When I first had the idea to write letters for the people I love as a birthday project, it was almost intuitive that you topped the list. I know I always scorned the cheesy dialogues in movies, and tease the people who have no restraints on their outpouring of affections. But in this old-fashioned method of communication, it somehow feels apt, don’t you think?
Someone asked me recently if it is possible to love more than one person at the same time. I said yes. I believe love is not finite; it just takes a different form towards different people – family, friends, first love, for-the-rest-of-your-life love. But here is the thing, you are a little bit of all of that. The thought of this is overwhelmingly scary. Humans have a fight or flight response when faced with fear. Perhaps this is why I am always oscillating between holding back my affections in preparation for the crash and burn (flight), and asking crazy questions that feels as if I am trying to antagonise you into admitting that you want out from this relationship (fight).
I know I love you. I know what I love about you – the way you are so incredibly kind, finding room even for strangers in your prayers; the way you give you all in work that you have committed to; the way you laugh and smile, and dance and sing to nonsensical made-up songs. As I turn 23 however, I am also more rational than a hormone-driven teenager. I know we are imperfect beings, together in an imperfect relationship.
In an ideal world, you would know THE one when you see him or her. I am not sure if I have ever read you one of my favourite short stories by Murakami: On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning. In it, the protaginist walks by the girl who should have been the perfect girl for him. Yet he does not stop. Because how was he to know? How was he to know for sure, that this nondescript looking, messy- haired, all-around average person of a girl was his 100%? As Dev so aptly sums it up, “No doubts, no fears, nothing? Come on”. How do I know if you are my 100%? But damn, am I going to let that uncertainty cloud the amazing moments we share.
Sure, we don’t get to take vacations. We barely have 50 photos of us in all. We spend more time apart than together in a year, and even phone calls are a rarity for us. But what we have is afternoons spent on the couch, legs entangled, eyes not on each other but basking in the warmth from each other’s body nonetheless. We have moments in the kitchen, stealing bites of the food that we cook together (mostly me ahem), laughing at our lack of domesticity. We have long walks to nowhere, sweaty hands clasped tight, you laughing at my non-existent sense of direction even as I defend myself in futility. We have good morning and good night texts; ’are you okay’ and ‘how’s your day’ texts; interspersed with silly gifs and stickers that have me sniggering at my phone during the most inappropriate moments. We have kisses and hugs that neither of us wants to pull away from, even if that means we are perpetually late to our meetings. But most of all, we, or at least I, have the comfort of knowing that no matter what happens, I can thank my lucky stars for letting me meet someone so 100% worth any future heartaches.
So there you go, my honest feelings. I am terrified. I am so terrified that it keeps me up at night sometimes. But I am also incredibly excited that you are travelling through this madness of a world together with me. Thank you for being here for near a quarter of my life, my lover boy.