Do you ever get instances when your overworked mind suddenly comes to a halt, flashing only in emergency lights: ya rab, I need you.
Everything breaks down – and you both know and don’t know why all at once. I was doing so good, what keeps happening? But then you recall back to the amount of times you’ve consciously acknowledged you’re need for Him. It’s one of those things which you say, but in your arrogance as a human being – you don’t necessarily internalise. Is this what khushou’ of the mind and the heart feels like? God, I haven’t felt khushou’ for so long. I don’t know whether I feel to sinful to ask for such an honour to be endowed upon me – or whether I feel too undeserving. Isn’t that the same thing? But wait – I felt something. God, are you proud of me?
My mind feels like a messy jumble of wool. I can no longer assemble my words in coherence and fluidity. My body reflects my heart’s moods – it aches and pains. And my heart – I’m not quite sure what to make of it; one day it’s a melting pot, the next I find it made out of steel. But God, I need you.
Every time I touch my chest, my hand returns tainted black. God, I need you. They said it was possible to fall out of love, and right there and then my heart fell out of its secrecy and tumbled onto the cold concrete winter ground, with a deafening thud – heard only to me. God, I need you. I miss it, God, I miss it. The daily walk down Oxford road in the rain. The walk into the law building. Level 4. Remember the time I walked down looking like a fool, holding a vase of ‘manly’ flowers? Wait, stop.
But what about that time we stayed in John Rylands till it shut down for the day? Oh, and Fajr prayer in McDougalls – when they used to forget to turn the mic on for the sister’s area. The sound of the rain pattering on the bedroom window, this time last year. Remember the warmth of the room? I would put both heaters on max, so that when we walked in it would feel like we were sinking into the cosiest almost-sauna-but-not-quite-enough-to-keep-us-comfortable. The singing sessions in the car, on the way back from – them. The sessions in the kitchen. My experimental baking sessions. Remember that gluten-free sugar-free absolute decadent chocolate and coconut dessert I made for your birthday? We had it whilst watching LOTR, the projector on the living room wall, as we camped on the other side of the room on the floor.
Why do these memories come back as though they were yesterday? Why do you speak of them now – and never before? I tried suppressing them before, but winter has this warmth to it – the warmth of nostalgia. Only in my case the nostalgia is frosty and bitter – but the memories somewhat remain warm.
That time.. those times.. how do you fall ‘out of love’? Pray tell me, how? I’ll hold no resentment. I’ll ask no more questions. But for all the questions I never got an answer for – for just being picked up and removed – shipped for return – so easily with no explanation, the only question I ask now is, how do you fall out of love from someone who handed you their heart over and over again, with a fresh layer of bandages every time?
Perhaps that’s my answer right there. Because who keeps a fool for love. They ask me if I still believe in it, and I tell them I do, of course I do. Just perhaps not for me.
I hope the winter is cosy in all the best ways, up North. And just as the frost bit your heart, leaving you in eternal bliss of its warmth, I pray it too frostbites mine, soon. Perhaps the days will pass by easier.
And back to where this soliloquy started; God, I need you. I need you.