Carpe Diem

We sat on our favorite spot at the beach; an old wooden stray log, covered with moss, damp as always, no matter how dry the weather was, big enough to seat four people at once. It was a secluded location, which mostly people never came by.

 

My eyes were on the horizon, where the blues of the sky and the raging water of the sea weaved together. Sometimes, they wandered off to the gray sea gulls, diving in the water empty beaked and coming out with a fish dangling in it. Or sometimes, my eyes found the nature in the sand, the crabs, the sea-shells, the sea-weeds, the jellyfish and what not. Sometimes I looked at the bare footed camel-men and horse-men, asking the people to ride their animals and to make their day by handing them some money to feed their families.

 

To others, it might have seemed like we were drinking in the beauty of the sea. As if we had this once in a lifetime chance, to observe the sea life, before we trudge back to the burdens of the city life. To others, we might have been just another couple, spending their day together, away from the crowded streets and talking about our future plans. Only, if they knew…

 

Her slender fingers were playing along the sand. She was unusually quiet, waiting for me to break the silence. She smelled of flowers, like always, a soft fragrance she carried, where ever she went. She wore a lilac colored dress, blending with the sea environment. She wore a hat to shield her face from sun and sand. At last, which seemed like an eternity, she sighed slowly and looked at me.

 

“Talk to me.” Her melodious voice entered my ears and made me smile, internally.

 

She was waiting for my answer. All this time, I had been processing the words to say to her. How best to say the worst, which would, finally, break her, break me and destroy everything for us. The world we had designed in our imagination, would be shattered to innumerable pieces, which could never ever be glued together, again. I couldn’t find the strength to say it. I couldn’t struggle with the words anymore, not any longer.

 

“We’re leaving.” Eyes, I kept on the horizon, distancing myself from her, from everything. I couldn’t bear to look at her when I said those two words. How would I ever forgive myself?

 

Her hand found my face. Slowly, her fingers started stroking me, tracing a path from my temple to the jaw.  I could feel every pore of my body tingling. She cradled my face and made me face her. I gained the strength, from her touch, to look at her face and finally, into her soulful, deep, umber eyes.

 

No tears, was the first thing I saw, and a heartwarming smile, playing on her lips.

 

“So, my dear,” she began, “do you want to spend these last moments in our about-to-shatter-world, weeping, moaning, cursing and despairingly watching the horizon?” Her hands clutched mine, inducing her usual aura of love and care inside me.

 

“I can’t help it.” I said shortly.

 

“You can.” She was probably unaware of the situation.

 

“I’ll be at the other side of this world, at an other end, unable to see you, unable to talk to you, unable to escape for these short-notice meet-ups, unable to breathe in your fragrance-’’ I caught myself. “It will all be very difficult and I don’t understand how you can be so calm.”

 

“I don’t want to waste my time moping. I knew this would happen the moment you told me a week back that your dad has decided and it was final. I knew you’d fight. I knew you’d argue, but I also knew there would be no change in his decision.” She replied, while caressing the palms of my hands. “I don’t want to you to be dripping with silence, at least not now. I wasn’t us to talk, I want us to make the most of our time. It will be difficult, don’t you think I know? It would be disastrous, it would be agonizing, but why to discuss our despairs now? This is the time to remember our happy moments, the memories we’ll cherish forever. The times of laughter, the times we thought our life was complete. I want you to remember those moments and keep them alive in your thoughts. Carpe diem, is what I believe in.”

 

“They’ll always be alive in my thoughts, you know that. But right now, I feel hollow. I can’t bear this emptiness. You’re here with me right now, and you won’t be, two days later. I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t know how I’ll survive. After sometime, I’ll get busy; we’ll have to start over. It’d be a whole new life. What if I forget you, your smile, your cheerfulness, your whole existence? I don’t want that to happen.” I felt helpless; I was at a loss for words to express what I was going through.

 

“Remember one thing then,” her voice dripped with forced strength, it had always been her best quality and I adored her for her courage to face the hard times, “if you don’t want to forget me, you won’t forget me. It is as simple as that. What you want is all that matters.”

 

I knew she could tell I wasn’t satisfied. She knew I was troubled. My whole face was a mess. I knew I looked terrible. But what I felt like inside, was no match for this. Inside, was post-war scene. Heart, mind, soul, breathing, sleeping, no matter what it was before, now it was a picture of massive destruction and chaos.

 

“What do you want me to do? I can’t see you like this. I want you to be happy; I want you to be strong. I want us to laugh today and think about our last moments together in the times to come. Let these moments be our light and warmth in the dark & cold times. Let our smiles be the guidance to a new life whenever we feel lost. So then, my dear, tell me what should I do to make you cheer up?”

 

“You could at least quit being strong and stop fighting the immense pain you’re shielding behind your smile, shed a few tears and give me a reason to hug you close and murmur in your ear that it would all be okay.” I ran my fingers through her hair and felt their softness, probably for the last time ever, I thought.

 

At this, she laughed, my favorite laugh. Like many bells tinkling together, breaking a cold silence and warming every soul around it, with their perfect sounds.

 

“The thing is, my sweetheart,” she looked into my eyes, smiling broadly, “I can never cry when I’m with you.”

 

 

***

 

Like she wanted, she made the last moments perfect.

I remember her sweet breath, fanning my face,

I remember her auburn hair, shielding everything else,

I remember her coming closer to me, and closer still,

And I vividly remember, never wanting to let her go.

 

 

 

Yearning for ecstasy (Part 1)

NOTE

Okay so I’ve had this story on my mind for quite some time and I’ve decided to share some parts of it. Firstly, I can’t promise a perfectly good & complete ending. I’m seriously not good at it. Secondly, feedback means a lot. Positive criticism keeps me going. Share your thoughts with me, I love it. Third, this is going to be a story of typical Pakistani family, from a girl’s point of view. Romance & life is a bit difficult to write about. Please don’t judge me, I am really new at this. Fourth, I’ve mentioned the credits for the image used, at the very end. Final word, it won’t be too long. I’ll divide it into less than 5 parts and it’ll be done. This is the first part, I’ve tried my best to do justice with the story.

Thanks a bunch if you’re still reading. God bless you.

***

ponte da suadede

My whole life is surrounded by ironies. I am a psychologist, I work with thoughts. I can make out what you’re thinking at the moment by looking at your body language. I can tell your whole life story by only asking you a question or two. I can read your eyes, your face. I can tell about your personality by asking your 3 very easy questions (I might share them with you someday, won’t promise). And me? People find me very… difficult to understand. What I believe is that they don’t even try to understand me. I only crave acceptance. But obviously, people can only accept me if they actually know who I am as a person. What usually I experience is pure judgement on the basis of asking “How are you?” Okay, how can you even judge me with the reply “I’m fine, thanks.” People often complain why don’t I ask them in return how they are feeling. Well, maybe I don’t want to know. Duh. Maybe I’m tired of listening to people telling me their stories and I deserved a break over an evening tea with other people. Maybe, we could get over the pretentious formal questions and simply discuss the weather. Maybe, people would just for a second, put themselves in my shoes and think about it & the reason behind it. Well this, in turn, was connected with my so called snobbish attitude. Whatever. Thus, I usually failed to carry on conversations and I preferred to stay quiet. Also, ‘normal’ people, they bored me like anything. I’d rather listen to politicians droning on about their latest scabs than the people around me. At times, when I was having sessions with my “special ones” (they call them ‘patients’, I call them ‘special ones’), I imagined myself sitting on that comfortable chair, which I had bought specially for their comfort, with someone sitting at my own chair, readily listening to my ramblings. I needed a psychologist myself. But I didn’t have the time for it. I was so tight on my schedule most of the times that I couldn’t even have weekends off. People needed me and I, having faced the atrocities of life and having tasted bitter loneliness, could never deprive people of my company when all they wanted was someone who’d listen to them. All in all, I always enjoyed listening to my special ones more than anything. They always had a new story to tell me. Their thoughts intrigued me and I never felt bored. Whenever they smiled at me at the end of our sessions, I felt a surge of pride run through me. Their smile was the reason behind my smile.

I once went to Paquetá Island; it’s in Rio (Brazil). I made this trip along with my colleagues to visit some doctors and discuss a few issues. One evening, I was reading a book and chilling on my own, when one of my colleagues Erum, who is a great friend of mine too, knocked on the door and literally dragged me to this place. It’s called “Ponte Da Saudade” which I learned, was the bridge of longing. I, along with Erum, sat down at its edge, drinking hot tea, letting the fresh breeze fill our lungs, each engrossed in their own thoughts and longings. I kept my eyes on the changing colors of the sky which was honestly the most beautiful scene ever. I thought about everything I yearned for. But all that came to my mind was the yearning for ecstasy, hidden deep inside me. I let it resurface at that time, let the emotions wash over me, as we quietly enjoyed the serenity and tranquility of that place. The sun was setting, the water reflecting its beauty. It was paradisal. I wanted this yearning desire to be fulfilled. That’s all I wished for at that moment.

Today, when I entered my home, after a long tiring day with absolutely nothing on my mind except the desire of a good scrumptious dinner and a long sleep, I sensed there were some guests. I went to the lounge and there I saw a family I had never seen before in my life. A man, around 70 years of age, with his wife, around 50 years or so, with their son, who was around 30 years possibly, were sitting very comfortably on the sofa. As I entered, the lady’s eyes snapped up. It was as if she’d been waiting for me to come. Which now makes me wonder what my mom’s been telling them about me. Her son’s eyes were fixed on the tea cup in his hands. It didn’t bother me. My dad and the unknown uncle were busy discussing business. “MEN!” I thought and started to make my way towards the room. As I should’ve already expected, my mom called my name. Oh God. I was so not in the mood of listening to anyone tonight.

I walked towards them at a slow pace. This better be good.

***

Thank you for reading!

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimsk/132130554/

Life across the window

It was agonizing. Watching her with him. Every frigging day. A constant, never ending torture. It wasn’t my business. I know. But it was a habit built over the time. It was in my routine. Watching her across the window, while I brewed my morning coffee, while I scrambled the eggs, often blackening them in a haste to not let her get out of my sight when she picking up the morning newspaper. Then coming home after a long tiring day and watching her again, as I prepared my dinner. She watched the 8pm program regularly and often used to laugh, which was melodiously sweet to my ears. How I was dying to get near her, to sit beside her, caressing her soft skin, breathing in her scent, feeling her warmth, taking in her radiance… if only she knew! But there was this guy, who knew nothing about her. Why was she with him anyway? I had seen him watching other girls pass by when she wasn’t looking. It was obvious to me he wasn’t into her. She needed care, she needed love. He had no clue what she wanted. He was always dragging her wherever he went. I heard the other day, a heated argument, something I couldn’t just tune out even if I wanted to. She was crying. I honestly have no idea how I resisted the urge to just barge in to her house and smack the guy hard across the face and bleed him to death. She obviously didn’t want to go out but he literally dragged her in his car. It was a horrible night for me. Freakishly horrible. And now, today, I see them together again. But even a blind person can see how doleful her smile is. He is holding her hand, she isn’t even bothering to return it. She is staring at the sky, at the ground, anywhere but him, she isn’t even meeting his eyes. And why can’t he keep his hands off her hips? Can’t he see she is irritated beyond anything? Git. The way he is rambling about the game and not giving an eff to the silent screams evident from her face, it only acts like fuel to the fire burning inside me. I have to do something, I just have to. But on what grounds? I want to help her, I’m dying to… but how? How would I explain to her I’ve been observing her for almost an year across the windows, silently watching her every move. She would creep out and possibly think the worst about me. I can’t let that happen. I can’t afford to live if this tiny source of connection between us is lost. Not knowing about her entirely would be more tormenting for me.

A flailing chagrin

I’ve committed a crime…

And I’m on the run…

***

“Leave everything and just go to Mr. XYZ’s house! I won’t repeat myself, do you hear me girl?” My mommy came roaring out of the kitchen, brandishing the rolling pin in her hands and threatening as if she’ll kill me with it.

“Yes mommy.” I stammered.

I didn’t even bother to change. I simply covered my head and dragged myself out the front door. Mommy didn’t even come to say goodbye.

The roads were bustling with traffic. I love watching the huge shiny cars with the people sitting in them, fogging the windows from inside with the expensive cigarettes they smoke. The rest, they have black windows. I always wonder what they’re hiding from…

I hate going there. I’m trying to be as slow as I can be. I wish I could die this very moment. I wish some rich would run over me with one of these huge jeeps and simply put an end to the constant harrow I face in this cruel world. Just one swish of the wand from almighty Death, and everything would be peaceful for me.

I’m tired of fighting.

***

I entered the mansion. Oh what I wouldn’t give to never ever see this place again. I’m ready to exchange, for that freedom, a gold necklace which my granny pressed into my palms, before death swallowed her. Only one soul knows about it in this whole universe. Me.

I made it to the mistress’s room without interruption. I took a sigh of relief. I knocked.

“Come in! I hope it’s the God damn young lass I hired ages ago! 15 months, still she never comes on time!”

Oh boy. Here it goes. I opened the door, eyes on the floor, muttering under my breath, every verse of the Quran my granny taught me for being safe. It’s the only thing that can save me from this worldly Hell, she used to tell me, before kissing my forehead. For a fraction of seconds, I glanced at my mistress. Nothing different. She is always dressed like a queen. Repressing a sigh and the ugliest profanity I heard, uttered by the gardener of this mansion, I closed the door to the room and faced my fate.

***

Every bone in my body screams with pain right now. My mind’s blurring with images I can’t discern. At least, not when, as I open my eyes, I’ve to see a hairy-chest, burly beast lying beside me. Bolting upright, I gathered my clothes and left the room.

Is it possible to die of shame every time I face this situation? Why not? Why can’t my mistress just beat me to death instead? Why can’t she feed me to the wolves instead? Why is it my, an 18 year old’s, daily routine to satisfy her son’s needs? I’m not even spared on weekends. No sir, I’ve to work extra hours that day! I spat at the basin, imagining his face there. Thank God, today I made it to the washroom even, undetected and without having to endure the teasing sneers of fellow maids/workers.

Thank you Lord, for at least sparing me from that shame.

***

I found what I was looking for. Earlier the day, when my mommy was shouting at me, I had sneaked the sharpest knife in my pocket. This pocket is well hidden.The only thing that kept my heart hammering was “my master” finding that knife. I have no use of knife, at least not in their mansion. Would’ve raised a lot of questions.

It was evening. Time for me to go home and everyone else to go out. Except him. I heard him telling my mistress the other day, that he couldn’t go to the dinner they were planning. He had other plans, he said. Right, as if we don’t know what they would be. I have had enough of it. I couldn’t, rather wouldn’t, let him ruin other girls’ lives, Not anymore. I thought of ending it the moment I knew I had a chance. The very first and the very last chance I could ever get.

It might be my end too. But I don’t care. Anything’s better than this Hell.

***

It was so easy. I didn’t even feel remotely scared. All other workers and maids were in the basement. He was sleeping, probably napping before the next one entered his room. I slit his throat. The blood gushing out satisfied me.

His eyes were blank. I took a sigh of relief.

And then… I ran.

***

They won’t find me now. I knew of a lone hut, very very far from that place. A lady used to live there. I knew her. She died of liver cancer. That house was left un-cared for. I used to go there, whenever I had time for myself. And now, it was mine. She said it herself. She wanted me to come to her. I was here now. A little late, but I was here, now.

My mommy won’t bat a lash if I go missing. She used to call me a slut. Funny, she was the one who made me one. She’ll be happy she had one less to care for now.

I find this place Heavenly. My sanctuary. Th e place, where at last, i have found peace.

***

“I have two questions, my Lord.” I’m eating grapes. They are delicious.

1. “Who is the real criminal in my story? My mommy, him or me?”

2. “How long will I be on the run? Are they still looking for me?”

I hope I am not the criminal. I hope it’s not the police who’s looking for me.

But in the end, I’ve committed a crime and I’m still on the run.

***

Rose

Her eyes fluttered open.

The first thing she saw was Chad’s face. His smile was dazzling, as always. He stood right beside her, her hand held in his warmness. He softly whispered, “You did it Cynthia, you made it through.”

Cynthia smiled. She knew what Chad meant. Chad’s eyes were lit up. He was beyond elated. She wanted to share his joy too. With some effort, she said, “I want to see my child, Chad.” Chad kissed her forehead and motioned to get up.

At that very moment there was a knock at the door. Chad looked at his wife and they shared their final lone moments together. From now on-wards, they’ll have a baby in their arms seeking attention and love from both.

Chad moved towards the door. Cynthia felt her heart beating fast. Now that her baby was really here, not merely a dream, her mind started rambling “Are you ready for this Cynthia? Are you ready?” She felt utterly nervous now.

Chad was moving towards her now, a blanket in his arms. Their baby was here. This child was the sign of Chad’s and her love. Chad sat on the edge of her bed. She looked in Chad’s eyes, searched. He was smiling, but now she could see the tears glimmering. As if he sensed her thoughts, Chad said “Of course you’re ready, my darling. You’ll be the best mother, ever.” Cynthia loved how he always knew what was bothering her. She knew he would be the best father ever.

She straightened on her bed. She held her arms out. Chad slowly placed the bundle of blankets in her arms. She cuddled it close to her. And for the first time, looked at her baby.
She was her daughter. She was Chad’s daughter. She was beyond beautiful. She stared at her child in awe and full of wonder.

Was she carrying this beautiful young child in her womb for the last 9 months? She couldn’t believe it. Tears streamed through her eyes. Her daughter’s eyes were big. She had long curled eyelashes, just like her mother’s. And then those bright blue eyes, which were full of surprise. Her daughter stared at her. Cynthia noticed that her hair were golden brown. She remembered how her mother used to tell her that when she was born, the first thing she noticed was Cynthia’s hair, which were the exact same color. She laughed softly at the memory. Her daughter had the tiniest fingers. But the thing that caught her eyes first, were the rosy cheeks. Her cheeks were the cutest thing she had ever seen. A natural blush. She kissed them both and gazed up at Chad.

He was enjoying himself, silently observing the daughter-mother, exchanging their love. Cynthia asked, “What should we name her, Chad?” “I want you to name her, sweetheart.” Chad replied, while stroking her messed up hair. Cynthia smiled. “I love her cheeks. She is so adorable Chad.” Chad laughed. “Lets wait till she grows up. She’ll be just like you.” He paused. “So, *Rose* it is, then?” Chad was such a mind reader. “Yes. It matches her cheeks.” Chad kissed his daughter’s hand and said lovingly to her, “Hello dear Rose, welcome to our world. Everything will change now. Everything.”
He was right. Everything changed.