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10 Year Challenge

To He Who Shall Not Be Named,

I was having a completely normal day, laughing, working, eating, and then I went on Instagram to notice this 10 year challenge. I generally don’t participate in these fads, mostly out of sheer laziness, but this time I decided to indulge myself.

The photo I finally chose was one when I had short cropped hair, with blonde highlights and braises still there. One minute I was laughing with my colleagues showing them this ridiculous haircut I once had, and the next minute I was teleported back to that morning.

That was the morning, my ex-love, when after having traveled together for the very first time, I woke up thinking this is it! You probably are ‘it’. That ‘the one’ everyone keeps talking about. The guy I want to wake up next to for the rest of my life. I remember thinking, he likes me with this haircut and that smile, how lucky am I? I remember the whole morning, the train journey back, where we stood next to the toilets for the entire way. It was a local train and we didn’t have much money. How the night before in the woods you had tried to scare me with sly references to ghosts and not looking back. How I had gotten mad at you because you couldn’t figure out the way to our hotel.

This picture was taken 16 days before I would tell you how I feel about you.

This picture was taken 4.5 years before you would break my heart with a SMS.

This picture was taken 5 years before I would turn my back on you.

This picture was taken 8 years before I would finally start the process of getting over you.

This picture was taken 10 years before I would realize that the love I am looking for cannot be found anywhere.

I haven’t thought of you in months now, maybe even years. Not longingly anyway. This past summer I had enough proof to the fact that I have moved on, even from the anger I felt for you. And then suddenly just like that a photo of me, is tearing me apart with the thought of you.

Perhaps you will always be like that phantom limb. An appendage that needed to be removed to save my soul. A familiar scar that reminds me of what once there was.

Love Always,




  1. Snehal says

    Beautifully expressed Zah!! You’ve loved with all your heart.. not many can do that!!

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