We could’ve have fallen in love if we were strangers. Perhaps, caught that last bus to Esplanade, sandwiched among people who ogled at the way we leaned into each other, breaths smouldering on each other’s shoulders, while they swayed with the bus with their presumptions about us that we hardly cared about.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Pirouetting through those empty streets lit by several streetlights and flickering bulbs on every balcony and if it was a tad bit darker, we could’ve pulled each other close and kissed until we were breathless.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Perhaps, entered cafés and restaurants and stopped by chaiwallahs in those dingy dark streets of Kolkata, surrounded by screeching and shattering noises of iron being moulded into rails, and tasted the ginger in the chai we had never been enthusiastic about and known that we’d have volumes to speak about it once we were done.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Built each other from the ashes of the people we were in front of the world and hitched rides and paused our steps and we could’ve become anything and everything.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Perhaps met each other in the ruins of what had once been a library and slept in treehouses littered with pieces of paper and reeking of cheap beer.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. It’d have never mattered if I swore enough and you didn’t say a word, instead pushed little rolls of paper in those empty bottles you found alongside the beach and fluttered kisses down my arms as I read each one of them like they were letters from a long lost lover.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Walked back to the point where we met and lied we’d meet again, going against the urge to slip in the phone number and spend the night.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. At a time, when I could be anyone but the person I am; when you could’ve been everything you wanted to become. And not really bothered of our love story because who even writes one without knowing the other?

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. But we are not. We sit inches away from each other, knowing way too much, and I know you don’t like treehouses and darkness hasn’t wooed you ever. And you know the little thread that had been holding us together is slowly starting to snap and you blame it on me because you want me to be that version of myself that had always held me back. And I want you to know, to understand; and you want me to listen, to do. And I just can’t. And I know you can’t, too. We’ve drifted apart. We are in those middle pages of an empty book which will never be filled up with words.

We could’ve fallen in love if we were strangers. Ran into each other in one of those streets which smelled of chai and soggy biscuits and rain. Brainwashed. Made peace with each other’s flaws because it was only a matter of a day. Roamed around streets and explored the very idea of love and never given a shit about who we could’ve become.

Because, we knew.

It’d have been easier.

 

(Featured Image Credits: Internet)

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