The letter is addressed to my friend. All the names mentioned in the letter are fictitious.
I went too deep into the thin possibility of us being ever together. I didn’t know that destiny would have different things in store for us. I always wondered about what you ever thought of me. And I always imagined – reasonably, perhaps – that there was something in you that I failed to comprehend.
I understand, my dearest, that you could have compulsions in not revealing things to me. I hold nothing against it. And here I fail myself. Deep down, I am crying out loud. I am shrieking to the almighty. I hold it against everybody and everything: time, space, this universe.
Always take care of yourself. Come high or hell water, always put on a smiling face. May Allah Ta’ala keep you happy, irrespective of circumstances! May the almighty fulfil your every legitimate wish! May you reach the skies and traverse the uncharted paths this world entails! With a burdened and bruised heart, I pray to the almighty to bestow you with the human being you deserve.
Jaana, it was our first first-semester class in the Department of History. As Rashid Sa’ab asked us to introduce ourselves, I saw you speaking in a low, soul-touching voice, ‘My name is Rukaya.’ Your voice clicked something deep down in me that my heart always failed to understand. And I lost myself here. I turned mind-sick about it thereon, bent requesting you to pay attention to my screed via Afreeena, Laifa, and Sona.
You are aware, Jaana, that I urged Afreena to ask that you become my best friend – the one with whom I could share everything, with whom who could soothe my tiring nerves, with whom I could move forward with passion and enthusiasm. I still recall what Afreena told me after the first day of telling you about me: ‘She turned nervous and enquired about me.’ Listening to it and becoming happy inside, this hapless human, Jaana, thought about the possibility of us becoming friends. However, months passed between my constantly asking her about you and her answering it with a painful ‘she’s reserved.’
It was as if land slid below my feet when I heard her advising me, ‘I must let go of her.’ I didn’t know – and don’t know – why I turned this weak.
My first semester became a memory filled with dreadful obsessions about you and constant nervousness about everything. As I say everything, Jaana, I don’t know what that word encompasses. I don’t know what I was even nervous about. I knew nothing, yet I felt everything deep in my bones.
In the second semester, I contacted you, offering you books. Jaana, I was finding ways to get close to you. Here again, I failed myself miserably. I recall our conversation for a couple of days on social media. I vented my bruised inner being out to you. And the next day, Laifa shot me to paralysis, informing me that she might tie the knot with her cousin. Here, I lost myself to such an extent that I turned frustrated. As I say frustrated, I mean death-like, squeezing vibes.
Still, I courageously pinned hopes on some magical thread that could unite us. I was as hopeful as that person who lost his people in some bloody war and is hoping to revive them.
With a heavy heart, I hit you up on social media and requested you to ‘mention’ that your marriage was a made-up and nothing else. Here, I ravaged myself with my understanding of it. ‘I thought sharing my story with you caused you to fabricate the story.’ And I convinced myself this to be the case. I didn’t – and don’t – know if this was true. But, this weakened me beyond explanation. I was vulnerable. I can’t put the painful feelings into words here. It damaged me. It wreaked havoc on me.
Wallowing in my assumptions and presumptions, I thought so many things that couldn’t have been true possibly. And I became cynical.
You remember, Jaana, that I used certain hurtful words to you in the second semester. I sincerely apologize for that. I was helpless, but. I was in the dark, and there was no light anywhere. The light that could have shone on my doubts, clearing them, lay in your hands. I never told you this, though. It would have been weird to confide this to the person who mattered to me on the deepest levels. I lived in a world that revolved around you speaking to me on social media and ignoring me. And I suffered.
Frustrated, I still pinned my hopes on something that never existed. Jaana, do you remember I saw you speaking to Obaid outside the classroom after you refused to talk with this poor and depressed person named Faizaan? It confirmed my reservations I had about you. Again, here, I was mistaken. Some dark energy was emanating from me and making me think such things. Helplessness tore me apart inside out.
Jaana, I dashed off a missive to you on the Greater Kashmir out of sheer frustration. On the one hand, I was a nothing trying to think of something, and on the other, the imagined something made me a stark nothing – and out of it, emerged in me an I-am-not-worth-it-because-I-am-already-unlucky kind of soul-hurting feelings. It hurt. And it crushed me doubly. Again, I didn’t – and don’t – know the reality.
Months passed, and I kept trying to cultivate a connection with you. Jaana, you could have possibly thought why I acted like a typical spoilt brat and burst Laifa’s ears with what immensely troubled me. Is it? ….I always feared losing you.
Sometimes, your words came as arrows, piercing me beyond scale. Minding it for a few days, I always strove to find ways to unite with you.
Jaana, did I tell you I saw you in dreams many times? I kept immersing myself in your thoughts even when my father was bedridden in the hospital. Did I tell you I suffered from sleep attacks? As I slept and woke up, my heart was bursting. Restlessness and anxiety have crippled me. They have ravaged me badly. You are everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
Deep down, I am sobbing. And I hold you dear to my heart!
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