She finally finished with her packing, and flopped down on her bed.
Looking around her room, she felt wistful. And why wouldn’t she be? It was time to leave her refuge and go somewhere which was alien. A chance to start anew.
She liked the sound of that. Leaving everything familiar also meant leaving the person that she was, and trying to be stronger. And after the year she’d had, she desperately needed a new start.
She walked over to her cupboard, and started looking for her shawl, and in the process, knocked a box out. “Shit”, she murmured, as she bent down to pick it.
But when she realized what the contents were, she jumped back, as if scalded.
She knew time healed the injuries and made her forget everything, but at that moment, she realized that it didn’t mean the memories and the hurt were gone forever. They were just, out of sight somewhere, ready to resurface the moment they found an opportunity to.
She sank against the wall, and pulled the box towards her.
The first thing she saw was a picture. It was of her laughing, slightly blurred. Looking at it made her heart hurt. Because looking at it reminded her of a time when her heart wasn’t so heavy, when the world seemed like the most beautiful place, and she could have sworn she was the happiest person on this earth.
She remembered the day as if it was yesterday, even 7 months, 3 weeks, and 8 days later.
She was reminded of fall setting in, the time when summer’s trying to make up its mind whether to leave or not. A day, when it wasn’t raining, but there were winds blowing which made her feel more poetic than usual.
They were finally together, with their legs entangled in each other’s as they watched a movie.
All of a sudden, in the midst of laughing at a funny scene, she heard the sound of a picture being clicked.
“Whaaaaaaaaaaat?”, she laughed, throwing her hands to her face.
“You looked lovely. I had to”, he grinned.
“I’m not, okay,” she groaned.
He looked at her for a moment. “I can never understand how you can you’re NOT lovely. Have you ever seen yourself? Have you seen the way you laugh when you’re enjoying yourself? Or the way you go all quiet when its a romantic scene, and you wish it was all happening to you? Or the way you look when you’re talking about something you love and your eyes shine? No you haven’t. So excuse me if I say you’re legit not the authority on deciding whether you look lovely or not.”
She looked at him, trying to stop the moisture from seeping out her eyes.
“And now I want to kiss you. Yes.”
She laughed, but his lips were on hers before she recovered, and as he pulled her closer, she inhaled the smell that was all him – his favourite cologne and smoke and everything that was good in the world mixed together, and she realized she felt whole in this moment. The feel of his body against hers, that was something she didn’t think she’d ever forget, and right now, she didn’t need anything else in the world.
And 7 months later, she looked at the picture and she cried. Cried till she was slumped against herself, holding the picture to her chest. Her mascara and kohl ran down her face, and she didn’t care. All she knew was, she was hurting, just the mere thought of him hurt.
And what hurt the most was that the only person who could stop the hurt was responsible for it in the first place.
Her best friend’s musing voice filtered inside.
“He makes you happy, doesn’t she?” She remembered blushing.
“Of course he does, you smile like an idiot when you’re talking about it. And there’s something different about you when you’re together.”
She wanted him.
The doorbell rang, and she quickly brushed her tears away, because she was expecting her mom.
She made her way down the stairs, trying to think of a way to defend her red eyes.
“Mom, I finished packing OH YES”, and she stopped short.
The person standing outside wasn’t her mom. Definitely.
But it was the person who could stun her into silence.
He was more built, he hadn’t shaved, and his hair were as carefully styled as ever.
His eyes. She still hadn’t found a suitable adjective or description for how perfectly brown they were. Like liquid chocolate.
“Hey.” He finally said.
“Why are you here?”, she managed to choke out.
He sighed. “Because I realized something this morning.”
“And what was that?” She said, trying to keep her voice even.
“I was a damned fool for letting someone go. Someone who just made me feel….like life was worth it. Like, being with her gave me a reason to survive.
Too bad I realized this too late, after I broke her heart.
And at the risk of being slapped, and being turned away, I’ve back to ask her if she’s ready to take me back, even though I don’t deserve it. At all. But I’m also ready to grovel on bended knee till she listens though.”
And the tears she’d brushed away came to the fore again.
She didn’t know who moved, him or her. But suddenly, she was in his arms, and the feeling of being broken wasn’t there any more.
This felt right.
He felt right.
And when he pressed his lips to hers and kissed her like a starving man, she knew she’d feel broken every time they were apart.
And somehow, she thought he felt the same way.
They jusre just….muted, in a way, ready to resurface as soon as they found a suitable occasion.