Moving is hard.
You have to pack up the smallest and biggest of all your things, try to cram your entire life into a box. Find a house made of bare walls, with perhaps some remnants of the previous owners personality, and then try to wash it all away and pin up yours.
Moving is especially difficult, if you have to divide up the things in your old house into two boxes, that very well might say 'mine' and 'ex's'.
I cannot recall the last time I dreaded the thought of a weekend. The estate agent had called on Tuesday, she said they had found someone who wanted to move in. She makes some small talk, tells me they are just like us. A young couple eager to move into a cozy apartment. I hope they break up. I hope they hate moving in. I hang up, and leave him an email. He replies soon, says he will meet me at the apartment on Saturday.
On Saturday, I drive to the apartment, I see his car is already parked outside the complex. The watchmen greets me with his customary gap-toothed smile, he still remembers me. I nod back with a small smile and make my way up. I remember the first day I had walked out of the building after seeing the apartment. Such a long time ago, such a foolish happiness.
I walk into the apartment and see that he has already started. He is vacuuming under the small, worn out sofa bed in the hall. Much of our precious and important things we took away with us months ago, when we parted ways. Clothes. Shoes and tooth brushes. What remained back were little pieces of us here and there, that needed to be trashed, or put away in boxes.
'Do you want this?' he asks, holding up a packet of condoms he finds under the coffee table. I believe they are there from the last time we had sex, on the couch, under the influence of a lot of alcohol. I glare at him and curtly answer, No. Inwards I think, What the fuck am I supposed to be doing with them? Blow up chocolate flavored balloons? Idiot.
'Okay what about these?'. In his hand he is holding up a jar. Back in the day when we fancied ourselves living the cool, explorer life, we had taken numerous weekend trips. To far off and wonderful little nooks and corners of the country. And imprisoned all those memories in transparent mason jars. One autumn, we took off in the middle of the night to Goa. On a secluded beach somewhere down south, we had collected sand and shells and little trinkets a street-side vendor girl had sold us for five rupees each. Put them all in a jar, hoping to forever keep the adventure alive.
'No. What will I do with it? Carry it with me all the way to UK?' I stress on UK, silently emphasizing the new beginning I had chosen. That I had made my choice, I was taking the job. He silently drops the jar in the trash bag.
'Well atleast you might want this.' I turn around, ready to snap at him, but he is holding up a clay pig. Painted baby pink, a short tail with a curled tip and a slit on its back. 'My gullak!' I exclaim. I take it and shake it, it is heavy and almost full of coins. 'You always said, you will give it away to... someone... I don't remember who.. -'
'The old lady who sells safety pins on the bridge at the station. Thought I might help her by buying out all of her safety pins.' I smiled as I said this, some of my bad mood weathering away. 'Yeah, I am sure she does not have terribly huge savings.' he says with a short laugh. I laugh along, and then he pulls me in for a hug. It is not one of those romantic crushed-to-the-bone hugs, rather a comforting tangle of arms, on days sadness comes unexpectedly, and you need someone to lean on.
Ours had been a whirlwind romance, a heady mess of coffee shops lattes, movies, dinner dates and sex. We were pretty happy here once, in our little home, for the initial few months when the shock of a new relationship excites you. We had our moments, yes, but when it all came down to the routine, after all the first impressions were done... we found that we were as different as different can be. Isn't it strange how blind being in love can make you? We both came from different worlds, and we both had our own sets of issues. It was apparent that our worlds were never to meet and be one. Definitely not forever. We had parted ways, amicably, with little word play and almost no tears. And we had done a great job at staying apart, moving on. After all, it was the right thing to do.
I pick up a book from the top of his almost full box. 'God I cannot believe you want to keep this book! I thought you said it was boring.' He chuckles, 'I'll look intellectual with The Secret on my bookshelf. No one will know I found all my life's questions answered in Calvin and Hobbes comic strips instead.' We both burst out laughing. 'You know what? Let's forget all this. Let's go get a drink!'
I smile, look around our old apartment, the warm 5 o' clock sunshine just streaming in through the west window. 'Yes. Let's do that.'
We walk out of the apartment to grab our last drink, me closing the door on behind us. Turning the key in the lock, I smile again, and imagine - hope - that the couple that will move in next week make a home out of this house and are really happy together. Happier than us. For a long time to come.
P.S: I believe this, out of all the posts I have ever written, was truly completely fictional. Although, like always the places and names are drawn from memory.
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