April 1st, 2015, 7pm

I stared at my phone screen blankly. My fingers unable to compose a set of letters that would be appropriate enough to be sent.

12:37 am - the screen constantly reminded me of the time as I flipped back and forth through our messages. Our random, pointless and priceless messages. I could see “online” written beneath the contact name, alas, I did not have the courage to act upon my instinct and send even a harmless “Hi.” How would a “Hi” suffice the storm that has raged on within me for as long as we haven’t talked? How can two letters portray the loss I have felt due to the distance between us?And it’s at this point that I realise, that “Hi” is all I’m permitted to say. That the stones in our memory lane have created barriers - impossible walls - spheres of connection that we cannot cross. Lines we must not step on, or else —-or else?

‘Or else what?’ I question myself. Simultaneously doubting my sanity as I probe to find the answer to my own question. Or else—-or else- the truth will come out. There you go! But wait, truth isn’t a bad thing, is it? Truth allows us to open up, to be free, the truth is like a mop which sweeps away the dirt from our lives. The truth enlightens, it exposes - ay, there’s the rub. The truth exposes.

The truth exposes fragile bits of me that are prone to damage. The truth, yes it proves me noble and kind in some cases, and yet, harsh and vulnerable in others. Speaking the truth is like lying naked in front of a crowd. No doubt, there is some beauty in me, but believe me; I’m filled with scars. Scars which if not gently approached will hurt and make me bleed. And thus, I build walls. We all build walls. We limit the view of our spectators. So that even if we lie naked, the walls allow others to see only what we want them to see. No more and no less. These opaque panes of glass that exist between you and I, reflect us unfaithfully, leaving behind a virtual image of us for others to see. It’s similar to wearing a mask. The only difference is that no one else realises that you’re wearing one. You think you know someone - and all of a sudden, for just a fraction of a second they remove their mask, and you realise that you don’t. That you probably never did. And as if it were involuntary, you bring your hand closer - towards your face, to see if what you touch is skin or invisible glass. Your fingertips embrace your cheek and —- and?

I feel glass. It’s a thin, almost a negligible layer - but it’s there. There is a certain wall I have built, not without reason of course, but can reason justify lies? Really?

I get flustered. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to wear masks. I want to feel open and free. I want to speak the truth. So after a very long time (for I do not remember the last time I typed in a message without proper thought), I follow my instinct and let my fingers tap away at the screen -

“Hi I really miss you and I think about you all the time. I’m in love with you but I don’t like the way you hurt me and leave me broken. I wish we could work.”

I stare at my phone screen blankly. I read it five times over for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. The ‘Send’ button is glowing like never before in the dark night as I struggle to press it. My heart is beating like crazy and my mind is racing. How do I choose between my head and heart?

5 minutes pass. My heart is beating to the word ‘Send, Send, Send,…’


I delete the message, switch my phone off and put it away.

Maybe masks aren’t that bad after all; I begin to justify my actions. Wondering nevertheless, if I will ever break these walls of mine.

“Don’t” Say my head and heart in chorus. Together, but for two very contradictory things.


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Ishita Doval

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