Dear S.B.

This was meant to be a handwritten letter. But then it began to run into too many pages. It is also meant to be a personal note, but I thought, there’s nothing like a public declaration of love. So here goes, to the one who said, “I’m yours forever”.

I don’t remember what our first hello was like. I don’t remember what my first impression of you was. In fact, I don’t seem to remember much of anything of that first month after we met. Except that you were this little power packed bubble of unrelenting energy. Ever since you walked into my life, you have had me in a constant state of activity. In fact, even before we met, you had me running around. And when we did meet, you talked endlessly, you threw tantrums, and me and AR would sit shaking our heads at you, mouthing, “She’s something!”.

I think of our story as really starting in London. That’s what you’d say too, wouldn’t you? I remember you opened the door of the apartment when I arrived, tried to place me for a moment, and the first thing you said was, “You got here early.” I was so excited to be in that city, I didn’t care that you were still rubbing the sleep off your eyes. I felt like a little four-year-old that day, giddy with excitement, being introduced to something spectacular, by you. Do you know, when I went to London again last year, the first place I dined at, was the same one you took me to on that first day? That’s how memorable you made the day for me.

Those 15 days have been very instrumental in transforming me. More because of you than any other reason. Remember that bottle of wine (or was it two?) that got us staying an hour past our self-imposed deadline, at Carluccio’s? You said, “I have something to tell you…” I let you speak. I don’t know what you expected my reaction to be. Did you think my mouth would make an “O”? Did you think my eyebrows would disappear in my hairline? Or did you think I’d just smile and extend my hand towards yours? Whatever you thought I’d do I bet you didn’t think I’d say, “I know.”

That was it. Right there. I knew. You knew I knew before you told me. After that the 900-page book that was supposed to give me company at bedtime was abandoned in favour of stories of the skeletons in your closet. And my closet. That apartment turned into a haven, and I think you and I could have continued living the rest of our days there together. At Hazev, for your baklava, or a Sunday escape to Bath or perhaps evenings spent at some Jazz Club. That could have been our lives (in fact, should be our lives).

I remember how focused you were on your tasks all through that fortnight; you wouldn’t succumb to any pressure I imposed on you to go out and frolic for no good reason. I’d be sitting on that cold, wet deck outside, being chilled to the bone, admiring the view on a Saturday, while you worked furiously for a Monday presentation. You’d still step outside to check on me to see if I wanted some coffee. That’s when I loved you.

That’s how the series of our fortunate events began. We hustled, and oh baby, could we hustle! You taught me to be sleepless, to keep going non-stop, to deliver something that was grand in quality within impossible timelines. People saw us work together so well that we became synonymous. Don’t know about you, but I feel proud of all the nicknames we’ve earned together – Mafia Gang, Formidable Female Fighting Force, Siamese Twins. I didn’t care for detractors who said I was becoming your shadow. It was a tremendous compliment to me. If any bit of me could be any bit of you, I would instantly take it up. That’s how much I respect you. That’s how much I admire you.

I will not forget the time when we were in that “other place”, away from home, and I had an awful cold, which soon spiralled into the sort of respiratory infection, which I faint from. I thought I was dying (okay, dramatic, I know), and you took care of me. You squeezed yourself on less than half a bed giving me as much space as I wanted to take, checked on me in the middle of the night and on a phone call that came early in the morning, you whispered in the softest voice you could manage, “She’s sleeping. I can’t talk to you. I’ll disturb her.” That’s when I loved you.

Another night, another time, same place, we kept working for 18 hours non-stop. I bet people thought we were maniacs. Or had no social life. Or had no life. We thought nothing of food or sleep. I don’t know how we pulled off such stunts. I was so proud of us. But so much more of you. Because I wanted to call it quits at midnight. You kept us going until six in the morning!

I will not forget the umpteen number of times when I wanted to shut up and let matters slide, but you stood up for me and fought hard, for me, even though there was nothing in it for you. You were vested in my success. I will not forget the number of times you let me share your room, because the AC in mine wasn’t working or the hotel didn’t have any rooms left. You gave up your privacy so that I could be comfortable. You didn’t just care for me, you took care of me. That’s when I loved you.

I will not forget all the nonsensical banter we come up with in all the in-between hours. Like the theory that I wake up between 3 and 5 each night which indicates grief and sadness. “Why are you sad?”, you asked me. We figured you wake up between 1 and 3 which meant you were the aggressive, angry sort. “Why are you angry?”, I retorted. By the way, if it helps you cement this theory any further, I am writing this at 3.45 a.m.

I speak to you with such abandon, because not for one second do you judge me. It amuses me, truly, that I can spend all day with you, get back home, still talk to you on the phone for hours, get off, and still keep texting you, till I actually fall asleep. And we don’t get bored. Or repetitive. How come?

Fifteen months we have survived each other. Five days a week, eight hours a day (and more if you include the phone calls/texts). So much drama has happened in all the time. We’ve discovered things about each other, and about ourselves. How much we balance each other out. How much we have begun taking up the best of the other. How you’ve sobered down. How I’m becoming fiesty.

Some things will never be the same without you. Starbucks will feel like one less cappuccino on the table. A glass of wine will miss the clink of another red against it. You and I won’t turn up dressed in exactly the same outfit and go “Oh no!”.

I know this is just a pause, a semi-colon to indicate the end of one part of our story. There are still too many dreams, desires, destinations and I don’t want to imagine them without you. I’m always in where you are. Or to borrow from one of my favourite movie artists, “You jump, I jump”.

I love you.

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