How does it feel?

“I am hungry; can we order pizza?” you ask. “Yes,” yelled a bunch of others. I quickly place the order, and in 35 minutes, voilà, the pizzas arrive.

“Why are there olives on all the pizzas?” you ask. I give you a “What’s wrong with olives?” look. “I am allergic to it, and you know it well,” you tell in a mildly accusing tone.

I know this, or rather I must know this. One whole year, every weekend, we had pizzas together with olives only on my side of the pizza. You think I deliberately ordered pizza with olives, but honestly I forgot whether you took olives on your pizza or not. I completely forgot, until you brought it up now.

We meet again. “That’s a nice shirt,” your girlfriend tells you. You smile at me, and I wonder why. “How come you bought a shirt in this colour? You are not experimental when it comes to anything, leave alone fashion,” she is persistent. “Oh, she gifted me,” you say as a matter of fact. “Did I?” I wonder. If I had bought you a gift, I would definitely have spent sufficient time in picking the right one. Yet, I have no recollection of it, whatsoever.

I play “our” playlist as I take a shower, and I think hard to remember which was your the favourite song. “It’s been 6-7 months, and people forget what their previous lovers like,” I convince myself. Later, in the evening, we are in your car with our friends. “Hayati Tinariwen” plays. One of the guys try to skip the song for the next. “Dude, that’s her favourite song. Don’t change it,” you tell with mild indignation.

As you drop me home, you get out of the car to hug me & say bye, and I feel just emptiness. The worst, I know that I used to feel surreal and ecstatic when you pulled me into a hug in the past, but now, I cannot even recollect how it used to feel.

“That’s a nice perfume. You should buy this,” I tell my best friend. “This smell is familiar,” he says. “I don’t know; it’s good though, isn’t it?” I ask. “Dude,” he exclaims, “you used to smell of this perfume a lot while you were dating…” he mentions your name. I think for one extra moment. How can I not recall the odour that I slept with and woke up to everyday for almost a year?

You are not in love with me anymore, and we both have moved on. I have seen you around your current girlfriend, and you guys are visibly happy, so am I with the guy I have started seeing. While I couldn’t recollect most things about us, you remember every single freckle on my skin.

When we ended our relationship, you wanted us to be friends, and I said I would like to forget everything about you. “Wish I get some disease like Alzheimer’s or something,” I half-joked.

I was prepared to move away from you, from the city, and start afresh. I wanted to look at our photos and reminisce our times together now and then, irrespective of who I am with, for you were “The One.” But, what I wasn’t prepared was this – being around yet feeling nothing. Having the strength to talk to you normally, yet not being able to remember any personal trivia about you.

All these said, yes I don’t remember how I fell in love with you. However, I, precisely, remember how I fell out of love. It felt like waking up one fine morning after having passed out during a rave party. No recollection whatsoever of how it all went.

And, here I am wondering what if feeling human with all the memories about you intact would have been better than this emptiness. Since you seem to remember everything about me, you tell me, “How does it feel?”

As of me, I feel empty, but at least, it’s not hurting, and at the end of the day, we all merely want to take care of ourselves.

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