Run. There’s a small “lake to cross”. Beyond that lake is a mountain. And that mountain is the entrance to heaven. But you’ve got to run. Because there’s lot of explore
But turn back and see. There is a huge wave building up. Time is relative. But see, it’s building up. Storing the energy. It’s higher than a tree. It looks humungous, like a mountain. Rich emerald blue. With white tip of foam. Tiny ripples all over. It’s just never crashing down.
It’s like either time is still or slow.
So she runs. She crossed the “lake”. She reaches the mountains. She keeps running. The twists and turns. The ups and downs. The green and brown. It never seemed to end. She stops to take breath. She sees a small cave ahead. She sees small groove which would have made a big water puddle ahead. She stops in her track. Goosebumps spread around her arms then her chest to inside her heart. “Is that fear?” She wondered.
She decides to run again. But back to the other side. But the wave had crashed down. The time wasn’t slow either. The speed with which it flowed was like a stream flowing, gently. Yet, it gushed away.
She looked for a tree to climb.
She caught one. She climbed. It had comfortable ‘Vs’ to put her leg on and boost herself up. She wanted to climb more, but there were red spiders. A scream was caught in her throat which rang loud in her head. She stopped climbing higher. The water was here. Filling up all the downs, all the groves…all the spaces. But slower. Yet she couldn’t make the dash, because if she got back on the ground, the water was too deep.
The wave was in, but yet wasnt near her. Or the tree she was perched on. Yet, it was there. She had to wait. How long, she couldn’t tell. Time was different here vs on the other side.
She tried to relax. The bark of the tree felt mushy. Soft. Like it had too much water inside it. Or like it had spent too much time inside the water.
She was genuine and honest, he said
He was polite and gentleman like, she said
Yet, he never used words to end it
There were no signs she could read anyway
He has become a ghost
She was left nursing an abandoned heart
White lab coat hung loosely over her navy blue scrubs. That was her superhero suit hidden behind her civil wear.
It was after midnight and she was needed. The stethoscope hung around her neck as she ran to tend to her patient. Her white coat almost fluttered like a cape behind her.
“What is sleep?” She wondered as she tried resusitated a failing man’s heart at the wee hours of the morning. But his sickness over came him and the man in black took him away, without a second glance at the woman sitting in white with her hands on his heart.
She quickly got up. Accepted. Took the next steps and tended to the next patient in need.
Time passed by. She didn’t realise. And just like that, it was the end of her shift. It was time to take off her white coat, get back in her civil wear.
Breathe. She could finally breathe.
She fought against death. She saw death. Every day. Yet, she walked back home. Pulled her 3 year old in her arms and celebrated life.
Such is the circle of life.
She looked forward to the day. The exact time of the day, to be precise, when she would lay her eyes on him. It had almost been an year.
When he called her to announce, “I’m here!” she couldn’t hold back the bounce in her strides, as she walked towards him. And when she saw him, she hurled herself at him, and took the long pending bear hug from him.
Just the thing she needed.
He held the strings that bound her, untangled them gently so that she could slowly breathe. The first breath she took cracked the high wall of pretense she had built around her. She took another deep breath and she found herself unravel in his arms.
Her vulnerability lay bare in front of him.
They sat next to each other on the bench. Leaves crackled as they shifted their feet. The winter afternoon heat warm on their backs. His arms around her shoulder. Her hands resting on her thighs. They sat for a while. Her emotions finally found words and they flowed from her lips. The unspoken, unseen weight slowly lifting from her shoulders.
Trusting that he can take it all, she unfolded. And he did.
Though they felt stillness around them, the time kept ticking. Finally it was time to leave, with a promise to see each other soon again.
As they both walked away in the opposite directions, she walked away with strength and courage to live from him. And he, with a bit of her soul.
She had “stolen” the light. She ran away. Stood by the door and slowly opened her arms. A white glow spread over her face. She had the light trapped between her tiny hands. It was hers now.
She smiled. Her curiosity piqued. She turned it up and then down. She shook it left then tried tossing it towards her right. The light still shone bright.
Finally, she clutched it tight and raised it above her head with a happy smile. Seemed triumphant. There was her firefly inside her balled hands.
She tossed her head around, annoyed that sleep almost eluded her.
“I can’t feel my face!” she complained.
He leaned across and planted a kiss on her lips.
“Better?” He asked.
But she had already fallen asleep with a faint smile on her lips.
She was a vision to behold. Born out of a dream.
She stood, spine erect, her legs sightly apart. Her hands balled into fists, rested softly at the side of her waist. The breeze blew softly through her long, wavy, black tresses. It swayed to the right of her face; a tender lock caressing her cheeks now and then.
She stood tall with a strong armour hugging her body. The silver on her armour shone as the sun rays hit her. She glowed. She had scars all over. Battle scars. Emotional scars. A of imperfections. She didn’t hide them. She wore them with pride.
A small smile played on her lips.
Behind her sat her now small ‘big black dog’. Present yet but not daring to touch her. She had him under control.
Another victory tucked in her belt.
She knew it was going to be a long battle with the black dog. Yet, she celebrated this was a small victory, for now.
She was strong.
She was the strength.
She was the freedom.
She was a live wire with a wild heart.
She was alive.
The chapati refused to go down her throat. It just seemed dry. Even her favourite gravy that her mother made to go along with it, refused to help her swallow.
She refused to eat. She would sit, staring at the wall; speaking with silence and hugging the void. Everything, she felt, was crushing her. Her spirit and soul were disappearing in an abyss.
She just sat. Thinking and listening to the white noise in her head. Unaware of her surroundings.
Till something tiny walked by and almost pushed her off the chair she sat on to force fit its butt. There were two tiny hands and a sweet singsong voice which insisted on interrupting her state of being a rock. It said, “I want to feed you!”
Before she could answer, the hands had torn a piece of chapati, dipped it in the gravy and pushed it near her lips. She smiled and took a bite. It was easy to swallow now.
The singsong voice said, “Once more!” Till she had all of her dinner inside her tummy. Successfully.
Those tiny hands had magic to break the spell she was under.
The magic was her two year old daughter’s pure, innocent love.
He stood on the balcony. The twinkly lights draped on the railing of the balcony threw light on his face. He stood, lost in his thoughts. One hand in his pocket. His beautiful digits of his other hand lightly wrapped around the green beer bottle. He took a sip as he watched the city sleep under the yellow street lights.
Light drizzle. He runs his beautiful digits through his hair. Hair tousled.
At that moment, exactly that moment she felt the wind knocked out of her chest. Swollen heart. Unbearable, undefined emotions.
That was it.
They finally broke the barrier, shattering a year long silence.
He extended his hand, offered his friendship
She shook his hands, believing it was a start of a budding relationship
Both basked in a happy disillusion