Unspoken Feelings and The Storm Within has been edited by Ruhaan Shah.
‘For you, a thousand times over.’
This line resonates with most of us. There is always someone in our lives, for whom we would do anything. Someone whom we put before anyone else. Someone, whose smile brightens up even the gloomiest of our days. It might be that one person who gives our life some meaning, some purpose. They help us power through and keep fighting. These are the people who have motivated us, stuck around even when we fucked up. More often than not, this someone is whom we love and wish for a future with.
Here is the tricky part–wishful thinking. We hide our innermost feelings because we do not want to ruin what we have. We are so afraid of rejection and heartbreak that we do not even make an effort. At times like these, Khaled Hosseini’s following lines come to mind –
“I opened my mouth and almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had.
But I didn’t.”
Loving somebody is one of the most vulnerable positions anyone can put oneself in. We open our heart to someone else and sincerely hope for them to love us back. However, life is not a Nicholas Sparks’ book or a beautiful movie that reduces us to tears. Love is not always reciprocated, and “happily ever after” is rare in real life.
Sometimes, love is not an inclination that we impose upon ourselves; it simply happens. You begin to invest your time and energy with another individual. You open yourself to who they are—their eccentricities, their stories, their dreams and aspirations in life, all of it. What is more? We too reveal the most profound of our secrets and longings. They understand what it takes to make you snicker or feel extraordinary, and you make new memories together that make any torment of the past, a little less demanding and easier to forget. It makes you feel cheerful. And before you know it, you are smitten.
It is an unimaginably helpless position. Loving someone involves giving parts of yourself that you had built up piece by piece, story by story. When we are finally ready to reveal those to someone else, it is a genuine indication of trust and some level of closeness.
Everything changes the minute you look at her in an unexpected way. You begin to observe subtle elements you did not, up until recently—the curve of her lips, the glare line over her eyebrows, the way she laughs. You realise that you would do anything to keep her smiling. No matter what it took out of you. At that point, your heart begins to beat a little bit faster, palms become clammy, and it occurs to you that the stride that follows would not be so simple—telling them exactly how you feel, revealing those unspoken feelings.
This is the scariest part. You either spill and as a result, free your spirit. Or you bite the dust, in torment, to rescue whatever relationship you currently have with them. On the off chance, you know beyond any doubt, that how you feel is mutual, there is no ‘risk’ as such. On the other hand, it is agonising to know, and it may make you want to be hit by a truck. When they tell you they do not feel the same way or cannot date you for whatever reason, it more than just hurts. Be that as it may, the reason might be unimportant. Despite everything, it fucking sucks.
Dismissal is ugly. It hurts. It brings with it a flood of tears, sorrow, and self-hatred. This is the part where your just-broken heart will ask questions like, “Why do they not like me?” Consequently, your brain comes up with “I am not good enough” or “I am not lovable” or “I am bloody useless.”
Next thing you know, you are in workout pants with a tub of frozen yoghurt and your dead phone since you cannot get up. Or you decide to shift your focus by inducing physical pain in the gym or by trying to forget your sorrows with a bottle of scotch and some weed. Dismissal can immobilise.
Over the course of time, you move on with your life. Now, you are more determined. You will never open up your heart that way again. At the same time, you fear that nobody will accept you and your broken-but-taped-up heart again. Maybe the sun will sparkle over the dim mists one day, and you will have your moments—the perfect sunsets, kisses, breakfast in bed…the whole deal.
In your eyes, you two would have been a great couple. An astounding romantic tale people talk about and wish for secretly. You wish that they could see the world through your eyes. If only they could understand that she makes you a better man or that he inspires her to go out and be the force she has the potential to be.
In all reality, they may never get it. They may never see how happy you could have made them or how it feels to be loved. They may never understand how they impacted your life, what it all meant to you. So what do you do?
You walk away.
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