The Meaning of Life.
I’ve always thought I should start the story at the beginning, but the thing is, I’m not sure when it started. Intuitively, I think of the first day I laid eyes on her, but then I think of every new day after that, when I saw her with fresh eyes again. I think of the last day I could hold her in the safety and comfort of my gaze, when I could prove to myself that yes, she was real- I was real.
I think of the years that passed after that and the years that came before. They seem strange and detached, like they belong to somebody else, somebody I’m watching vaguely from across the street.
It’s not true that my life held no meaning after her. It’s just sad that life still went on. When I took those first steps towards moving on someone inside me stood stock still. I turned my head back to see what was the matter, and I saw my own body step outside of me, staring directly into my eyes with a look I never knew that I could make.
My first thought was that I had died. On second inspection only a part of me had died. The part that I considered, for all intents and purposes, to be me, the part I had lived with thus far. The part that loved her so much that it would cut itself off from the rest of its body to be with her in the abyss that was eternity.
I remember the day it dawned on me that I was in love with her. It was a little surprising, considering that up until that moment, she had been my sworn enemy. It was unexpected, because she was a girl, like me. It was delirious, because it was a dream. It was real, because I felt it then, and I feel it infinitely more now, and with every hue that time fades by, the colours of my soul become a darker shade of brown, stealing all the gold from every leaf in autumn, plucking off every pink petal in spring and collecting all the rain that comes year-round into a well that I will never let anyone take water from.
Yes, I loved her like that. Like any normal person, I wanted to be with her and I would have been ecstatic had she felt the slightest thing in return. But here’s where I make trouble for myself- I never hesitated for a moment before promising her everything the heavens had to offer, and now I am in debt, life debt, death debt, even the gods are in debt. And, so foolish of me, I never once thought to ask for anything in return, because, I didn’t need anything else, so fortifying was loving her.
Now I think, I was so young and so naïve, to sign my life away in a few bold strokes of a pen. I had no experience in the field. I had no words of advice. I wish I could regret it but I can’t. All this pain, this excruciating pain, is what makes me alive. I think the meaning of life is to hurt, beyond comprehension, beyond endurance, because only then are you living to the full; only then are you living at all.
by Zarmala Naeem