include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for A Distasteful Love Affair by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


A DISTASTEFUL LOVE AFFAIR

BY

JIHAN S CHANNAH

Part One

He ran his fingertips across the scars upon her body. Each line he traced gave him a crippling sense of guilt. Yet somehow they comforted him as well. Guilt because he knew if it hadn't been for him, they wouldn’t be embedded upon her skin. Comfort because even after years of being apart, he felt apart of him within her, he felt as if she was still his because of them. What once was his, only his, now felt strange and distant. Yet, the scars held a love story between them that would always keep them connected. Every time he caught a glimpse into her eyes, there was a sense of familiarity that rushed through his body. Besides her being so far and absent, her one look took him back to how they were; it made him feel at home once more. After years of being dead, he felt alive, within his soul.
He glanced up at her and asked, "Am I the one for you?"
He knew he had no right to ask her that. He knew that after everything he had put her through, he had no right to take her back there. Yet he had to know if she felt it too. He needed her to feel it too.

She looked at him and smirked,
"You were... at one point in my life you were the one. I had planned my entire life with you, I let go off all the wrong you did in hopes of what we would be in the future. You were the one for me and there could be a possibility that you still are but I have no willpower in me left to fight and I have no love left to give. Your abandonment has taught me to be my own 'ONE' and when you left I urged you not to let this go, not to give up on what we have because if you do, you would search for what we have, you will look for pieces of me, but you will not find it with anyone. The heartbreak of it all for you my dear is that today you stand in front of me and ask me if you are the one for me and all I can say to you now is you took something that takes people years to find, if they ever find it, they move from person to person in search for what we had and you had it all on a silver platter, but unfortunately for you, what we had will never be again, not even if you had me again. So ask yourself once, does it really matter if you are the one? After everything that has happened, what does it matter even if you are! "
















Part Two

I still remember how he smelt. 

They say anything that triggers your senses, can take you back to a memory but it’s up to you to decide what memory you want to associate that trigger with. His smell was home. I knew when he was around because of it and I saw refugee from it after he left. He physically wasn’t around but his smell lingered. That smell comforted all my demons, all my troubles.  If just his smell had so much power over me, imagine how his presence made me feel. I’m not the sort of person who is physically expressive; in fact I’m not verbally expressive either. I need my space and I need room to breath. However with him, even being cuddled up beside him after spending the whole day with him, it just wasn’t enough. I needed more of him. I needed to feel and be closer to him. He was my drug, my addiction; his presence was enough to intoxicate me. I didn’t need or want anything or anyone else besides him. As cliché as it may sound, I saw us as two bodies - one soul. 

That kind of love doesn’t happen often and when it does, it only happens once. He was my strength, my hope, and my destiny. My need, my want, I craved him, his attention, the good and bad within him. I wanted it all and I wanted him entirely for myself. Maybe I was being selfish but I didn’t care. He made me feel things I never thought I could feel. He made me believe I deserved more than I thought I did. He made me feel worthy, he made me feel loved and in return I did everything within my power to honor how he made me feel. 

He wasn’t just some guy I was dating. He was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. In my heart and mind, he was the father of my children. The man I would grow old with. The one who would walk beside me through everything good and the bad. We’d raise our children together, they would be a reflection of us, and off everything good that makes both of us. No he wasn’t just some guy I was dating. 

When we were together there were no walls, nothing to stop us from being who we really were. You only put your guard up with people you can’t trust but with us it wasn’t that way. We would talk for hours about everything you could think off, no judgment, and no veils. He was mine. Heart, soul, mind- all and only mine. 

Or that’s what I believed it was like. In my obsessive passion for him, I hoped that it was exactly how I thought it would be. 

Oh, how wrong I was . . .










Part Three

He sat in silence as he swallowed her hurtful bitter words.
Apart of him wanted to believe that what they had was over, that he should apologize for what he has done and let her live her life in peace. However, apart of him did not want to believe what she spoke was true. He wanted to believe that the hurt and suffering he put her through was the culprit of this perception. As much as he exuberated love and closeness, she retaliated with numbing coldness, yet he wanted to believe that it was a facade, because her eyes spoke a different anecdote.
"I want to do you right, I want to write a different end to what we had? Am I asking for too much?"
"You want to do me right after the damage you have caused me? How simple is it to break someone in pieces, leave them in that state and then come back and say I want to do you right.... If only it was that simple." She looked away from him reminding herself that this encounter was to put her past to peace, once and for all. She was not looking to be saved; she was not looking to be fixed. Besides, even if he wanted too, he did not possess that power over her anymore. He could not any longer break or heal her. 
He moved closer to her and reached out to hold her hand. She pulled away instantly. She was not here to make reconciliation with their past. He could not sweet-talk her in to forgetting all the pain he put her through. She could not just forget all she had been through because of him. He tried holding her hand again and she snapped, "Don't think for a second that just because I am here in front of you and talking to you with calmness, that it changes the intensity of what you did to me. I just do not have the fight in me to bring my rage out and create a commotion. Do not take my agreeing nature as a sign of weakness to get through me. You wont be able too."
"I did not think that just because you are here. I never got a chance to communicate my side to you. I never got a chance to apologize for the wrong I did to you. I never stopped you from expressing your hurt. What do you want to do? Do you want to abuse me, hit me, yell and shout at me. Go ahead, do it. I deserve it. But once you are done let's talk about what happened and try fixing this. I want us to be friends again. I miss being in your life. I will not stop you from whichever way you choose to express your pain. I just want to feel again. I have been looking, searching for what we had and I can't seem to find it with anyone else. I have an amazing girl, she's gorgeous and has an amazing personality but we do not connect the way you and I did. I miss that. I miss that connection, that intensity, the rawness of what we had. And I want that, I need to have it back. I need to feel it again to feel human, to feel alive. Help me feel alive again...."









Part Four

And then unexpectedly it all changed. 
That feeling of 'this is why it never worked with anyone else.' The feeling of being enough and treated well. The feeling of finally being loved for who she was and not just what she looked like, all that changed. It all caught flames and left nothing but ashes behind.  Each fight thereafter blazed a fire, higher and stronger than the one before. She had never been so excruciatingly weak before. Crippled, the damage he had done to her left her crippled. She had witnessed the weakest parts of her, making decisions and choices that she was not proud off. She had never fallen so low before. The things she said, the things she did to herself, till today they speak a story of their own. It was after this phase of uncontrollable self-damage and torture, that she realized this relationship had forever changed the core of her. 
There is a limit to what someone will go through for another. But when that limit is crossed and you become unrecognizable to yourself, you hit a point where you just suddenly stop. 
The tears, the whining, the stalking and commenting, the saving pictures and conversations, the self abuse, the substance abuse, all of it just stops. And although the damage is deeply embedded within you, you realize that's it. Enough is enough. You will no longer ruin whatever little is left off you for ignorance and selfishness. That's it- She had enough. And just like that, months after you snap out of this phase, you’re standing in front of the mirror, looking at someone who is a stranger to you now. You remember every low you have experienced due to your own actions and you just cant seem to connect with this person looking back at you. You look at yourself, this version of yourself. Your eyes swollen from the non-stop crying, your skin pale and yellow making you look sick. You trace your bare body with your eyes and all you can see are cuts, deep cuts screaming the story of your lowest point. You've gained weight, substituting food for acceptance and feeling worthy. And your once smiling lips and now perpetually frowned and chapped. Your once hopeful eyes are now numb, cold and numb. You look at yourself and you want to yell, shout, scream, show some emotion of anger and regret. You want to throw things around and wail in agony for becoming this person but instead you look straight into your eyes and there's nothing. No tears, not a change of expression, you don't even flinch. You just stare at yourself with a poker straight face feeling nothing but absolute callous! 














Part Five

When you reacquaint yourself with someone from the past who has been the cause of a major negative change within you, you expect some sort of emotion from the past to arise during that encounter.
She met him keeping her guard up, making sure no matter what is said she will not fall weak in front of him. She expected her initial reaction to be some sort of breakdown or her being physically aggressive towards him for everything he had done to her. Yet surprisingly, she was absolutely calm throughout their meeting. He was the one over exaggerating and reacting in a way she should have, but despite his behaviour she remained grounded to the decision of being a certain way in front of him.
Obviously you can't expect one meeting after three years to drastically change what has happened, so things were left unclear and unfinished between them. After meeting him, she realized no matter how many times they meet from now onwards, the damage that has been caused will not go away. She will not receive any sort of comfort from the excuses or explanations he had for treating her the way he did. In respect to knowing that now, she decided to meet him only when she thought it would positively affect her.
She sent him a message clearing her doubts and informing him that although it was important for her to gain closure from this traumatic relationship, she also needed to make sure that it doesn't negatively impact her in any way. The next time they would meet, she would decide when it would be. His reply to that was, "I was meeting to clear your mind and take away your pain because it bothered me that you were upset." She ignored the message to avoid any further drama, but if she had to reply to that, this is what she would have sent:

"Sweetheart, the reason I was upset, wait hold up, let's first clarify that 'upset' is an understatement to what I felt during and after what you put me through. Worthless, wounded, weak, devastated, betrayed, unappreciative, ugly, broken are just a few of the emotions I felt, when you stabbed every inch of me and walked off. Upset is not even close to the intensity of pain I went through because of you. You wanted to clear my mind? After everything we had, when I walked in to your house for the last time with the girl you constantly cheated on me with, your reaction of running away and hiding on your roof was enough to clear my mind and make me realize what an enormous fool you had made me into. As we sat in your living room waiting for you to confront both of us, she showed me messages that you sent her. Identical messages that were sent to me, the only difference being the name changed. That was a clear indicator of what all I overlooked and the lies I believed because of the way I felt for you. And it showed me how little you respected what we had and me. It showed me how little you felt for us. When she showed me pictures of you both, the same pictures you showed me with her cropped out, that just put all the pieces together of all the games and lies you played to not get caught. And my love when I left your house and you called me and accused me for some bullshit reason to get out of the situation, that just further proved how guilty you were and your reaction cleared my mind completely about us and what our relationship was for you. You were too much of a coward to confront both of us face to face. You were too much of a coward to deal with the situation you had created to begin with. So as far as clearing my mind goes honey, you did not have the balls to do that when your game ended with an explosion off both of us finding out the truth about you, so how could you even for a second think after three years you had any ability to help clear my mind now?
You wanted to take my pain away? Wait, let me get this straight, you who put me in a situation where I isolated myself, violated myself, disrespected myself, doubted myself, doubted my worth for receiving love. You, who took me to the point where I tried killing myself. You, who was the reason I was at such a pathetic stage of my life, the reason I became the worst version of myself, you are going to take my pain away? Sweetheart, how delusional are you? Do you really think that I am that gullible to allow you to walk back in my life and give you the power where you could actually heal me? Do you really think I am that stupid to sit and entertain your disgusting games all over again? You do not intentionally hurt the one you love over and over again, especially when that person is screaming in pain, begging you to stop your games. You could never take away my pain. Haven't you heard, you cannot heal from the same source that put you in pain? Your guilt of putting me through that trauma, for the brutality of what you did to me, is something you have to live with for the rest of your life. It is the weight you need to carry with you for as long as you live. You cannot just assume you can in anyway help heal me and take away that pain. You cannot just apologize for what you did and believe that you tried helping me out of the ditch you put me in. Sweetheart, I am a real person with genuine emotions that you played with. You used and abused me in a way one doesn't even treat their plastic toys. If you cannot find happiness after what you did to me, it is not my responsibility to help you feel alive again; it is not my responsibility to make you feel like yourself again. If it was that easy wouldn't we all play with people and apologize for what we did and live life like we have nothing to be ashamed off. You should have thought about the consequences of your actions before playing with me the way you did. No honey, life is not that simple, and you can not torture someone and cripple them emotionally and then use such pointless and useless words to make up for the damage you did to them.
You were meeting me to give yourself some sense of peace and relief. Your guilt made you come back and apologize for what you put me through. You did not come back to try to fix the brokenness within me. But I am sorry your apology means nothing to me now. If you have suddenly grown a consciousness that does not mean I have to comply to it. You need to learn to live with what you have done. The words that come out of you are as fake and meaningless as the relationship we once had. So please do not send me such messages to try to give yourself some sort of allowance for feeling better about yourself. You would have to be born a thousand times over just to make up for a percentage of what you put me through. You’re a horrible, horrific person from inside and you do not even have an inch of kindness or love within you. That is the only thing you should be bothered about at this point in your life."









Part Six

Everything written about you has either been negative or painful. Remembering and retracing what happened between us, the details of us; the ones that have chained me, changed me and tormented me, reawakening the same feeling each time I write, as if it was happening all over again.  I don’t know how many times I have spilled my guts just to feel some sort of relief, just to escape the feeling associated to you. Every poem, every story about you is related to the loss of you and what we had but more than that, the loss of myself. We could play this cat and mouse game until we’re both exhausted and it wouldn’t matter, but I need to close this chapter once and for all. I have a huge list of the wrongs you have done to me. Every scar on my body, the numbness in my eyes, my personality being negative and aggressive, the disbelief in every emotion that is supposed to lift you and make you happy, the loss of hope, trust, love and positivity. You took everything good in me and turned it around. I let you take everything that made me who I am and turn me into someone I never wanted to be. I suffered in silence, I suffered alone, and I isolated myself from everyone. But you know what after four years of feeling this way; I am exhausted of putting so much energy in hating you. 

This letter closes the chapter of us. This is my final message to you. After this, I will not write anything related to you. I’m breaking those chains and setting myself free. I’m setting myself free from you once and for all.

Dear! 

My past has been one bad relationship after the other. I always told myself there is a reason it never lasts because I believed someday, someone will walk in to my life and he will fill me in ways no one else could. At that moment all the failed relationships will make sense. I’ll know why it never worked with anyone else. And then I met you. There was an instant pull towards you. As our relationship progressed, I believed that this is why it never worked with anyone before. It was with you whom I had to spend the rest of my life with. All those relationships taught me lessons that prepared me for being the best I could for us, the best for you. And as time passed and our relationship nourished, that thought was further validated. I was gratified and thankful that it never worked with the others and I put my past behind me and focused entirely on you, on us. 

Till the very end I believed you would fight for me. That you would honor the promises we made to each other. Heck, I even legally gave myself to you. That was how certain I was about making us last, about materializing the forever you used to whisper in my ear. Anything you despised I gave up, without ever thinking twice, and without ever doubting your intentions or questioning you. That is how much I believed in what we had. That’s how much I believed in our ‘love.’ 

But when you left me shattered, insecure, in excruciating agony and loneliness, I was lost. I was blinded by the hope that you would come back. Sitting everyday in my room, mixed with tears and blood hoping you would walk back in to my life. Weeks turned to months and months turned to years but you never looked back. Not even once. 

I was numb. My mediums of escaping my reality had lost their essence. I couldn’t feel anything. I couldn’t recognize myself. I just stopped existing. I remember days when I’d be sitting staring into nothingness, completely blank. Tears would run down my cheeks and I didn’t know when I started crying or why I was crying. I had lost touch with all my emotions; I had lost touch with myself. Other days, I remember trying to grasp for air because I couldn’t breathe. The pain, the fucking pain was so intense I was physically crippled because of it. And all the while, I waited in silence, in darkness, in isolation, waiting for you to come back. Waiting for you to save me. Oh how I ached to see you walk back into my life. How I pined to hear you say, “I am here now; forget everything for I am here to stay.” 

I hated myself for pushing you away. I blamed myself for giving you a reason to walk away. I remember those desperate phone calls to you forcing you to come back to me, begging you to come back or I would take my life. And yet, you didn’t come back. Eventually, all communication was blocked between us and I was left to deal with my chaos in absolute solitude.  

I wrote goodbye letters and made videos apologizing for my suicide. I gave myself a due date and till that time I decided to close all chapters of those I left behind. I didn’t see the point of living without you.  I was not existing, I was painfully cutting each day just living through life feeling nothing but numbness. 

The decision to take my life gave me hope. It gave me strength and after being so numb for so long, I welcomed that feeling. I saw no reason to live if we did not exist. 

Time is a great distraction. Thankfully, with time everything hidden, every lie spoken, all my doubts about you, they all came into the light. I am so grateful that although it was a brutal awakening, I was shown the reality of what we really meant to you. Time saved me from the devastation I was going to leave behind. 

After such a traumatic experience, I really didn’t care about my future. I kept banging on my past to try and reach some sort of closure. My past had made me aggressive, insecure, and negative. My past had turned me into the worst version of myself. When I found out you had moved on and we’re with someone, for the first time in years of feeling fucked up, I didn’t feel jealous, I didn’t feel pain. However, I was relieved. Relieved that even though I was the worst version of myself, I could have been at a much worse place, I could have still been with you. 

Things changed after that. I realized no one can save you and that no one deserves to be given every bit off you. I needed to keep a part of me for my unborn children. I needed to keep whatever good was left off me for them. I may have had numerous of failed relationships but I slowly was realizing my worth. I stopped seeing ‘us’ as my loss and started seeing it as yours. I waited for you to fight for me, but you left me to teach me to fight for myself. Had you not left me at my lowest, I would have never valued or recognized the strength within me. I stopped blaming myself for what you were lacking, for your insecurities. I gave you everything I had within me, without any doubts, despite you giving me reasons to doubt you and yet I gave it all, I gave it all with a smile. 

If you cheated it’s because you have nothing real to offer anyone. You who is not truthful to yourself, what could you give anyone? You who cannot be loyal to yourself, to who you are and your emotions, what commitment could you give anyone else? You who has never been in love, who has never felt even one real emotion, how could you love anyone else? You who doesn’t recognize rawness and intensity, how could you ever understand the vulnerability and weakness behind surrendering to your emotions?

 You lacked in so many ways and yet I thought for the longest time, it was I who didn’t match up to you. The reality is you could have never come to my level. How could you have? Genuine and fakeness can never stand side by side. They can never be together and share a life. 

You made me fall in love with my loneliness. It comforted me, it pushed me back out there but you, you are loneliness. You consume others emotions and energy to fill that loneliness. I may have walked in darkness for years but I wasn’t walking in circles. I was walking towards a brighter light, closer to it and further away from you. But you sweetheart, you are the cause of darkness. A darkness which light could never, touch upon. A darkness that is toxic and lonely. A darkness that entails nothing real within and around it. 

I wanted you to save me and save me you did. You saved me from yourself and that my love is something I will always be grateful for. You showed me what all I shouldn’t accept in the name of love. What all I shouldn’t fight for to have because it should be there to begin with. Your experience has raised the bar for what I deserve and how I should never settle for anyone who doesn’t treat me right. So you may have planted the seed of insecurity but the pain of your actions, the truth of your reality, watered it and grew it to a height where even you, can’t reach it now. 

Today I know I can and will love again. I have a new found respect for myself. For who I have grown to become and for what I am worth. I will be happy and I will fight to be the best version off myself. But you, you can’t say the same can you? For how can an inhumane beast ever understand humanity and emotions that are from his complexity? Unfortunately, my dear, you may be living and breathing from the outside but you are dead and absolutely empty from within.  

So good luck with that and thank you for putting me in a situation that has forced me fight for myself and rise to a completely new level off who I am. 




Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-9 show above.)