You have to know that, under normal circumstances, I would never do this. If you were in love with Simran, and she was in love with you, and both of you were happy together, I would never send you this letter. In fact, I have written to you several times over this past year, and kept the letters hidden in a folder on my computer, never to be discovered. I could never bring myself to send you those. They were obsessive and repetitive, circular – like my thoughts. They helped me though. Sometimes, when I feel unsettled and I don’t know what’s causing that feeling, I write. I write whatever’s going on, whatever I feel, and I speculate. I call it writing therapy. Because when I go back to the page and read what I’d written, it helps clear things in my head. I wrote to you every once in a while. These letters, I never sent you, but they were like a friend… a safe place where I could share things.
I found out last week that Simran and you broke up. I don’t want to assume that I was part of the reason why, but I have to believe that I played some minor role in this happening. I feel terrible about this. I hope you two didn’t end on terrible terms, or get hurt. But knowing how love works, that’s probably too much to hope for. You don’t have to tell me what happened with Simran. We don’t have to talk about her and your relationship at all. That is not the reason I’m writing to you.
The reason I’m writing to you… is because, Abhay, I’m in love with you. I have loved you for as long as I’ve known you, and in this past year, no matter how many times I have tried to deny that, even to myself, I have failed.
I can’t stop thinking about you. Leaving you, making that decision… was hard. But it wasn’t the hardest thing I’ve had to do. That would be… staying away from you. When every fibre in my body revolted against it, unwilling to accept a life without you, I still kept telling myself that it was okay, I was okay. But I wasn’t. I’m not okay. Wasn’t it supposed to get easier and easier every day? To be away from you, and stay away from you? I was supposed to get used to it. Continue living, as if a part of me wasn’t missing. I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it, Abhay. Please don’t make me live without you, because that life sucks. I don’t want it.
Is it too late? Do we still have a chance? For months, I told myself that this was the right decision, and slowly, we’ll reverse the damage, life would be normal again.
I thought that if I set a path for myself, consciously wrote down my steps and followed them through, my head could guide me, one day at a time, till enough time passed, and I could begin to let my heart make decisions for me again. Turns out, it doesn’t work like that. My entire being revolted against this decision my head made. Leaving you that day, and then staying away from you every day… every single day away from you has been miserable. A special kind of hell I’ve built for myself.
These letters I’ve been writing to you every month, they’re full of thought spirals that are often obsessive and do not make any sense. But somehow they keep me grounded. It feels as though through these words, I’ve been tracking my progress since the break-up. Most of it probably doesn’t make sense, but I’d hoped that it would eventually get to a point where my words would start making more and more sense… as I approach sanity.
Life still feels pretty insane. I’m discarding my plan for life. My brain doesn’t get to make decisions for me anymore. The more I try to be in control, the more control I lose. Deciding to be without you and move on didn’t work. No matter how hard I tried, it just didn’t work. So, I should let my instincts guide me, right? I don’t know what to do anymore. Nothing else works. If I had to, could I live without you? Yes. I would be unhappy for a while, but I wouldn’t die. With time, things would get better, and I would move on eventually. But do I want that? No. I don’t want a life without you. I’m willing to risk everything again, wear my heart on my sleeve and dive into this with you again. I’m choosing to love you. Will you choose me too?
Abhay, I’m still in love with you. I always have been, and it looks like I always will be. No matter how hard I try to deny it, I know how my heart really feels. I come up with these elaborate plans, the reasons why we don’t work, the reasons why we shouldn’t be together. Sometimes, it feels like there are so many. At other times, no matter how hard I try, I can’t think of even one. Not one reason why we shouldn’t be together. I know, it sounds crazy, because so much time has passed, I did something terrible to you when I ran away without explanation. You’ll probably never be able to trust me again, we will probably never be able to build the trust again, to get to a point where we’re not broken anymore. Then there’s family, and friends… they’re still getting used to the idea of us not being together. There’s so much bitterness between our families since the break-up, I don’t know if that can ever be fixed. I don’t know where we would even begin.
Biggest of all: you. How do you feel? Do you still love me too? Do you think you can try to give me another chance? Do you think we can go back to the way things were before?
Excerpt from Letters To My Ex by Nikita Singh.
About The Author
Nikita Singh is the bestselling author of ten novels, including Every Time It Rains and Like a Love Song. She is also a contributing writer to The Backbenchers series and the editor of two collections of short stories, 25 Strokes of Kindness and The Turning Point. Born in Patna and raised in Indore, Nikita worked in the book publishing industry in New Delhi for a few years before moving to New York for her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) at The New School. Nikita lives in Manhattan, where she does digital content and marketing for a solar energy company.