I believe that you really get to understand a person when you get to know three things about them, their dreams, a happy memory and an incident that broke them. It took me six months to first even remotely see Kaya break character from the usual chirpy, cheerful person she is and actually open up. As much as it broke me, it also gave the tiniest and guiltiest of secret pleasures in knowing that she was as human as I was and behind the unwavering optimism and the facade of happiness from the permanent smile etched on her face, there was a broken human who had known pain.
It was the same day at a later hour that I for the first time saw all the scars on her arm. She told me about them and how each time she’s never been able to stop with one.
It wouldn’t hurt so I couldn’t stop until it did. I know it’s cowardly but it was the only thing that could distract me from what was happening inside my head. I know it makes no sense and I wish I could explain it but I.. I
Her voice choked. Suddenly I hated myself for having rejoiced about the fact that she was broken too. How could I have possibly been so selfish, so sick? How could I have had such a horrible thought. I knew I’d let her unload some of the baggage she had so effortlessly concealed and now she was vulnerable. I was determined to show her I was there for her and I would help her heal, show her that she could rely on me and trust me. God, in that moment I knew I loved her. I loved her for how strong she was for always having put on a brave, happy face. I loved her for how she had always been there for me when I needed her. And I loved her for letting me be by her side and opening up to me, And I couldn’t help but wonder, how had I possibly not noticed the scars in these first six months and how hurt one must feel for the only escape to be slicing one’s flesh. I didn’t know how to react then, I was distraught and angry. Angry at her for having done that to herself and at the world for not having helped her in her distress. Forty-two times a blade had pierced her skin and the world around had remained blissfully oblivious. My heart broke a little that day. I held her close to me, as close as I possibly could, whispered to her that I loved her and kissed her tear-stricken eyes.
I held her like that in my warmth all night and I drifted off to sleep at some point past 2 am. I wake up to a kiss, her heart-warming smile and a mug of hot coffee.
There’s something I need to tell you, her voice was shaky.
I keep my coffee aside, on the bedside table. What is it, love?
I wanted to say it last night but I couldn’t. But it’s a beautiful morning and I’ve never been surer of what I’m about to say than in this moment. I love you, Armaan. I’ve wanted what we have for the longest time and I finally have it. This morning I woke up in your arms and all I could do was smile. I’ve dreamt of days when I’d wake up in the arms of the man I love with beautiful sunshine pouring through the windows and knowing life is good and I’m going to be alright. And that’s what I felt today. I’m so glad we talked about all that we did yesterday because my heart feels lighter, like a weight I’d been carrying has been lifted off. But honestly, you had me at ‘could I buy you a coffee’ and that drop dead gorgeous smile of yours but ah! my god I’ve fallen for you so hard. There’s so much I need to express. I feel like I’m definitely blabbering but oh my, why is this so hard. I LOVE you, mister. I think of you and I smile. And I think of you all the time. And you bring such joy to my heart! You’re so thoughtful, Armaan. And the surprise flowers are so cute. I’m honestly so lucky to have found you, thank god for that spilled coffee oh my..
I shut her up with a kiss. I hold her face and look deep into her eyes. I can feel the goofiest of smiles break out on my face and I say, I love you, Kaya.
Tears well up instantly in her eyes and her cheeks turn crimson. She holds a finger up and says, happy tears. Worry not. They’re just happy tears.
I pull her in, close to me, hold her tight. I’m content here, with my beautiful, beautiful girlfriend happy in my arms. I’m grateful for this moment and how perfect it is. I think I’ll take the day off, spend the day with her and make a few new memories. Today I’ll celebrate us.