I have grown. And you made me grow up. You have, in fact, aged my heart. You have taught me much. I thank you for that. You have taught me that the ideal of selfless and true love is often a farce….that there is no shoulder to rest your head on…there is no love beyond the superficial. I learnt that the saddest songs, eventually, are the songs of joy we sing in hopes of tomorrows that never come. You taught me that the only person you can rely on is yourself. I learnt, via you, my love, that one should never let one’s guards completely down….that one should never let anyone inside your core….that one should never reach points of no return. You taught me not to be so vulnerable that another being could play with your head and heart….not to give yourself in someone’s care so completely that when that person shrugs you off and you look inward, there is nothing left of you. As the world will indulge in new year wishes, fireworks and resolutions, I will bend down yet again to pick up my pieces, now a daily ritual. I will work in earnest yet again to shrug off images and sounds and the smell of you in my head. I will quieten the resurfacing questions in my head: How…why….how could you…how will I…what happened… I will tell myself that you were right…that feelings are bookish and tears are worthless and shared laughter was worth nothing…and the marks of our yesterdays have disappeared. I will remind myself that more important than love is ego and “self-esteem”…and that success in life comes only through a certain level of selfishness. And that “sorry” means nothing. Nothing at all. The flower has withered. And the “me” has changed. The “me” you knew is no more. Here’s to a new year…to the hope that it will be kinder.