Letters To My Ex (An Excerpt)

February 19 , 2018

Nikita Singh is the bestselling author of ten novels, including Every Time It Rains and Like a Love Song. She is also a contributing writer to The Backbenchers series and the editor of two collections of short stories, 25 Strokes of Kindness and The Turning Point. Here’s a sneak peak into her latest novel, Letters To My Ex.

From: Abhay Shukla
Sent: 23/3/2017 4:40 PM
To: Nidhi Sharma
Subject: I need to say this

Nidhi,

Since you won’t take my phone calls or respond to my texts, this is the only way I can think of reaching you without you calling the police on me. I must say, it’s kind of crazy how quickly you went from not being able to imagine a life without me to this. You see me on the street and you immediately turn the other way, as if you never knew me.

I know you’re angry, for many different reasons, and somehow, at the moment, all of it is directed exclusively towards me. That’s okay; it’s your prerogative. You’re allowed to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. So, if you don’t want to talk to me, or even see my face without cringing, that’s okay. You don’t have to. But I do need to get this off my chest, so I will leave this in your inbox and so you have the option to read it if/when you so please.

We broke up. You broke us up. It was your decision to end things, I was not involved in any of the planning or decision-making and my wishes were definitely not considered in this decision that affected my entire life. But okay. If one person out of the two doesn’t want a relationship, it dies right then and there. I couldn’t force you to stay with me when you so clearly didn’t want to. I accepted that as you literally ran away and left me behind.

But won’t you agree that since we are not together anymore, it’s okay for me to find someone else? Has the mourning period passed? Am I allowed to rebuild my life now? Or should I just go crawl into a hole and die? Is that what you’d like to see? Or do you just not care at all?

Well, considering your reaction today when you saw me walking out of that store with Piya, you do care. Was it the fact that I didn’t look absolutely miserable, or that it was Piya I was with, or just that I am still alive that bothered you the most?

I don’t owe you an explanation at all, but because I’m still human, and I still care about you (my feelings don’t switch off in a split second like yours, you see) I will tell you this – you can relax. There’s nothing going on between Piya and me. She got that job that Dad got her an interview for, so she wanted to meet up and thank me over coffee. Again, in the interest of honesty, I do think she likes me. But I don’t think it’s a big deal, and I’m sure it’s just a fleeting emotion. As far as my feelings towards her are concerned, there aren’t any.

As much as I’d like to move on, I can’t feel anything about anyone, even if I tried. I don’t know if I ever will. When I try to imagine a time where I would be able to place all of my faith in another human being, and trust them with everything I have, I simply cannot see it happening again.

I gave you everything I had, every piece of me was yours, but you didn’t want it. It seemed like you did, you know, when you told me a thousand times that you loved me, and wanted to build a life with me and couldn’t imagine living without me. When we fought everyone and everything that came in our way in order to be together, but then, it turned out that you didn’t actually want any of that.

Anyway, I have thought about this for days and weeks and months at end and haven’t been able to find an answer. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting you to give me one. When you left, even as you were breaking my heart, I knew that there was a reason. I know that you didn’t just do it for no reason at all. And I knew that one day you would tell me why. It’s been three months now, and you spin on the spot and go the other way when you see me, so I’d be an idiot to expect any kind of honesty, or any words at all from you.

Lastly, and I won’t take too much of your time with this, but I do need to tell you that I’m angry too. With you. I don’t fully understand what happened that day. I can think of a few reasons why you were unhappy with the way things were. However, even after having thought about this a lot, I can’t think of something so big and unresolvable that would make you decide to immediately end everything. I know that things were stressful at home. They were stressful for me too. But I was dealing with it. I could see that at the other end of this would be us, together. All that mattered to me was that we would be with each other and everything would go where it was supposed to. But that was clearly not what mattered to you.

I’m sorry if I’m being aggressive in this email. I understand that if I’m unhappy with the way I expressed something, I can easily edit it. But I won’t, in the interest of honesty. I’m not pleased with how I expressed some things in this letter, but I honestly feel this way, so I’m presenting you the unadulterated version of the truth.

Also, I didn’t mean to sound this formal. But considering how I feel as if I don’t know you at all anymore, it’s quite fitting.

I don’t know how to close this. I have no expectations from you.

Hope you’re happy.

Abhay

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