1. You love them anyway, you wake up in the morning and rock back and forth until you get a text from them telling you they are fine, and then you thank whoever is accountable for helping them through the night, because you couldn’t, even though you wanted to.

2. You wonder every day at exact 2:07 pm whether you could somehow un-love them, whether somehow you could adore the twitch on their nose while they tell you anecdotes about god-knows-what they saw while travelling back home from school, just a little less to not catch a glimpse of that every time you close your eyes.

3. You cross- check every time you type something to them because you don’t want to make that one slight mistake which might drive them away from you, even more than they already are.

4. Cause when you fall in love with someone sinking in self pity, it’s not just falling, it’s drowning in the ocean of their own loathe so much trying to pull them back that either you come back wet and drenched in their hateful water or you come out a warrior who soaked the hatred and replaced it with serenity and ardency, know that the latter has slightly lower possibility, kind of like 99.99% to 0.01% ratio, not that you are any less, just that, when fixing is to be done amongst the shattered, crushed souls of humans, nobody is better at it than themselves.

5. And you will hate that; you will chew anger like it’s your favorite gum and spit it out with frustration. You will create volcanoes every time they shake their head when you compliment them and you will see the lava erupt right when they say that maybe they are not good enough for you.

6. You’d wonder who could be such a monster to cause this delightful work of art break down piece by piece, with such precision that thinking of putting them back together will not just be a chaotic task but a delusional nuisance.

7. You’d want to give up, every day, every second, every time you call them but it diverts to voicemail, every time you know they read every word you typed swallowing back your agitation when they didn’t seem to respond to any of your previous attempts to contact them, but one little act of affection by them, and every speck of doubt dilutes and melts and rushes away because, what if.

8. Why them? You would find yourself questioning thin air at times, why me? You would look into voids for an answer. You’d smile casually when someone would comment on your relationship with them, because in all honesty, you find it pretty hilarious too. There you are making efforts for getting one single response which only puts you back into a rollercoaster of thoughts deciding whether they do pay a heed or not.

9. They do. They notice every single gesture, and that scares the shit out of them, you cannot blame them, you cannot blame yourself, you can’t even blame their past, because everything that happens was meant to happen in that very moment and if it happened, it’s not a mistake. They will ask you to go away if you can’t handle it, but they will have eyes glistening with pious tears when you turn your back on them. It’s the sweetest way to slowly kill yourself, like digging your own grave while listening to your favorite tracks on repeat.

10. You can leave. You can let them be, understand that loving someone does not include torturing yourself, they deserve love, like every seed once germinated deserves to be watered so that it grows into a sapling, but watering a lone seed without germinating it will never result to blossoming of beautiful flowers, they deserve love but they have to grow first, you cannot do that for them, and that is perfectly okay. Know that you have to take care of yourself and your peace of mind and by doing that you are doing exactly what you are meant to, doing what’s best for you and them. It’s not selfish, it’s one of the bravest and most selfless acts of the world.

So you see when you love someone who cannot love themselves, you love them anyway, but you leave, you take 3 steps back, go down the stairs and trace your footsteps back to the beach, you love them anyway and the waves will tell you their anecdotes when the water washes your feet, you sit back and witness growth, you love them anyway, until one day you don’t, you wouldn’t have to, because they’ll learn to love themselves. //

-s.m ( saumya malhotra )