Akshata Bablad

This Is The Only Thing Worse Than Almost Relationships

It is remarkable how willing we are to break our own rules and promises in the name of being so loyal to love. As if that was enough to hold on to hope and to live for it all. As if it was the solution to a cold night and the uneasy solitude. As if it will bring back the glint of the sun — the one we all terribly miss when the winter becomes unbearable.

Surely it must have crossed our minds how that makes no utter sense, especially when faced with the paralyzing horror — no, the truth! — of watching love fall apart front row.

It reminded me of a sojourn escape to a paradise island a long time ago; the sun had almost set on the horizon, casting long arms of burning orange and red across the deep cobalt waters. The waters remained warm like a hot bath heated earlier for a time. The waves rushed to the sandy shore where they met the trails I left as I wandered about its course; then another would slide along, leaving foamy remains behind after completely erasing the mess my feet made on the sandy surface. By the time I made it to the front steps of the beach house I rented, the sea made sure my foot trails were gone as if I was never there.

And I did find myself longing for the trails to have stayed. Or I wished I could have had more time on the island with such consistent, unimaginable beauty as in Botticelli’s painting. I wish I could forever walk along and about its alleyways, streets, and sandy shores.

But nothing lasts forever; nothing stays the same. Between the thin veil of fantasy and reality, there exists a leeway if only to hold on to the hope of love and live for it all. I know this quite well like the back of my hand. And that is the other thing worse than almost relationships—it is the time before the warm sea waters of the island hit the sandy shores to erase the memories of my foot trails on the sand.

In February, I met a guy who made me feel unquestionably me. Long story short, it wasn’t meant to be. Before we ended things, I was the one who practically begged for us to spend one more night together. It was the perfect encore to Mariah Carey’s My All. For one night, we were living the lyrics with every bated breath as I plant chaste kisses on his lips. We threw forbearance out of the equation with every caress, longing stare, a warm embrace, and passionate intimacy that can only be shared by two people who knew they couldn’t be together.

I knew I would be damaged and his absence long after we said our goodbyes would be the warm sea from the island washing away the mess I made. And when it came down to it, he remained true to his word of making no contact with me whatsoever. We said let go, but I painfully held on. When he bid his final goodbye, he left me wondering whether what we had was all just a farce and it made me simmer with anger. Or maybe it’s something to remind me that I deserve something — or someone — better.

In the end, that’s what he had deduced me into — a pool of question marks instead of periods. I longed for him on nights when the emptiness sipped right into my very core and I desired him long after my eyes gave out from the heaviness of pelting tears and before they fluttered open in the morning. I missed him terribly and my eyes continued to search for his eyes in a callous crowd.

But how can I miss someone so much when I never had him in the first place? When our fates were never meant to be read under a single page — when we were never meant to share the warm waters of the island and be washed by it together.

It simply is the other thing worse than an almost relationship.