7 whole years since V passed away. Those who were sitting next to him moments before the accident, those who survived say the last thing they remember is him cracking a joke and laughing. His sister spoke of a recording of that very evening when he phoned her up and played blowing in the wind on the harmonica – he had finally learnt it even though he didn’t know how to read notes. V always knew his life was going to be short, he somehow just knew. I was 12, he was 13, every day when he dropped me off, he turned to me and said, “you take care, in case I never see you again.” Even his orkut testimonial to me was written as if he had died and was writing to me from the underworld. I really thought he was an idiot. Years later when we fell in love (or maybe always were) One of his cardinal rules was sacrosanct – never go to sleep or leave the company of a loved one angry. If you can’t resolve a fight, try and cordially come back to it the next day, most times it’s something silly and he believed always got resolved with some sleep! 99% of the time it did. The 1% was when I never saw him again. This was his version of wisdom, the wisdom I now realize how much my teenage self took for granted. These days I find myself thinking of him often. Mostly whenever Things are ugly with M. I guess the mind always works this way. I’ve been thinking of how V and I had our differences – mostly my burning insecurities. But he never raised his hand or voice at me. If he disagreed he just looked at me and smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I love you, deal with it. If you don’t love me. I’ll deal with it.” I never understood this, until It happened to me. His touch was never cold, his arms always wide open. I cannot believe how I never realised how fortunate I was. I remember when his family had their apprehensions, I remember the heated arguments with v and his father, me and my mother, I thought we were over. We were all scared. One day v brought me home and turned to his mom and pointed at me and – “she likes fish.” He turned to me and pointed to his mom and said – “she likes cake” and then pointed to himself and said, “I’m a very lucky man” we were all laughing and in that moment this 17-year-old laid the foundations for a family. One that I still have today no matter how vastly different we may be. if I die anytime soon, I don’t want my memories of M to be abusive. I have my share of the blame too. It’s not like I’m not at fault. But he always chooses the more difficult, complicated path. It’s his choice, I can’t say I know better. He thinks I’m weak that I always come back, but then you don’t know what you don’t know. I was cocky enough to think I had all the time in the world to resolve my insecurities and life just guffawed and snuffed v out. and now when I try my best, life still guffaws louder as M continues to be so headstrong about what he thinks is right. We are surrounded by love even though we have so many odds against us. Sometimes I think the odds are created by us when we both are bored, I think if we both had activities, together, we wouldn’t be at each other’s throats. Because at the core of it all he loves me and I love him. But he’s been hurt so badly before that it keeps manifesting in our relationship. I wish I could tel him it will all be ok. I have my share of work to do as well. Have taken my weight and my insecurities for granted. But M seems unforgiving. His way or the highway for now. So what will I remember?