Illustration by Adrija Ghosh

I don’t know how to say goodbye, I guess? I know I meant it when I told you that I’d go back to never thinking of you, and I swear, I meant it. I went back home that day and deleted every message, every image, every scent which reminded me of you. Every song I loved, every photograph, every quote. Poof. Gone.
I woke up every morning and thanked the sunrise for giving me strength to rise after collapsing. I tried to be grateful for everything I had and I didn’t think of you as a blessing anymore.
I knew I had said goodbye and it was a promise to myself I had to keep.
I didn’t skip meals or over dose on ice cream and listen to Ed Sheeran when the night got too cold. I did everything as effortlessly as I could.
I remember when you told me you’d decided how you wanted our paths to be, and I decided to walk along the crossroad. At some meeting point, I stopped hoping to run into you.
Everything was going fine. My friends spoke to me about their life issues because, well, I didn’t have any.
Effortless. Smile. Smile. Oh, I heard your name in a conversation. Calm. It’s alright.
I was going fine, I can’t lie. I didn’t see your reflection when I looked at myself in the mirror. Your stories were the past and that’s the shadow that disappears when things get too dark. I knew you’d disappear.
I know we’d said goodbye. And I said goodbye to all of you. Your smile, your hands and your fingertips.
I was finally recovering from the aftershocks of an epidemic that shook my soul. You’d left me in ruins, but I? I am a phoenix.
I was a phoenix.
I knew we’d said goodbye.

But now, you’re trying to say hello.
Why do you do this? Why do you want to co-exist in my life and yet be gone?
I know I’d said goodbye. I know you had, too. But now that I’m treading on the ruins of this, you said you want something new.
“Hey, how are you?”
I honestly wish you’d let me be, because speaking to you is something I’ve tried hard to forget. Now I don’t know what to say you anymore, because I’m tired of previous episodes.
I know we’d say goodbye. We’d said it with such confidence.
Now I don’t know how to start with hellos.

— on rekindling old sparks // on “let’s go back to being friends”, Nehal Sethia

artwork by Adrija Ghosh.



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