Abyss 6

Written on May 3, 2015

I sat by the river,
Goosebumps on my skin,
Talked to you,
For an hour or so,
Did you listen to me?
Because I did feel,
Once or twice,
You were probably
Replying to my questions.
You were murmuring,
And I could not understand.
But when I wept,
The Han wept with me,
And I knew it were your tears.
You did miss me,
As I you,
And in spite of the fact,
That so many years,
Have separated the two of us.
Deep down,
You have filled,
The abyss in me,
As I you.

The sun went down,
And the moon peeked,
Through the grey clouds,
A tide rose,
The water lapped against me,
Were that you?
As it retreated,
I realized,
I had lost it again.
Never the waters,
Could I keep with me,
Lest a part of you,
Would stay forever,
In me,
I wish.

For the abyss is but deep,
And within us all,
Only sorrow fills it,
But one day,
Oh I am sure,
Things will be better,
When on the other side,
Of the world,
Where you reside,
I will come,
And they will too,
And we all, would be,
Together.

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Return – Chapter 6

When we were young, my cousins and I played trump cards. The secret to winning it was to know all the statistics of all the players, so that you could guess which one you might be facing right then. Life was so much like that game. All you needed to succeed in it was to know everything. Only, it was difficult; probably impossible. I had decided to play against the odds. The twenty-third of April of 2014, six years from that devastating day. I had decided to repeat what I had done, and to play against what might seem normal to the others. As the sun set behind us, we walked on the beach, naked feet, sand seeping in between our fingers and seeping out with the water. We saw the tide come in, and we saw the full moon. It seemed the perfect time to tell her this. I realized I did want her to know it.

“I love you Shaena.”

“Are you serious?” she asked. Only this time her expressions were totally different. She was not shocked, like she had been before. But she was not happy. It was plain, right there on her face. She could not do it. She did not want to take the risk. She was afraid. And honestly, so was I. Sometimes we expect too much out of our petty lives. We forget the boundaries that do exist and try to see beyond the reality and beyond the limitations that have been imposed on us. I knew this was not the best step that I could take. The best step would obviously be going back to Irtiqa first. She deserved to know about this. She had a right. By not telling her, I was plainly snatching her rights. But at that moment, everything seemed unimportant. Everything seemed to come to a standstill, and the only thing I was waiting for was to hear her speak.

A cold breeze was blowing today. It would probably start raining in a while. I could see the clouds gathering over what was a starry night. The grey clouds against the black sky seemed like foam upon water in the dark. It reminded me of the first time I had smoked. The sky was black that day too, and I was awake the entire night. Sometimes, when we look into the past, all we want to do is undo actions, redo scenes, change our dialogues, as if our entire past was but a play, which could have been so much better had we tried. My friend had once said, “Just live. Don’t spend time thinking about what you are doing. You will have enough time later to sit and ponder over it.” And in fact it was so true. Looking back, I had never actually given much thought to my present. I was always locked up in the past, forgetting to live the present. It was a constant conflict between me and myself, a never-ending struggle, trying to get out of the past, but it kept pulling me in, much like a whirlpool.

My thoughts wandered back to an evening with Irtiqa when we were sitting at a café. My mood had been pretty much off after a heated argument with my mother, and the only thing that I wanted was silence, and a hot cup of coffee. I did not know she knew I was upset. I later realized she always knew everything. That was the problem with her. She was very intelligent. I did not have to tell her anything. She always understood. Sometimes I wished I could hide things from her. Most importantly, my feelings for her. But it was all in vain. Before I knew, she knew everything. But she never reacted. She was a calm person, a veteran to say, and she did not care much either. As I bought the cup of coffee, I noticed a smiley made with cream. Small things. She always believed small gestures were the most effective. She would never profess anything, only show small gestures. Perhaps that was also a main reason why I was misled. Sometimes she did things just for the sake of friendship, without expecting anything in return, without expecting one to know that she was the one who had done it. I stumbled upon a rock and came back to the present. Shaena’s eyes were fixated at me.

She looked at me, teary-eyed. “I cannot do this,” she said.

Farewell

Break words with me before the sun rises,
For at dawn you’ll leave for a new life,
Break bread with me, our last breakfast,
Thoughts piercing like a knife.
Fare thee well, blue-eyed girl,
You never told me where you came from,
I imagine a land full of fairies and dwarves,
Castles with gates unbroken by storm.
I had always wished to fly free like a bird,
You made that dream come true,
Yet slighted away at every chance,
Never let me come near you.
I know why, but don’t you fear,
No one’s going to harm you here,
For you are invisible to them, much like me,
And those who see you, are those who are free.
The others are but slaves, to their own gluttony,
But don’t you think about them,
Let them be as they are,
For whatever you try, they’ll remain the same.
So fare thee well, and the next time we see,
Promise me that we won’t shed a tear,
But will smile and pretend we never met,
But I won’t forget you, do not fear.

Return – Chapter 5

Sometimes things happen, and we do not really realize their importance until long after. As I now think of my past, so many events stand out in my mind, which at that point were simply instances, nothing important enough to remember, just moments. But those moments are what have made me what I am today, or at least attribute to it in some way or the other. And somehow a majority of the moments lead up to the same end point. Irtiqa. How I wish that it were untrue, and that there were more than one meaning to my life. I remember the first time I took her out for ice-cream. I loved a particular combination of flavors, and was exhilarated to make her try it, and she had looked at the icecream with disdain. She did not like it one bit. Chocolate was better. That was one of the first moments when I had realized that maybe things are not so common as we had thought they were. But what harm could it be? After all, an ice-cream flavor never disrupted anything, and we were too mature for that. Only, we were not.

Irtiqa. There was something about that name. And that something had kept me away from Shaena too long. I was not meant to do any of this. But then again, who could ever imagine that we would ever meet again, after the way we parted four years ago — she suddenly pulled me back. I had not realized I was crossing the road and that a car was headed towards me. I looked back at her. She asked, “What would have happened if I weren’t there here right now?” And I replied, “That could not have been.” She smiled. She knew. She knew what was going on in my mind. But she would never own up to it. She was too proud for that. And so was I. We already knew we had embarked on the wrong path yet once again, but somehow we had decided we would continue to walk.

“We should go drinking sometime,” she said. “I will make you vomit out every secret that you keep from me.” I smiled. She still did not know anything about that night. It is queer how intoxication can be a boon sometimes. Perhaps that is why people get drunk, to be themselves. They know they do not have the guts to unmask themselves when they are in their wits, but they desperately want to unmask themselves. And that is why they drink. That is why I drink. I remember the last time I was drunk. It was a total fiasco. I always drink only till I know I am okay. After that I stop. This one time, I did not. I wanted to lose my senses for once. I wanted to be just me for once. No limiting boundaries. People think that drunk people usually speak truthfully and that it is best to make them ogle out whatever they might have buried in their hearts. And that is somewhat true. Only, sometimes we lie so much to ourselves that the lie gets buried deep within, and we start thinking that it is true. And there lies the problem. We have moulded ourselves into something that we wish were true, and have believed in the alternate theory so much that it seems a part of our reality.

I dropped her at her home, but decided to stay out for a while. As I walked, the breeze blew through my hair. It was a starry night. The river shone brightly, lit up by the street lights and the stars and the moon. I sat on the bank, the cold water lapping against my feet. In a restaurant a few blocks ahead, someone was singing folk songs. I checked my phone, the battery was dead. There was nothing else that I could want at this moment. Nothing more, nothing less. I think I was happy. I was satisfied by my life, even though it had nothing to give, because I was too full to take anything more, like a tumbler full of water. The friend I had met in the morning crossed paths once again. “How was it?” he asked, not waiting for an answer. He knew I would say it was okay, irrespective of how it was. Sometimes it is foolish to anticipate anything out of anyone. And we had both learned that, the hard way. He left after a while, when he realized I had nothing more to say. I walked back to Shaena’s house. She opened the door, but blocked it. “What troubles you so much?” she asked. “Tell me or I will stop talking to you.” Déjà vu. Was she still so kiddish? “Are you seriously gonna do that, now, again?” “No, I am joking. But you need to tell me. I am a friend, believe me, I am, and will be. We are past all that now, and I promise nothing of that sort will ever happen again.”

Perhaps I took a wrong decision at that very moment.

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