re forced to leave, I wonder.

Pleasant memories from not very long ago flood the moment, making it unable to pass swiftly. They stay there, the memories, all of them happy and warm yet making me feel utterly cold on the inside. I can’t blame them for my misery though; they are here because I summoned them.

They flow from the spaces between the doors that I’d left half-open on purpose. Masochism feels like a warm blanket on a cold night when it comes to recalling the time I spent with you.

We had a great time together, didn’t we? It was all good while it lasted. But then you left. Like a nomad making his home in a village this second and then abandoning it for another in the next. Zero regrets, zero loose ends. I wish I’d signed up for the course where they gave lessons on detaching seamlessly.

The bitter taste of your absence hasn’t left my mouth ever since.

I roll it on my tongue and even savour it shamelessly every once in a while. What I learned then was that absence is the heaviest thing to carry.

Do you know what happened to me after you were gone? Did you care to find out? Oh, never mind. I’m still the same—in the same place, fixed in the same spot just like the hands of a dysfunctional clock. Broken things don’t move, no? 

I’d go about my day as if nothing had happened.

“Hey, what’s up?”, they’d ask.

“Same old, same old”, I’d say. 

What else do you tell people who can’t think of a better question to ask you when they see you? I never wanted them to know actually. I don’t want others to have the pleasure of thinking, “Thank God, it’s not happening to me!”.

Oh wow, these memories are stubborn and how! Come on, leave now! I’ve replayed all of you in my head; you’ve outlived your time. 

But they stay. They stare at me with a smirk on their faces. I hold them by their collar and pull them closer so that I suffer a little more. 

I don’t cry, no, won’t shed another tear for the one that willingly chose to leave. I stop every sigh of despair that tries to escape my mouth. I want these memories to know that they cannot do shit to me, even though I’m going down like a pack of dominos on the inside. So I stay quiet.

Quiet things are harder to break. 

I simply stare at those memories in the eye. I wear a smile while I do that because I want to let them know that I’m tough. They hear what I have to say.

After getting tired of provoking my demons, they give up and finally leave me alone. 

Me = 1; memories = 0!

I now understand that not getting what you want can at times be a blessing in disguise. I smile, this time without any pretense. 

I take the last sip of my tea which is utterly cold by now but is also the sweetest. At least this particular ending was sweet!