The fourth time

When the fourth boy broke my heart (and boy, mind you, no good man breaks hearts or so I’ve heard), I sat to write this down. Now it has been edited and re-edited for the sake of the reader’s probable disliking for my free verse. But when it broke, when the wound was new it was bleeding and beating, bleeding and beating, I would (if I could) have carved it out with a knife to end the pain! But this was the fourth time and experience helps and I knew I would recover, monsoons never stay forever.

But when the heart broke this time (and remember it has already gone through wear and tear and repair thrice), I could feel my ribs closing in on the poor boneless ticker, and I couldn’t breathe. It hurt so much, I couldn’t breathe. I cried so much, I couldn’t breathe. My face drowned in hot salty tears and I wanted to be at sea – clawing at the blue hot salty waters, assured of drowning, assured of peace.

We love so many times, but every time we love, it’s as if the first time. The butterflies don’t fail to flutter, the heart religiously beats faster, the skin shivers like an obedient dog at the warmth of new found love. And when the heart breaks, the butterflies die a painful death, the heart is punished for it is apparently the one to be blamed. The skin burns, feels violated and if it wasn’t for the fear of the pain and delicacy of the newborn skin weeks later, the kitchen knife would have been put to good use to peel off the almond smooth extent of shivering treacherous hairless leather.

I have kind friends who said he never looked that great. Oh, but it wasn’t the large drooping eyes or the fine jaw bones or the absence of anything else notable that I fell for. And I didn’t cry for him for this was the fourth time and it is norm to cry for the dead, not the slayer. I cried for the wasted time, the murdered butterflies, the sleepless nights. I cried because it would take some time to return the smile in my eyes and humour in my tongue. I cried because if I didn’t, I would die.

When the tear glands refused to cooperate, I grew desperate. Do I chop off the hair he loved so much? Do I sleep with a stranger? Do I tell the world of how he turned out to be like the first three? Do I arrange a quiet funeral for the part of me that died today? Do I dope and dope till my memory gives up hope? Do I go for a run and run and run like good old Gump? Or do I sit, and read about lovelier things in life and write this and tell myself, breathe?

Now, because this was the fourth time and a fourth boy, I knew better than “My life is over.” So, I took a deep breath and smoked a pack of cigarettes. And I forgave him like I had forgiven the three before him. And I patted the bruised blamed heart quivering behind my firm breasts and said, “It’s okay, thank goodness you don’t have a brain, you will soon forget how to feel the pain. You will learn to love again.”

Love (from a fellow broken),

The girl who travels in bows

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