He had guffawed when I had called him a paradox. It was instinctive for me; I was a student of angst and pathos. He had looked troubled and tired. He looked like someone who had bargained his soul for a dollar, perhaps. However, I chided myself to shift my focus into less evasive aspects of him.
It looked like he was a thriving habitat for black secrets. He made me wary, alerted.
He spoke like two different people at the same time, like two different characters. The dividing line between those two parts of him was too soft to be noticed, drawn with graphite, perhaps. But that did not stagger me; I saw right through it, like lightning through the thunder.
After a few months, I taught myself to accept that he was suffering. He was a catastrophe. He had modelled two identities for himself. He was a host to a medical disorder- Dissociative Identity Disorder.
I became frantic. I could not watch him disintegrate like that. He was too precious. The part of him that looked at me like I was new dawn would secretly trade with me his secrets. His tattoos were symbolic of the agonies of his unfortunate life.
I contacted numerous psychotherapists from across the world. I narrated to them his condition. But he had fiercely protested against help. I did not give up. I was relentless.
But now when he's in a different, faraway city and a country that no longer suffocates him, I can truly empathise with him. I think I'm ready to look at this world through his eyes.
I had tried to fix him, those fissures and fractures. He had kept screaming at me that what's broken can't be whole anymore but I did not pause to listen.
I did try, and very fiercely though, to scrape his healed wounds. He kept telling me that it was selfish of me to scratch his tender bruises but I did not care. I had to know his story. It was my adrenaline rush.
Almost every psychotherapist told me that there was a possibility that I was forcing him to go through a similar trauma where his wishes were discounted for and someone else dictated his life. They said I was hurling him, strangulating him with my incessant demands to let me rearrange his shattered anatomy but I was determined to wreck whatever little was left of his combustible soul.
He would fight with me, yelling and cursing, to stop analyzing him. He told me that it unnerved him to know that I could touch his raw parts. I must have looked like an intruder to him, but I assured myself that he deserved help. I had declared him to be in denial, and therefore, incapable of making savoury decisions for himself.
My conscience is ridden with guilt now. Not that he did not offer me my fair share of pain, but I know I must amount to a casualty in his decimated life.
On certain days, when the rain pours down heavily, I softly admit to myself that I had been harvesting him unknowingly. I thought I knew him enough by having watched him too closely but what do we ever learn?
There's one apology that I will always carry in my heart.