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As I lay down beside you, I could hear a continuous breathing and a soft snore. It calmed me down; my body went limp on the bed next to you. Your breathing and mine don’t sync. I was not oblivious to your breathing, either. I was aware. Very aware.

You were already asleep for a long time before I lay down. I waited for the calm to sink and settle before I could effectively fall into deep sleep. It took a while but I do drift. Our bodies don’t touch; we don’t even lean towards the other. We just were. I don’t think it was love; I breathed in your smell when my eyes were shut. It was intoxicating and binding. The emotion felt all consuming. I just wanted to wake up every day and find you there. I was unwilling to deal with the mortality of your bones, of your flesh.

I was in denial as I saw you age. Quicker than me. But there was a grace to it. I stayed enveloped in your intoxication. I moved closer for a milli second and you pulled away. You hated proximity while you slept. I forced my insecurities on you as you travelled through several dream lands. You resisted; I yielded to your demands.

Truth be told, I was happy just falling asleep hearing the soft snore, the loud breathing and inhaling the familiar smell. Occasionally, my weak heart reached out for me. Only with you.

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Your birthday must be around the corner. The repetitive dreams are my sub-conscience’s way of reminding me, it is that time of the year. I could almost smell you, hear your voice, too. I don’t think I ever registered your voice. I was young when you left this world. It was around Diwali and I couldn’t contain my sorrow. This Diwali I didn’t think of you though. But each night since that loud, insipid night this year, you have visited me in my dreams. I was surprised the first night, happy on the second and comforted on the third. It made sense and I got used to it. Now, I fear you won’t return to engage in light conversation. We were close; I wouldn’t deny that. Ever. But it is nearly ten years now. Your voice could become unfamiliar after a point. Or I won’t recognise your playful laughter anymore. All I have is a single photo of you.

So it is possible.

And I am afraid of forgetting.