“It’s always the first puff, it startles me, awakens a welcoming sting & cure” she said while having a drag on her cigarette. He studied her in a quiet admiration- a fine creature, serenity was leaping out of her smile. It was her eyes which were defying that impact & had their own version of her persona. She was full of stars which were about to explode if there was no befitting sanctuary for them. He shook his head with a slightly humming sound & said rather broodingly, “first puff is my step into a comatose numb world, I, on my way, keep unloading my mind & eventually I feel liberated. Not for long though, everything returns with a vehemence like they’re angry due to my small betrayal of discarding.”
He & I are sitting underneath the same tree, inhaling the same nicotine, watching the same world unfolding albeit mysterious, yet we are tastes apart. She smiled inly at her study of him. He appeared frantic, like any moment he would throw away his cigarette & start running towards that he had set his heart after. But his eyes, they explained he was holding onto his anchor & he wasn’t not adrift, rather firmly grounded. “You’re not from this city & certainly aren’t going to stay here, am I right?” He arched his brow & smiled knowingly. “What kind of a stranger you are, trying to discover my secrets in a gaze. Also you’ve discerning eyes filled with sadness which is like freshly plucked cranberries.” She curved her lips around a smile which vaguely assaulted his composure. They were reading each other, expressing the conclusions audaciously & for once were delightful at the prospects only strangers can revel in. Two exact opposites, cross examining each other & finding striking dissimilarities. What was more intriguing; they coveted what the other one possessed & was ready to get rid of (perhaps). In the fraction of a moment they could see they’ve found the missing piece of the puzzle in each other. The one they’d been seeking desperately, and when, finally, they saw it, they were unable to snatch it from each other. How could she define him by just flicking her eyes at where he was sitting with a pleasant disregard. How she could find a vantage point so quickly while feigning a clumsy indifference. He contemplated with a slowly rising curiosity. “Am I a book to a passerby now?”
“You see, I’m not a passerby, in this moment I’m as certain as you are, & you’re a little standoffish behind your suave scrutiny of me”. So she follows the angle of my vision & words, he thought while looking at a pink clad young girl running behind something illusory or may be a pretty butterfly. We all chase unattainable things, I’m not the only one. He mused. She craned her neck quizzically & followed his Line of sight, laughed at the pink, jovially running bundle of innocence & whispered, “we all deserve beauty, chasing, the thrill of it. Rest is just two outcomes, exhaustion or its absence. But why you look like an epitome of loneliness which doesn’t reek of fright or pity. It’s the first different outcome I’ve seen”
Brocade of her breathing abraded his peace & her glittered fragrance flared his senses. Then he understood the uncanny pull. She was like someone from his past. Someone who transcended the division of time & granted him a plunge in the grey ocean of waiting. Suddenly he was feeling constriction in his lungs & smoke filled his blood. He drew the precious oxygen twice or thrice & said in a low voice, “She was chaos & I was seeking her, like my life depends on being shattered by her sheer beauty. What puzzles me more was my readiness to accept the self destructed path & in the hindsight I found it was also my strength that I loved the thorns as much as I loved the rose. It was, may be, because I’d seen a golden beam peeking at me from her low neckline when she bent down cooing at a puppy or may be because I could hear the whispers of a happily trapped moon in the curve of her spine. May be it was not that but her unquenchable kindness & determined profile that cajoled me out of my ego. I felt myself as a king slave. I was a king while loving her & a slave when I would try to deny my loyalty to loving her. I stopped trying against that madness & in return grasp the truth of her being not mine. Tell me about you?”
“What about me?” She said hurriedly.
“What’s it in your eyes? It shimmers like a centuries long captivated tear, agonising your entirety?
But I know better than this, haven’t you been drinking it & cherishing it? I can feel it is seeping into my roots of silence & lashing out of my tongue like the most fragrant jasmine.” His question was in a steely voice, laced with a fragile confession. What was happening, his truth was claiming her own veil. She accused in a wounded voice, “You seem to have no qualms about landing in the midst of the twilight of my soul, screaming to the walls of this ancient dark well of thirst that there’s finally a spring sun about to rise between us ?”
“No, it’s not like this, you are in an endless waiting yet I’ve made a home herein. You want to look what lies beyond its other end & I’ve lost my way in this labyrinth. And now it’s my abode. I’m incapable to give what you’re seeking & you’re not likely to appreciate what I’ve found.” Came his voice, stripped of any trance or its previous existence.
“Then I guess this was our last smoking session?” She picked up her self, secretly, from under his feet, around his proud neck & from within his arms; deposited her self back into her being & stood up.
“It was our first smoking session, too” He peeked up from beneath his lashes.
“And We’re strangers again.”
“No, we never were strangers, we just stabbed the recognition our souls pointed at. We preferred a known death over an unknown life.”