Published on Women’s Web:
It’s difficult, knowing I don’t have that anymore. It hurts, because everything is different. It isn’t easy, but love never lets you off easy.
Sometimes it scares me. Actually, it scares me everyday – how incomplete I feel without her. We had been through so much; we had fought against the world for our love. No one could accept us. They ridiculed us, they ostracised us, they spoke down upon us, because they never could understand us. Their idea of a man and a woman, this world’s idea of a man and a woman as the only acceptable form of a romantic relationship, it’s going to bring ruin to the concept of love. Who are they to define me, define us, define our love?
When we were bloodily marked by their weapons, of hatred and of metal, we knew our love was real. If we could fight that, we could withstand anything. And we did, for years. We just couldn’t emerge victorious from a night of alcohol in a 26-year-old man’s veins.
The first night that I felt it, I was confused. I assumed that I was just thinking in an overly affectionate manner, that perhaps it was the happiness of the moment exploding through unexplored chambers of my heart, tearing through the delicate tissue. The truth seemed unimaginable. Yet, it felt like so much greater than an outburst of joy being shared with my best friend. It was like the surging swell had washed over me while I was inside a sphere of glass, watching it happen, painting me in the colours of the rainbow. That elation, those heightened emotions – I retained them throughout the evening. The glass in my hand was less than half full, but I knew that wasn’t the reason. It was something about her; it was the way she made me feel. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact moment that I realised, but when I hugged her goodnight, as I was walking away, it stung – but in a comforting way. I was not ashamed when it hit me.
I was falling for her.
Two and a half years later, we were at the same restaurant, holding hands, when we faced slander for the twelfth time that month. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I asked them to mind their own business. That evening, a mob showed up when we were on our way home and began to throw nasty remarks at us. They had sticks and rods in their hands. That night, we didn’t just ride the train home – we left the seats stained and the walls smeared with our blood-red pain and endured injustice.
Twenty seven days ago, I spoke at her funeral, because twenty nine nights ago, a no-good drunk banker rammed his car into her.
Three years ago, we fought for our right to love each other. Four weeks ago, we fought for my wife’s life. Today, I am fighting for justice.
But it’s not just about that man. It’s about you. It’s about your friends and your family. It’s about every single person who thinks it’s acceptable for them to dictate my gender-based romantic preferences or sexuality-based sexual preferences. My wife and I faced more humiliation and hurt because of such people than we had because of the sum of all our woes and worries. And it was not fair.
She’s gone now. I feel like I have nothing left to fight for. Every morning that I roll over in bed to kiss her good morning is another snapped string that had earlier kept me tied to this world. We had years full of love. Precious moments we had struggled to keep untainted by judgement and hatred. Now my heart is in pieces and my home is gone, and I only wish that the world had let us live in peace.