-Subina Shrestha

I hold your hands in this tiny, grim, white room filled with screens and wires all over. The air has a bizarre stagnant smell with undertones of bleach. You lie there, eyes shut, breaths heavy and barely able to speak. I realize — even after all these years, you are still such a mystery to me. Yes, I do know your every habit. Your every preference, every dislike, and every reason for your actions and reactions, I know them like the back of my hand. I know every fold and dent on your skin, how the creases form around your eyes when you laugh at my absurd humor, and how your eyes gleam upon seeing me walking up to you at the coffee station every morning. I know your quirky habit of subconsciously scratching the back of your head whenever you’re nervous and your way of shoving your eyeglasses up every time it slides down your small-boned, petite nose. I thought I knew you full well. But as it turns out — I don’t.

This one week at the hospital has brought me closer to you in ways our four years together could not. I have unearthed parts of you I didn’t know existed. Sitting with you at the park bench and talking for hours every weekend on topics ranging from star wars to fourth dimension to clothing brands did give me a clear perspective of the way you perceive the world, the way you find good in the worst of things and your way of thinking, as a whole. Your mind has been an open book to me; I can dive into whichever page I want, with no hesitation or second thoughts. However, even though you are an open book, there are pages I had forgotten to explore, or truthfully, hadn’t even realized you had; and now, I’ve started to read them.

I look at you — the man I call mine. Your smile — I haven’t seen it in so long; it is the best sight I have ever laid my eyes on. Your skin is the best voyage I have ever annexed. Your cologne is the only fragrance that hypnotizes me. But, as hypnotized as I am, something about you had slipped my mind completely — the sounds of you.

I know the arch your smile makes on your face. But what I hadn’t known was that my heart skipped a beat every time I turned that arch into a giggle and then into a loud wild laugh. And now, my ears are longing to listen to that laugh again. I know every song you hum while working on your laptop, I know how you fall silent on those high pitches and instead show-off on the midrange. But I didn’t know that your hums were the melody to my ears; the chorus that brought life to our otherwise lifeless home. I know the meaning of every word you utter, the metaphor to your every quote and the emotion behind each of them. But until now, I hadn’t realized that every word of yours has a harmony my ears have tuned with, and they are my favorite pieces of music.

I know how much you love thriller movies, how you stick your eyes to the screen barely blinking. I know your sudden screams in intense scenes, filled with fear and excitement at the same time. But I hadn’t realized that your screams were the sounds which thrilled me more than the movies. They were the sounds I’d watch those movies for, to feel the same thrill as you did.

I know the way you sleep, with your mouth wide open and eyelids half closed, with one arm above your head even in the cold winter nights. I know the sound of your snore, and how I’d chide you all the time for them, but I hadn’t realized that your snores were the very sounds that I slept to, my lullabies every night.

You are not only a sight to my sore eyes; you are the music to my ever-so-desperate ears. And since you’ve been hospitalized, I’ve realized how ignorant I have been. Your screams, your laughs, your cries; they bring life in me, and all this time, I have been so oblivious to them. Now that I hear you no more, no sound clicks me like your voice does, no song touches me like your hums would and no laugh melts me like yours did. You have become my reason to live and your voice has become my music — the music for my life, the music of our love.

Please get well soon, my dear. Please…

A version of this article appears on our Medium Page.
First Published on Dec 4, 2017.