I know nobody writes letters anymore. There are no post boxes I can see anywhere here. Actually, I can see pretty much nothing anywhere here. ‘Here’ is in the middle of nowhere. I know you will laugh at me for being over-dramatic, and blame it on my love for exaggeration. But seriously, I am thousands of kilometers away from home here. ‘Here’ is a small Himalayan town I am sure you wouldn’t even know exists. Hell, I didn’t know this existed until I landed here four hours ago.
This is a literal one-horse town. Total population 300. Maybe. I am not sure. I have only come across about 10 people, one horse, and about a dozen stray dogs so far. Maybe they are it. Maybe the 300 is an imaginary number, the kind that one cooks up for comfort and the illusion of security. We will see.
Anyway, it is strange writing this letter. I think I will email this. I wonder if you still use that old email. The one we used to chat over for hours. Maybe you changed it. And why not? Everything else has changed too.
Maybe I will take a print of this letter and throw it in the river that flows behind my cottage in the woods. Yeah, I am living in a cottage. Right in the middle of the woods. It is kind of perfect. I can smell the forest outside my window. The gurgle of the river is a soothing murmur, like that ambient background score that just lifts a scene in the movie.
But it is cold. Freezing. They keep telling me it will get colder.
I know a thing or two about the cold. It is the thing that keeps creeping into my heart, extending its tendrils like claws that squeeze my heartbeat like a murmur of your name. I wonder if someday the tendrils will finally find the hold they are looking for, and swallow my heart whole. Maybe it would be a blessed relief. And finally, give me the moment of peace I came chasing here in the mountains.
I know if you read this, you’d be laughing at me and my melodrama. You’d remind me that I am not a yesteryear actress trapped in a tragedy on the silver screen. Nor am I a heroine from one of those cheesy novels that I openly love and you secretly hate.
Maybe you have started to love them too. Maybe you went looking for my traces on those pages and found your own. Maybe you found the romance that I kept chasing and you kept running from.
You called last night. We talked. Or something like that. It’s all a blur to me. I don’t remember our conversation. I remember staring at the sky full of stars. And the sound of your voice. And the fleeting sense that maybe you miss me too.
I miss you. But I didn’t tell you that.
You’d blame it on my ego. For being more of a man than any man you have ever known. And like always, in my own skewed way, I’d take it as a compliment.
But I am not a man. I am a woman.
And this is not about my masculine ego. Not just because it is generally deplorable and the feminist in me (and you) rages at the very idea.
It is because this is simply about me. And you. And the space that resides between us like a friend who occasionally likes to stab us in the back.
The space I can neither fold nor carry. Neither shift nor transcend. Neither hold nor lose.
I don’t know what the ending of our story is. But I do hope there is an ending. Because there is nothing worse than a story hanging in the air without a denouement. Is it not?
Anyway, there is a bright blue bird outside my window. It’s a Kingfisher I think. I will have to check. But it is beautiful.
The clouds are gathering outside. Maybe it will rain today. Maybe it will snow.
I hope it snows. You know how much I love a quiet snowfall, don’t you?
I will write to you again. Maybe. Or not? It’s pretty much a guessing game now. Like the one where I wonder if I will ever see your name on my caller screen again.
I always bet against you. A force of habit. And I always lose. The hope in my heart flutters but never takes root.
I hope one day it does.
Until then, in search of our ending…
Yours, Maybe, Always