a catalogue of falling in love and falling apart.

5 min readApr 1, 2024


there’s no smart way to fall in love.


“I love you. I feel as though we were never strangers, you and I, not even for a moment.” — Freidrich Nietzsche, from a letter to Mathilde Trampedache, April, 1876.


it is one am and my phone is on my chest as i lie in bed, listening to your voice pulled in by radio waves. our nights have been the same for as long as i can remember, and as far as i’m concerned, all the versions of reality in which my days do not end this way — accompanying you from a distance while you write code and crack jokes, amusement dripping from your tongue — the comfortable warmth of two individuals that belong to each other, have lost their validity in my mind.


a few months after we fall into each other, i would drape my thighs over your laps and tell you that being with you felt like being cocooned in bubble wrap, like a DHL package. we had happened in the break of that long and lonely summer, weathering the odds of everything unfamiliar; and our love was something we birthed and nurtured, and eventually killed by ourselves.

since then, i have been tempted to attribute everything that happened to bad timing. it’s such a convenient excuse — you were still picking at the scabs of a love gone sour, and i was a green baby, unfamiliar with all the ways our love could twist and turn. all the ways a fire could burn.

in the grand scheme of things, however, timing is a flimsy justification for why things ended the way they did. you said this yourself a while back. how we were meant to be something, because my life was already so stuffed with people, and anything extra, anything else that should have mattered, had to be special in some way.

and so you were.


i can never talk about you in linear fashion. you have surrounded my life with your warm, effusive light, leaving me fly-drunk and restless. i find myself scrolling through our chats in attempts to jostle my memory, because my mind can only store a fraction of the magnitude of what you mean to me, and technology (thankfully), has availed me the opportunity to go back and reminisce on inceptions and in-betweens and everything that has led up to this moment on a monday afternoon in march, right after i send you a link to a phoebe bridgers song and you comment on my newfound obsession with her.

by november, i would have deleted all our chats because returning to the good times whenever i miss you stutters my ill-fated attempts at healing. i try not to resent you too much for ruining what to me was a beloved pastime — re-reading our conversations.


the first time we speak i am surprised by the ease with which words flow out of my mouth. for someone wary by nature, and constantly in search of the tagline — something to make her think “aha! so that’s what you are after!” — the lack of suspicion from my end, the confident freefalling, is interesting, to say the least. that day, we discuss music in a room filled with people; but i only see you and sufjan’s album art, and the nervous, habitual tick of your hand folding in and out of itself.

if there are any uncertainties regarding my feelings for you, they dissolve the second time we meet. we have thai food and you dare me to order something i have never tried before. i’m an anxious mess. my legs bopping under my skirt as i thumb the bracelet on my hands. i cannot remember what i ordered that day, but i remember yours — something sticky, with rice and fruit.

i don’t like it, but i like you.


somehow, i am led to believe that everything that has happened thus far has been a conspiracy to get us to cross paths, connect, love, laugh, kiss, reach out in intimacy, and fall apart.

if not this, then what else?


i have always felt the need to eulogize you. your bleary eyes that are capable of great tenderness and mischief. your eager mouth, and your random spiels of laughter, like a madman. in a field full of dandelions, you have stood as a lone sunflower, vibrant in all your fierce coloring, making everything around it pale in comparison. i look at you, and my heart constricts in a way that’s almost painful. my love for you threatens to burst at the seams.


heartbreak has been well documented through the centuries, by poets and warriors alike. but nothing prepares you for the transfiguration that follows. since our rupture, i have become many things. a child discovering stove-burn. an archaeologist lost in a cave. a seasoned actress, generous with tears. a brick wall.

they tell me it gets better with time, but patience is one of my lesser virtues, so i wonder how long before this madness ends, before i wake up and feel whole again.

as i form conjectures on future romances, their inceptions and in-betweens, i suspect that there are some things you will never get used to. for example, breaking down into as many tears as your shattered pieces, or when a fraction of your heart disappears without warning, without anyone else noticing. that’s the thing about being heartbroken, you’re dangerous because you know you’ll survive. you’re just never sure about the aftermath. how the landscape will shift. what fault lines will remain.


i remember one of those conversations we would have, when we were feeling a little dangerous, about how it would all come to an end. i told you that i got over people fast, but felt that it would take a little longer with you. well, i was right because it has been a year and a few days, and i am still here, breaking over random memories, mastering my tears.


“Sometimes we want what we want even if we know it’s going to kill us.” — The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt.