She wasn't always like this, you know.
In fact, she was never like this. This silent, sad, lifeless woman was once a jolly, vibrant person, a person I had fallen in love with. I had never acknowledged it, simply because I hadn't realized it. She was older than me, a teacher in a local school. Advanced calculus, mind you. She was as sharp and witty and caustic as you could imagine.
Never would she let you forget that she was from Stanford, or that she was my senior there once upon a time.
And she was wonderful. She had a smile that could lift up my spirits each time, without fail. Not that it wasn't rare; it was rarer than manna from the heavens. She didn't realize that she wasn't communicating that she cared. It took experience to understand that her harsh way of dealing with someone was just her way of caring.
Always somewhat nosy, always armed with sane advice and a no-nonsense attitude... my Katyayani was once a wonderful human being.
I don't particularly know what happened to her over time. Very gradually, she shut down. No more jokes and no more did I hear her wild, infectious laughter. She didn't get angry at me. I broke a table lamp just to make her angry once.
"Ask Jerrich to clean it, please." was her only indifferent response.
I've always been busy, and I know I am to blame. Partially. But I can never fathom what it was that broke the love of my life so completely, smashed her soul to smithereens and scattered them away with the wind.
As I saw her face in the dark evening as I led her to the living room, all I knew was that I had to get my Katyayani back. I could never let her vanish into nothingness. Not on my watch.