Neenv Raju Akunuri
But because it will tell you how we came into being, of how we became Us.
I was 8, standing by the swing, on a summer afternoon,
When she came like a whiff of a cool breeze.
Running past me to settle on the park bench under the old grey tree, she smiles at me.
As her brown eyes lit up, matching her chestnut hair, I knew I was a goner.
Waiting for her at the park every weekday, I looked forward to.
Weekends were difficult but I would get over,
Because I knew she was my friend forever.
Well I admit, I was naive back then, I believed in fairy tales and happily ever after.
But I had to learn it the hard way when she ignored me for a boy who had a better toy –
The aero plane that could actually fly.
I wasn’t going to fall for anyone again, I assured my broken heart.
But tell me, could you turn a blind eye to that pretty girl
Who sits all by herself in the lone corner?
Walking with her to school, a glorious memory, I treasured for long.
Well I admit I was naive back then, I believed in high school romances and clichéd tales.
But I learnt it the hard way, that no one likes to settle for the ordinary, -
When she left me for the school star.
College was going to be different, I told my somber heart,
No strings attached was the way to be.
Who was I making a fool of though, I fell hard and fast for the only girl in a class of boys.
I knew it was a long shot – Hell! I wasn’t even going to be my most charming self,
But she picked me and that pretty much unravels the story itself.
Well I admit I was naive back then, I believed in long distance relationships and putting in effort.
But I learnt it the hard way, when she said –
I just can’t keep up with the time zones anymore.
For what it’s worth, I must tell you, I loved her, but probably not as much as my wife.
She was an incredible woman, strong and fun,
Made sure the voice of the underprivileged reached everyone.
Falling in love with her wasn’t an option; it was the only thing I yearned for.
I hope one day you’ll understand why I talk of her in the past tense,
Why her betrayal hurts me more than anyone else’s.
Well I admit I was naive back then,
I believed in marriages and building homes.
I would have been happier if she had cheated me, but she was different,
she had always been, she chose to have an affair with what they called - The Death.
I wait for you, I pace up and down anxiously down the hall;
I hold my breath for the right time to meet you.
I had to see you; I had to feel the warmth of your cheeks on my fingers,
I had to see your smile and let it brighten my day.
I walk into you room and see you asleep,
Your chest rising and falling as you breathe,
The sound of which, rhythmic, almost musical,
It’s Beethoven for my tired worn out soul.
I knew I couldn’t love you, the way you deserved to be,
With my already broken heart, shattered into a million pieces.
I reach out to you and pick you up, carefully,
You snuggle against my chest, and open your eyes.
Curiosity comes naturally to you, but the minute you lay them on me, I’m sold,
I’m a different man.
You put back the tattered pieces of my soul together, like it was a puzzle,
With your tiny hands and your slurring smile,
Leaving no trace of the past or the man that I was.
I had believed in all things naive, until life taught me better.
Now as I held you in my arms, I realize,
I don’t want it any other way.
Maybe I just got high off your baby shampooed hair;
The faint smell of milk from your overalls,
But I want to believe anything, everything is possible.
I want to be naive again, only this time, for you.