The Ones That Got Away

Who says things always have to go out with a bang,ablaze with the rich ammunition of drama? Sometimes the saddest endings are the damp squibs in the packet-the ones that hold explosive promise but fizzle out as unconvincingly as possible.

The daily rambling calls which peter into once in a month, and then obligatory annual non conversations. The inevitable mask that you show strangers wrapping your face in its familiar, sticky tentacles again. The shallow excuses that echo pathetically at first,but which you eventually stop feeling bad about. The moment you realise you have piled on tissue upon tissue of barriers to form a membrane impenetrable to disinterested chit chat.

The friends whose pictures you look at with a pinch and a shrug-you wonder why you filtered each other out of your lives but you don’t care enough to do more than just wonder. People you naïvely tried to “stay in touch” with until your invariably separate lives diverged far beyond repair,and you learnt to stop forcing it. The old best friend you aren’t sure would even recognise you on the street.

Little strangers in our phone book. Little strangers we never intended to make. Strangers who drooped and fell out of our lives like shrivelled leaves in a bleak winter. People who walked away,or just didn’t walk fast enough to keep up with our lives. People who embody the “well,it was good when it lasted ” train of thought.

Little strangers we let go,happy for the times they weren’t. Little strangers we let go, happy for the ones who actually stayed.

-Nayantara.

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