ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Reminiscence

The crescent in the night, Busan, South Korea

It's 9 am in the morning. I’m on my bed lying still, hands by my side. Eyes staring at the ceiling. They hurt from the insane tears shed last night. Now it stopped but I can still hear myself tearing apart, piece by piece with an unmatched efficiency. My thoughts tumbling back and forth, trying to find answers to questions that shouldn’t even matter. What exactly was I thinking?

I hear the phone buzzing. Since last week Covid in Busan hits peak so the city has lifted its restrictions to the highest possible point by today. It’s my lab manager texting me that she is shutting down the lab for one week until we hear from our supervisor. She was mentioning all the safety protocols text by text and ended to convo with a Kakao emoticon. I wait for her to finish texting (because I know she has to Google translate everything for me during texting since she isn’t fluent in English) then I texted back “Thank you. Stay safe” of course with another emoticon. (A weird way of ‘cute texting in Korea’). Then I questioned myself, so what now?

I don’t feel like working today but somehow have to if I am in the lab. Now the idea of working from my dormitory had unleashed the lazy devil inside me. My heart’s venture along these forbidden roads that roam through the dark corners of clumsy shaped ‘what ifs?’. All my knowledge I gathered via tons of books on dealing with inane problems seem useless now.

Relationships are hard. Especially in this era where people give you lustrous emptiness and shiny shreds of deception entwined on to a cobweb of pretentious affection and fabricated emotions. I could feel the gut lacerating and just residing with no signs of decomposition. We are putting too much effort on comforting each other than understanding. Long-distance is not helping at all. My way of dealing with emotions appears to have zero overlaps with his possessiveness over me. My brain can understand what’s happening is just a play of emotions yet my heart indulges in utmost pain. I Googled ‘How to show love towards someone’ which spit out ideas to give him roses and chocolates. I feel I am giving up. Also, I was headachy.

Got up, plugged in the phone to the charger, and make my own cup of coffee; black americano, and sat by the laptop to watch the news. South Korea is being crazy these days. People have gone insane since they’re tired of constant isolation for more than 10 months. The infection numbers per day is crazy. No wonder my lab is shut down; I thought for a moment. Sri Lankans are also going through hard times. I can understand that from his frustrations; the reason why I remain silent at arguments.

Work — from the dorm (my home though) isn’t that easy for researchers like me. Quitting on that, I make a couple of calls to my home in Sri Lanka for a regular check. Then thought of cooking something new and made vegetable biryani which is on my wish list for a long time. I always feel good about myself after the cooking sessions.

Everything seems normal and once again back to him. I am sure he’s never going to call me yet I am peeping at my phone at time in between my errands. A slight glimpse of pride for a moment or two but the debilitated me is still crawling back to him. No wonder they say romance is nothing but sheer foolishness. With every passing minute, I lost optimism on this absolute stupidity. I feel lonely like the widowed old man who waits all week for a Sunday post. I realize there is a subtle pain in not being checked on constantly, of not being asked mundane questions about how was your day.

“I miss you idiot”, I whispered looking at his picture on my desktop.

I walk down by the breakwater intending to streamline my messy thoughts. Face mask has become a crucial body part even though it’s messing with my skin. Yet, I don’t want to be legally punished. On the way, I noticed the abandoned road. I feel remorseful for not being able to fly back home during such a crisis.

Suddenly I was startled by the crescent and its boundless magnificence about which I was talking to him a year ago. With all the endless work in the lab, I couldn’t afford much time to exactly view what I was intending to. Now that I am looking at it, in real and the fact that I am alone at the moment, made me shatter into pieces.

I take my phone out of the jacket and start typing the words, tons of words; with edits and backspaces on and off. Then I delete all of them and sent ‘I miss you, a lot’ with a sad smiley. A minute later I received a voice note saying “I miss you too”. I stared at the phone screen and smiled.

All this time I convinced myself I am incapable of loving someone like others do. I don’t tend to be an absurd apologetic mess but my care towards him was true. I may not be a hopeless romantic, yet my way still holds my relationship amidst all the pandemics. After all, he is always worthy of giving up on my pride..!

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