Ajay and I had dated for over a year. We broke up over the fact that he was still hopelessly in love with the other girl. We had plans of getting married, of starting a home, of starting a family. That one year apart and single taught me what living alone was like. I hated it. I hated the smell of coffee in the morning mingled with cigarettes, Opeth and every other rock band. It reminded me of Ajay so much, it broke my heart.
I was a girl who loved her snuggle weekends, of smelling like Ajay in the morning. I loved screaming at him to make the coffee and once he’d left, to put on his oversized shirts and boxers and use his laptop to write.
Since the age of 14, since my first relationship, I haven’t been single. This past year was the longest time I’ve been single. I’m 25 now. I was 24 when Ajay and I broke up. When we were dating, we had our weekly rituals planned to the T.
Monday morning brunches, Thirsty Tuesdays, Wednesday Workouts, Tired Thursdays and Farty Fridays, this was our weekly schedules. Weekends were spent in our spacious kitchen, whipping up random, exotic meals and entertaining our friends. Everything was perfect. And then it wasn’t. He was still in love with her.
He moved out. I didn’t have the heart or the will power to live in that house alone and I moved into a friend’s place. In the beginning, the familiar sights, smells, aromas and the occasional whiffs of his cologne threw me into a pit of nostalgia.
It took me a year. A year to get over the fact that Ajay wasn’t around and wasn’t going to be around anymore. Our love was true, real and put Yash Raj movies to shame. We had chemistry, a connection.
I hated living alone. It was a horrid feeling, coming to an empty and desolate home, to stare at the other side of the bed. For the longest time, I’d get a friend to sleep over or cover that side with a laptop and pillows, to make the emptiness look less daunting.
I poured my heart into my work. I distracted myself enough to not let me think about Ajay. From thinking about him four times an hour, I got it down to four times a day, then once a day and then slowly, he started to become a dream.
A year later, I love my own company. “You’ve become calmer, there’s a certain happy spring to your step,” a friend said to me the other day. And he was right. I take myself on lunch dates and to movie dates. I no longer have to wait for Ajay to come back to cook the perfect meal for my friends.
Through our one year of living together, we had fragmented our lives and divided our tasks. What was usually done by one person had become tasks for two people. We were co-dependent and after a year later, I realized I hated that.
A year later, I was stronger. I was defined by my choices, my likes and my dislikes. I wasn’t defined by the guy I was chasing or was being chased by. Ajay and I had a fierce love. We had a love that was beautiful. When we broke up, I learnt to love myself, to be free, to be just me and not someone else’s version of me.
After Ajay, in the last one year, I have learnt to live and breathe.