Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where Fate intervenes...

Three days of bliss, three days of tiny moments of pleasure, contemplation and pure delight. I had merely three days to live for myself before being thrusted back in the world of responsibilities, tension and work. Three days…and I resolved to cherish each and every moment available and live them as a dream in quest of fulfillment before stepping back into the acrid world of reality. And thus began a journey of apprehension, restlessness, silence, unclaimed feelings and love. A journey which filled in me life, tangible life. I lived, in the true sense of the word; I lived for myself, with myself. It was a moment of discovery, of re-discovering my self, my feelings and my desires.

Day 1

No way! No way that I was to spend the ‘peanuts’ holidays I got at home. I picked up the phone and contacted my aunty Sarah who lives in the chilled area of Nouvelle Decouverte. She was excited to hear that I am planning a stay at her place for the weekend. I picked a few jeans and some colourful long-sleeved tops, some books, a few DVD films and other uninteresting stuffs that my aunt told me to bring along. Her house was located at the highest point of the village. It was a place engulfed in greenery-forest, vegetation, sugarcane plantation and orchards. In winter, the orchards are greener than ever and the humid soil makes the atmosphere alike to living in Forks (Twilight’s main location). As the not-so-crowded bus meandered its way through the narrow streets of Nouvelle Decouverte, I realized that I have not visited this place for more than a year. Swallowed up in studies and my own life, I never had time to visit my aunt. A wave of guilt brushed me and I made up my mind that I will try to compensate the lost time in those three days. From the bus stop, there was a distance of 100 meters to cover on foot. I picked up my bag, opened my umbrella and walked. The atmosphere was filled with chlorophyll which urged me to breathe the freshness of the air as much as possible. Huge trees decorated the road on both sides; the wet soil and the rain soiled the road. I had to take special care to step aside whenever a vehicle was coming from the opposite direction. Aunty Sarah was waiting for me on the terrace. My eyes blurred with unwelcomed tears as soon as she loomed in my vision. She was happy to see me and I was happy to finally see her. I ran to hug her and in this urge, I unintentionally hurt her with my umbrella. Oh! How I missed her! She has been as supportive as a mum whenever I needed an ear to listen to me or a shoulder to cry on. As I settled down, she informed me about the plan for the weekend. When she talked, it dawned on me that she so resembled my mother:  her voice, her physical appearance, her smile, her eyes, the glimmer in her gaze...I fought hard to stop an uncontrolled drop of tear breaking out from my eyes. I listened to her attentively, paying attention to her voice, and the intensity hidden in it, while my mind swayed into the past, catching glimpses of her when she was younger and healthier as well as my childhood days I spent here along with other cousins.
 The rain had not stopped and the atmosphere was foggy, the street lights were still on and the chirping of the birds heightened the magical intensity of this Friday. We spent the day talking, eating and watching T.V. In fact, the T.V only helped in weaving the conversation further. I talked about my studies, my life, my responsibilities and I caught Aunty lending her ear so attentively, as if she was my student and I was the strict teacher who would punish her if I caught her straying her attention away. When she talked about her life which she has been treading on alone since her husband met with an accident and since my cousin-brother left to pursue his studies abroad, I recognized the layers of loneliness hidden in her narrative, how much she craved to be listened to.  Thus ended a long day filled with bliss and memorable snatches of conversation. When I settled in the bed next to her, I so wanted to hold her and sleep. I have been missing this attachment for too long now. The night was silent but was occasionally disturbed by swishes of wind. I slept like a baby that day. I felt protected and safe. But still, in the midst of all these happiness, my heart was still restless, as if it searched for yet another reason to be happy.

Day 2

Still deeply submerged in a soothing sleep, I could hear the dim radio playing in the background which indicated that my aunt was awake. I tried to guess the time but quickly shunned away that idea. I heard the sound of the door opening and I assumed that someone might have dropped in. But there was no sound of voices conversing which followed and I assumed again that it might be aunty who went out. After what seemed to be a few minutes later, I was disturbed by a soft but pleasing cold air. It settled on my cheek and found its way down my neck. I sensed a chill sensation down my spine. With a slight movement, I turned my face away. This is when I sensed a presence in the room. I kept my eyes closed, my sleep fading away little by little. I controlled my breathing and kept thinking about who was in my room, despite the fact that I knew that there could possibly be no one apart from my aunt. When I sensed something brushing against my hair, I opened my eyes inquisitively. The bright morning light burnt my vision but when I retrieved my composure, a knot formulated itself in my throat, preventing me from breathing. I caught my breath for a few seconds, and tried hard enough to swallow that gulp. I smiled back absentmindedly and in a fraction of second it dawned on me that Al was in the room, early morning, dressed formally (which upon seeing, I assumed he was going to work). His right hand brushed my hair softly and his left hand reposed itself on the edge of the bed. His gaze fixed on mine. I wanted to say so many things, I knew he wanted to say things too, but I guess the silence and the language of the gaze said it all. His hand traced an invisible line down my cheek and he handed me a sealed envelope, smiled his big fat smile, winked at me and left. I was dumbfounded. My heart was pounding, perspiration accumulated on my forehead. Suddenly, in this chilled winter morning, I felt suffocatingly  hot. My feelings were ambivalent, questions were overflowing from every corner of my mind. Thoughts fought their way out while I tried to compose myself. I breathed all the nervousness out, sat with legs folded on the bed, the envelope in my hands, eyes fixed on his still amazing handwriting. “Read and text me now.” The letters intersected each other, as if in a hurry to deliver a meaning to the reader.
I waited for the uneven heartbeats to even themselves, opened the envelope with trembled fingers and found myself facing a pale blue folded paper. I was so engrossed in myself that I hardly noticed aunty entering the room with a smile that told me everything that her mind harbored. I knew she would ask me about Al. At that moment, realization dawned on me that this is what was missing last night. My happiness was incomplete, my heart searched for another reason to be happy. This was the reason. Al was the reason. I nodded absentmindedly, almost stunned by my own oblivion. How did it slip off my mind that Al stays just beside my aunty, and my decision to spend the holidays here was involuntarily masked by the desire to face him and spend some time with him. I ignored the presence of my aunt in the room, who was now going through the DVDs I brought from home. I opened the letter and read along:

Hello Liya!
I will pick you up at 3 p.m today for a drive and then dinner. I have Aunty’s permission so you better stop thinking of saying “No” to me.
Be ready! We need to catch up!

I folded the paper and caught my aunty scrutinizing my expressions. I smiled back in a hurry to redress the over-expressive expressions. She sat on the edge of the bed, took my hands in hers and said: “Aliyah, give yourself a chance. Go and find out what is in his heart…and in yours too…” I avoided her eyes and looked away. I could not say a word. I could not assert the love I have for him as well as the crave I harbored to know what is in his heart…and in mine too. She forced me to look at her and agree to whatever she said. She kissed me on my forehead and told me to come up for breakfast. I nodded and waited until she left the room. Hearing her spongy footsteps fading away, I opened the letter again and read it over and over again. My mind was juggling with my heart. The same turmoil. The same unconcealed dilemma. Again. I picked up my phone and thought of what to type, until I sent him a pathetic “Hello, I’ll wait for you. TC” Unsatisfied, I got out of the bed. 

I was soon stressed out on what to wear and what not to. Aunty wanted me to deck up as much as I could. I felt the sudden feeling that she wanted me to ‘please’ him and I laughed at her effort. Still, I kept it simple. I had no intention of pleasing whosoever. I was ‘me’ and it has always been difficult for me to carry fakeness all over. I glanced at my attire in the mirror and pushed out a gush of satisfaction. I was happy with my white dress and blue trousers and my lovely heels. Aunty lent me her blue necklace with a tiny butterfly hanging at the end. I was lovely. I was happy. But the restlessness crept in too suddenly. When we heard the car stopping in front of the gate, my aunt ran to open the door, went out of the terrace and waved at him. I panicked unnecessarily when I saw Aunty getting more excited than me for this ‘date’. Did I just say ‘date’? No, this was not a date. We were just going for a small drive, a quick dinner and we’ll be back. I convinced myself with an unconvincing voice. I walked fretfully to the gate, waved with a tinge of guilt in my heart to my aunt, thinking that I was supposed to spend my holidays with her and not with ‘him’. 

As soon as I got into the car, his perfume overpowered my senses. Chanel. The blue bottle which was gifted to him by a common friend. I smiled. He smiled back and said: “You look…beautiful!” I was shockingly shy. I threw a merciless ‘Thank you’, forgot to return the compliment and stared at the moving trees outside. I wondered endlessly about the pressing thoughts in his heart which were transforming into undelivered words on his lips. I heard him clearing his voice several times, his breathing unevenly arranged with a shade of hesitation. Maybe this was why I felt the urge of not staying at home, that is why I wanted to come over here, this is where the whole process of restlessness, confusion and unclaimed feelings started. I needed to find an answer. I was so lost in trying to understand the maze of thoughts of my mind, that for one second I forgot that I was not alone. I retrieved my senses and dressed my composure. I was there, he was there too. The moment was ours. This is all I wanted to feel.

I listened to him while he was telling me about his work, his colleagues and his life. I realized how much I missed this moment, of me and him together, talking about anything, but together. This is what has always matter. We being together. I realized that he has grown into a gentleman and this thought placed a silly smile on my face. We reached the beach by 5.30. The sun was about to set. The golden sky picturized the whole atmosphere as a bride about to leave her house to enter a totally new world. I breathed in and caught particles of the salty water on my nostrils. We admired the enthralling picturesque view for some minutes in silence. This silence was miraculously beautiful. There was no need to make recourse of words to express our feelings, the silence said it all. I remembered the night we spent at the beach, the same atmosphere, the same silence, the same feelings rejuvenated more strongly at this moment. I watched Al as he forwarded his steps, as if enchanted by the beauty of the setting sun. I followed him, still beguiled by the beauty of Nature. We stopped for a while and I realized that Al was wearing his glasses. I placed my hand on his shoulder and stopped him from going further. He swerved back, almost confused. I caught a strange soothing feeling on his face, as if this was the best moment so far in his life. He looked at me, his gaze locked in mine. I moved my hands over his face and took out his glasses and said: “Your eyes are wonderful.” He smiled and his eyes glimmered with joy. The golden rays of the sun illuminated his eyes. I was mesmerized by the beautiful human being standing right in front of me. I chuckled, lowered my gaze and walked. He followed. A few more couples came for jogging and some youngsters were having a good time with some beer and music. I stopped to take my heels out of my feet. The sand was fresh, almost humid. The breeze strengthened as the sky darkened itself. The consecutive changes in colour made the atmosphere even more romantic. The swishing waves in locomotion, a few snatches of conversation, the breeze and the chirping birds filled the air. Al stopped and swerved back. He forwarded his hand and I held it. We walked in silence, admiring the beauty of the setting sun, feeling each other and loving the mood. I inclined my body on his left side, held his hand tightly walked along the beach. Al leaned his head on mine and whispered: "I think I am incomplete without you Aliyah, I don't know how to say that but my life is senseless without you around". He waited to see my expressions, confused and a little bit nervous. I lifted my head, smiled and whispered: "I know what you mean Ali." He smiled for he knew what I meant.

I needed to captivate this moment for longer in my memories. I recalled the last time he held my hand out of surprise, without any reason and we walked in silence. But this time it was different, because we both realized that we needed each other and that it was useless to run away from each other. I was happy, there was nothing missing. Nothing at all! At that moment, I realized that this was all what I needed. I needed him by my side forever. I felt secured and blessed. 


  1. Oh.
    iT IS so wonderful to know wat goes on on a girl's mind...