by Sanjana Shankar
You said you think of me in the spring. Daisy chains, hands interlinking, the remnants of winter still chafing at your cheeks: spring. I felt a part of myself wither at your answer.
Perhaps it is because I never liked those two weeks between the harsh cold and the blazing summer sun. It was too fleeting, too indecisive. What good is loving something if it goes away so soon? I used to think. But in the beginning, you loved me all the same.
Perhaps it is because I wonder; is that how you saw me? Springtime? Warm but not overly endearing; a slight breeze but never permafrost. Goldilocks and the perfect fit. Just right. Would it make me a bad person to admit I would have loved to be the summer? To feel the wind coursing through your hair, sand beneath your feet as the sky smiled down at you? The winter had some merit to it too, or the apple-coloured fall. The season of bundled hands and cosy hearts, sipping hot chocolate spiked with coffee under a dozen blankets. Watching the very first snowfall of the season, the heat of our breaths keeping us warm. I remember when you picked the smallest snowflake out of my hair like a beautiful, fragile thing. How you looked at me after, like you couldn’t quite see the difference. Springtime means we are not forever.
Wisteria blooms. Birds laugh – or cry – I could never tell which. It sounds beautiful, nonetheless. But springtime ends eventually. After the chill begins to thaw, you forget who rights winter’s wrongs. When you grow tired of my dandelion heart, my partly-cloudy-skies; you will move on to someone new. Someone like the ocean breeze. Someone who smiles at you like the summer sun. Someone you love, and that will be enough.
Maybe I will turn back into the cold. Hit reverse, push the sun back behind those clouds. Take solace that the world outside feels just as desolate as within. Or maybe I will smile until my teeth hurt, take spontaneous trips to the beach and drink in phosphene-drenched recklessness like the salt air around me. Or maybe, I will do nothing at all. Because:
Springtime means I am still growing. The grass reaches towards the sky, growing in clumps. Never indifferent for the life around me, the wonder. The journey. And someday I will love again like ivy loves gravestones, like pink blossoms love april skies. Like I loved you.
About the author:
Sanjana 'Sana' Shankar is a young desi writer with a self-described an affinity for cats and coffee, as well as pinterest boards, YA lit and copious amounts of Ocean Vuong. Along with her best friend, she runs Filter Coffee Magazine (@filtercoffeemag)
More of her work, including Biomagnification, features in Erato, Issue I: Bloom.